The fact is, it is exceptionally hard to make money on a $100k, $200k or even $300k film. It’s just too difficult to to make it look and feel like a million dollar film and that’s pretty much what you need. In lieu of that, you need an angle; some kind of hook that sets your film apart.
Don’t tell me it’s a great script. That doesn’t mean shit. That’s not the kind of “hook” that sells a low budget film. If you can get a name actor that otherwise couldn’t be had on your budget (or buyers perceive couldn’t be had on your budget), that’s a hook. If you can tap in to what’s hip and popular at the moment, that can be a hook, though the zeitgeist might shift between the time you start your project and finally finish it three years later. If you can do something visually that others can’t on the same budget, that’s a hook…and a good one.
There are guys out there who know FX or have friends that help them and they make $200k films that would cost over $1 million in real dollars if they had to hire out those FX. Many of these guys are making good money. A good film heavy with FX will sell well both domestically and in foreign territories and you have to make those foreign sales if you expect to turn a profit.
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