Low Budget Features

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

Both practical and conceptual, the course is designed for emerging feature Producers, Directors & Writers and aims to lead filmmakers through the minefield of low budget production possibilities and pitfalls, with testimony and real world examples from a range of recent productions, both ‘ultra -low’ budget and those accessing the Producer Offset via its $500k threshold. It is the how, why and what not to do for Low Budget Feature production.

What you Will Learn

Taking a complete 360 degree view, the course will draw on a range of recent projects - directors and producers alike will explore the creative freedoms and restrictions that accompany the low budget feature route, and debunk the myth that bigger is necessarily better. The course will also talk filmmakers through the conceptual reasons why embracing a low budget aesthetic may be wise, pragmatic and creatively freeing career move. Included in the course:

Using real life current examples, Producers and Directors will discuss production budgets and practical obstacles they encountered and solved.

  • the recurring shortcomings and the legal and contractual oversights that plague low budget projects and how to avoid them
  • exploring the position of the low budget feature in the era of the Producer Offset , including innovative ways of attracting and rewarding private investment to your project.
  • delivering basic marketing materials and preparing your film for the ‘marketplace’ even when working on a low budget
  • different approaches to dealing with state and federal agencies to secure their support for a low budget project
  • how to structure deferral deals with cast, crew and suppliers
  • how best to manage relationships with distributors and Sales Agents to ensure your low budget feature doesn’t end up an orphan

Tait's special guests will include Writer/Director/ Producer Dean Francis (Drown, Road Train).

Why do this course
The last 10 years has seen an explosion in “ low budget” and “micro-budget” feature film production in Australia many of which have had tremendous critical, commercial and/or career-building success for their makers. Increasingly, as pressure mounts on the limited existing funds of the various state and federal film agencies, and aided by the accessibility and affordability of high quality digital equipment for both production and post -production, this DIY route is seen as the almost inevitable entry point for emerging filmmakers wanting to stretch their wings into long form content. Are low -budget features the new short film?

Student Feedback

‘Tait is a fountain of knowledge, offering incredibly valuable information for us emerging filmmakers. The course has really helped me refocus and rethink my strategy in making my 1st feature film later this year.’

‘Fantastic course! Highly recommend to any potential film maker.’

'Great weekend of mind boggling figures & facts - Thanks Tait - more questions now than before but I think that is good??’

About the Course Lecturer: Tait Brady

Producer (Healing, The 25th Reich, Little Acorns etc) Distributor ( Label Distribution / Palace Films) , Industry consultant and project assessor; former FFC Evaluation Manager and Festival Director - Brady has been a frontline observer of the changes in the Australian industry over the last 25+ years and been involved with the development, distribution and/or funding of numerous low budget, indie features and feature docs.


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