Tips for low budget feature filmmaking success!

by: submitted by Jenny Perez

Tips for low budget feature filmmaking success!

Via: Met FilmSchool

I met Director/Screenwriter – Chaitanya Tamhane & Producer/Actor Vivek Gomber at the London Film Festival, to find out how they made their accomplished Indian feature film “Court” on a limited budget.


Court is the second feature film from Director/Screenwriter Chaitanya Tamhane. The film deals with a range of controversial subjects; from the limitation of artistic free speech in India, the fear of terrorism, police corruption, to the painfully slow nature of the country’s legal system. It is partly based on several real-life cases of artists whose creative expression was limited due to their work being deemed "seditious" by the state.


Court will be showing next at the Mumbai Film Festival. It has also been certified for release throughout India, which is quite a feat, considering the controversial subject matter of the film. More info on the film & screenings.


Met Film School interviewing Chaitanya and Vivek at the London Film Festival 2014


Here are a few of Chaitanya and Vivek’s filmmaking secrets:


1.Consider using professional actors and non-professional actors


Mixing your cast with both professional and non-professonal actors can add a further layer of realism to a film. Non-professional actors can bring their own experiences to the screen, adding interest. 


Chaitanya feels that non-professional actors can be more relaxed than the professionals, as the stakes are lower for them, as this isn’t their sole livelihood. They are taking part for fun! 


However, he comments, it’s important to remember that directing non-professional actors can be more time consuming and more patience is required.



2.Take advantage of documentary filmmaking techniques


Chaitanya didn’t depend on complex sets, but used the varied backdrop of Mumbai to contrast the lives of the middle class, rich and poor effectively.


He used an observational style drawing on his background in documentary filmmaking. The film itself is composed of just over 100 cuts, giving the film its’ documentary “fly on the wall” feel.


3.Take on multiple roles in the production


Vivek Gomber was both the producer and the lead actor in Court.  


This added additional efficiencies to the production, but he notes that blending acting and producing a film required a high level of discipline. 


When on set Vivek had to re-focus all his attention on his dramatic performance and switch off completely from his producing responsibilities.


 In order to be an effective actor and producer, the key for him is intensive planning and organization. He defines time dedicated to producing and acting and sticks to these timings religiously. Planning is the key to success!


Learn more about Directing and Producing courses at Met Film School.

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