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These Cool Movies Cost Less Than $20 000 To Make

Paranormal activity (2007)

Budget;$15 000

On the heels of its release, Paranormal Activity became something of a cultural phenomenon because to its surprisingly cheap budget. Despite costing less than the average family car, Paranormal Activity made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, spawning five sequels to date, with a sixth apparently in the works. 

Director Oren Peli, a former software engineer, built on the success of previous horror pioneer, 'The Blair Witch Project,' by shooting the picture with inexpensive home video cameras disguised as security cameras to create a found footage style.

This low-budget but intimate method of filmmaking provides the illusion of reality; what is on screen appears to be happening in real time, and it isn't adorned with expensive cinematography or production design. Everything doesn't appear to be a film; instead, it appears to be real, which adds to the horror. It may be claimed that if a picture like Paranormal Activity wasn't created as cheaply as possible, it wouldn't function.

Primer (2004)

Budget:$7 000

One of our most affordable videos, but also one of the most intricate. Shane Carruth's directorial debut, which cost under $7,000, follows the story of two engineers who discover time travel in their spare time. 

The plot structure is notoriously complicated, at times purposefully disorienting, and Carruth makes no attempt to make it simple for the audience. Carruth, a math graduate and engineer by trade, uses a lot of technical jargon in the dialogue and doesn't apologize for it. So buckle up and pay attention because this is time travel the hard way. This may put you off, but the film's demanding style is an important part of the experience. Carruth intends for you to be perplexed. It's a story-telling tool as much as a technical one.

Carruth cut costs by working as director, writer, producer, editor, composer, and co-star during the film's production. Carruth was able to put as much of the $7,000 on screen as possible because he chose not to hire more crew members. 

Carruth brought costs down even more by using available lighting instead of pricey set lights. The film's gritty and frigid style is enhanced by the use of blinking fluorescent lights and Carruth's grainy 16mm film stock. 

Primer is a tough but important film thanks to its unusual plot structure, technical language, and unforgivingly intricate time loop.

Following (1998)

Budget :$6 000

Christopher Nolan began his career with this ultra-low budget neo-noir crime thriller before exploding mega-budget blockbusters onto our screens with flicks like The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010). 

The story follows 'The Young Man,' a struggling writer who begins to follow people in the hopes of finding inspiration. Cobb, a mystery figure, piques his interest and persuades him to join him in different burglaries. As a result of becoming hooked to the thrill, the act of burglary becomes more about the act of burglary than any financial reward.

Nolan shot the film on Saturdays while working his day job as a corporate video producer. It took almost a year to finish, with only 15 minutes of film being shot each day. Each scene was meticulously rehearsed so that they only had to record it in one or two takes, in order to save as much expensive film stock as possible. 

Following contains all of the mind-bending suspense, tension, and turns that we have come to anticipate from a Christopher Nolan film, in keeping with his mind-bending cerebral approach that has been consistent throughout his career.

El Mariachi (1993)

Budget:$7 000

Robert Rodriguez is known for his 'one-man-crew' filmmaking approach, in which he is credited as director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor, composer, and many other roles. His first picture, 'El Mariachi,' gave birth to his DIY style of filmmaking. It depicts the story of a young man named El Mariachi who comes to town with his guitar and hopes to improve his mariachi skills. However, a local criminal leader misidentifies him as an assassin hiding his weapons in a guitar case and dispatches his men to track him down. 

Rodriguez famously underwent drug testing in order to raise funds for the picture, and it is said that he wrote much of the script while being observed in the lab. It's perhaps for the best that the picture became a test of how little money could be spent.

Rodriguez made do with what he had, primarily a guitar box and a bus, to make a low-budget action film that seems a lot more expensive than it was. To do so, Rodriguez cut cuts wherever he could, such as employing wheelchairs and clip-on desk lamps instead of a dolly and professional lighting, and recruiting his non-on-screen players to work as crew. This film has had such an impact that low-budget guerilla filmmaking is now known as 'Mariachi style.'


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Blair Witch Project Oren Peli


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