So how big is this production going to be? I've been going back and forth on this for quite some time. It's sort of a broad question, so I'll try to get specific. I'm really talking about scale here. I have a written a relatively simple story that does not call for any major explosions, action sequences, or period sets. So we are definitely on the smaller end of the production spectrum. With that in mind, I am now looking at what this so-called smaller production might look like. The scale with which I make this movie will be directly linked to the yet-to-be-secured budget for it. So, for now, I am already beginning to look at a few different versions of budgets that would suit the film at different scales. These budgets may also affect the choice of camera and/or film that we go with, as well as the crew size, cast size, and quality of shooting locations.
I made my last short for very little money and very little crew, yet I was still very happy with the product. That has set the lowest benchmark for scale that might be used for this feature. It would be doable at that level, but not very easy, and definitely exhausting (as I would have to wear far too many hats to do any of my jobs well).
I don't want the burden of too much money either (and too much scale), at least not for my first movie. I won't elaborate on the pitfalls of having too much money as I really don't foresee that being a problem!
To the point. What will be the scale of this movie? The answer is: "small". "Small" is a word that suits it no matter what the money gods bestow on us. Low-budget film sets are where my comfort as a director lies, and I would like to stay there for this slightly larger project. Ideally, there will be a little more money in this permitting me to delegate a bit more, especially considering I'll most likely be acting in this one as well (more on that later). In short, I'll need some money, but not a lot of money, but more money than I have in my wallet.
In the next few months I will be showing the script to some potential executive producers. The financial pitch is simple: I only want a budget that I am confident I can earn back. This may seem overconfident for a first-time director, but I think I have a clear sense of what I'm doing here so long as I keep the scale similar to that which I've already done. Heretofore, I will no longer call it "overconfidence", but rather "certainty". Or better yet, "cockysonofabitchness ".
Up next: "What is an Executive Producer and where the hell do you find one?"