Low-budget films are making their way into award shows

by Bob Deutsch

Technology makes it easier to make high-quality films on a budget

As this blog discussed last month, technology innovations are making it easier to create high quality films than in the past. Gareth Edwards, who later earned a British Academy of Film and Television award for the movie, had a $15,000 budget and unimpressive recording equipment when he directed “Monsters.” But some filmmakers are taking this idea even farther, using devices millions of people have to create award-winning movies.

According to the Hollywood Beta, if there’s a real winner at this year’s Oscar’s awards, it isn’t “Argo” or “Lincoln” – it’s technology. iPhones and lending websites can turn almost anyone into a filmmaker. The winner of this years Best Documentary Feature, “Searching for Sugar man,” was filmed not only with 8mm film, but when director Malik Bendjelloul ran out of funds, an iPhone video camera as well.

“One day I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff,” Bendjelloul told ABC News.

In addition to the actual equipment used, this year was the first time an Oscar-winning film was funded by a Kickstarter account, a website that helps users raise money for creative projects. “Inocente”, a film about an undocumented immigrant trying to become an artist, won this year’s “Best Documentary Short,” and was produced with $50,000 raised through the platform.

These examples prove that to have a great film, a great budget is not necessarily required anymore. Not only may this help the film industry grow, with a wider variety of films now that being a filmmaker is not attached to an income level, this also may also increase the competition for all filmmakers and encourage higher quality scripts and acting as a result. For both theater owners, filmmakers and even outdoor movie screen organizers, the industry may see major changes in the future.

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