The Art of GOOD CHEAP and FAST


If you’re in the midst of your filmmaking career or have just started, this is a good time as you can make films a whole lot cheaper than 5 years ago. But if you’re not organized or ready for good old fashioned business and negotiation, your film’s budget can skyrocket.

I don’t remember where I read this, but when I did it was like all the pieces came together and the puzzle was complete for me. It made all the sense in the world and everything I do in any business venture or transaction, I alway remember



Same for your creative crew. DOP’s, Art Directors, Editors etc… They are around, some are harder to find than others, but they are around. You have a solid cast and crew, then your film’s chances for being good have exceeded. Who are the easiest quality people to find? Writers. There are so many quality writers out there (and yes a lot of bad ones too) who would love to do a re-write on your script. Are you a filmmaker or writer? If you’re both, that’s fine but keep in mind that’s a very rare thing. And if you’re a writer who’s making your film, then a creative crew to help you guide your film is even more important.

GOOD CHEAP AND FAST – It’s the same thing with your equipment, supplies and location. The better you negotiate, the cheaper you’ll get things. Keep in mind that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay for things because it’s not going to come cheap. But from my experience, you can get most things in life for cheap. It just takes time to find it. And when you do, you’re in great shape for your second film because all the dirty work will be taken care of.

GOOD, CHEAP and FAST. For those who were able to find all three at the same time, let me know because those are the rare things in life that deserve to be analyzed and it’s time for celebration.

Don’t be afraid to ASK FOR THINGS. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They will say no. At least you know where you stand. But you’ll be amazed what happens when you ask for things in life. People say yes. Generally people are good people who want to help you out. Of course you’ll find those people who are out for themselves, but those are good people to find too because you learn to NOT be them when you can help others in the future. And you can make sure not to ask them for help again.

Those filmmakers who are able to master the Taming of the Triangle will get what they want without compromising their vision.
You must have the luxury of choosing only TWO out of the THREE at any chosen task.

If you do it FAST and CHEAP, it won’t be GOOD
If you do it CHEAP and GOOD, it won’t be FAST
If you do it FAST and GOOD, it won’t be CHEAP

So assess each situation you encounter and then see what’s most important.

It always has to be GOOD right? So now you have to decide whether you’re going to get it either FAST OR CHEAP. You can have both but it’s going to cost you. So now you have to decide what you need to get FAST and what you can wait on to get CHEAP.

A perfect example of this is your Cast and Crew. Let’s look at casting for a second because this is usually the major mistakes in the beginning films. People have obviously casted their friends or family in their films, but they are not professional actors. There are many talented actors out there and you can obtain them without paying the gross amounts of money the Unions want. You’re not a studio like they think! You’re in the process of making them money in the future, not now.

So if you want a CHEAP actor who is GOOD, how do you find it? Well it’s going to take a whole lot of time to find it. But they are out there, trust me. The next big actor who is DYING to be in anything is there. They haven’t gotten into the UNION yet, but there will be entering very soon because they are GOOD. Audition like crazy, go to public readings, off-off-off Broadway plays, check the websites for actors….they are around. While you look for them, they are looking for you. Eventually you’ll find each other. It’s just going to take TIME, but the time will be worth it.

The great thing about looking is that you learn a whole lot along the way and meet many people. And sometimes you meet people who can help you out with your film and you’re not even looking for it at the time. Film is all about happy accidents.

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