How I made a 14 min short movie with no budget.

How I made a 14 min short movie with no budget.

When you are just a plain normal person that really likes movies and someday want to make a movie, well a good film making education is one of the things that you need. I, on the other hand, had no formal film education. In fact, I did not have any connections in the industry. I was in my forties when I decided to make a film. 

Over the previous years, I learned that one needed a written story to work from. During those years prior, I read as much could about how to write a screenplay and make a movie. I worked hard on how to write and wrote three scripts before coming up with the concept of  my short film, The Little Rose. It would be my first and only attempt at a short film.

When my son was in grade school, he also discovered my passion for movies and storytelling. In fact, when I received a video camera from my wife, he and I filmed many on-the-fly short armature videos. One of these we called, THE KILLER GARDEN HOSE! That video actually made us want to do a film together. In my son's high school years, his passion was the Drama Class. Several of his friends also followed him in the drama class. He was in every play including the lead in my favorite play, Arsenic and Old Lace.  He stuck with it through all four years. It was not until his Junior year that I decided that I wanted to make a film.

One day, he and several of his drama buddy were discussing stories that wanted to develop when I interrupted with the statement that would complete my dreams, "Why don't we make a short film?" Their enthusiasm took me by surprise and the next thing I knew I was the executive producer of the project. Things were a little unorganized in the weeks following. I had assigned jobs for all of these turning of age, young adults. I had a director, a producer and another writer but we needed more jobs to fill. The writer was my son's closest friend, Ken. Ken and I wrote the script based on my concept, "The day in the life of a little rose as it passed from hand to hand." I was one of those inanimate objects that comes to life as it watches the people around it. Simple, cute and interesting. 

During my college years, I had met a couple of guys who were film majors and befriended them. They were filming, a short movie when I asked one of them, how they got their hands on the professional camera, that they using. The answer was that one of the camera manufactures, let the borrow it. That is something I never forgot. So I wrote several camera manufactures and asked if we could borrow one for our student film. I called it a student film because that really what it was with all of drama class pitching in. The next thing I knew I had an $80,000 camera sitting in my front room. Now I had two months to pull my film off and return the camera. 

Early on the Director that we had, eventually bow out of the project. I then decide that I would take over that role. I began scheduling production meetings in the evening after school and my everyday job. On that first night's meet, we sat and stared at the camera. None of the small crew could believe we had that camera. Knowing we had two months, we shifted into high gear. Ken and I finished up the script in two days. I started laying our the scenes and a shooting schedule.

We than began looking for our cast. The boys began spreading the word that we were looking for the cast. Our script supervisor, Nathan, worked in a local copy store. A young woman came in and ask him to make several copies of a script. He asked if she was in the business. He soon discovered she was an actress and was the lead in a real movie, The Adventure of Pippy Longstocking. Yes she was Pippy and graciously became one of our lead actress. 

Next an actor from the play that was running in San Francisco at the time, The Phantom of the Opera, heard about our little movie and wanted an opportunity to expand is career. He filled another spot. Then there was a young man from my son's drama class. I had seen him in one of the school plays. He was absolutely great. He quickly accepted a role. Then there was my son's Drama Teacher. She had heard about our film venture and wanted to know if we needed her. I quickly said definitely. Within two weeks we had our cast except one role. 

While all that was going on I secured two major locations, a local high-end mall and the home of a friend. We added two more critical crew members Collin, our camera man and Robert our lighting man.

Everyone was up for the volunteer work and put their hearts and sole into making this little film. So for you here is your chance to view The Little Rose. Enjoy!

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