Take a quick look at this year’s top 10 top grossing films to date and two things become immediately clear. First, nine of them are based on established intellectual property or are sequels. Second, Free Guy, the only original IP on this list, was directed by Hollywood veteran Shawn Levy and Star-A-List actor Ryan Reynolds. Since the 10 listed are all from major film distributors, from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to Universal Pictures, the average film budget is between $ 100 million and $ 250 million. Other “original” low budget films released that year, such as Zola, The Green Knight, Nobody, and Judas and the Black Messiah, were all shot for less than $ 30 million. Nobody cracked the top 20.
Meanwhile, the increasing popularity of streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime is driving high demand for productions despite conflicts with more traditional film distribution media over first editions. Last January, Netflix even promised to release 70 films on its platform before the end of the year.
Somewhere in the middle of the great battle between traditional Hollywood and various streaming giants, aspiring filmmakers are looking for their own lead in Hollywood.
Independent filmmakers have had a particularly difficult time since production was halted by COVID-19. Speaking to Filmmaker Magazine, director / producer Miranda Bailey said that investors “may not be interested in risky deals” like independent films, although those efforts require less investment than feature films.
Even short films, with which many budding directors build a portfolio or arouse interest in a longer film, are not cheap. According to Newbie Film School, the average short film costs between $ 700 and $ 1,500 per minute, with the option to shoot even higher. However, regardless of the length of a movie, filmmaking is an expensive business in reality.
And one more thing is certain: there is no absolute way to finance a film. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and aspiring and established filmmakers have learned how to bring their art to the masses. But unless an aspiring filmmaker’s network is big enough to ask Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, Prince, and Janet Jackson for help with funding a movie (like Spike Lee was able to do for his 1992 biopic Malcolm X), you will likely have to think about alternatives. That’s how a few young filmmakers do it.