In our second part of our coverage of the “Dimensions” HDSLR movie, we present info sent to us by Ant Neely. Ant performed as Screenwriter, Producer, and Composer on this movie – not to mention all the behind the scenes work he did with his wife Sloane U'Ren and as we mentioned yesterday, they sold their house to partly finance the making of this movie!
Ant Neely on budget and equipment
I asked Ant about the budget for putting this together:
The budget was tiny (less then $250k). I am always a little nervous about mentioning the budget as we absolutely couldn't of made the film without a huge amount of support and favours from film industry friends and colleagues. I just don't want others to think they can make a 1920/30 sci-fi/love story for less then $250k – unless they have a lot of very, very kind (and highly experienced) friends! I think a realistic budget would have been around the $2m to $3m mark. We will never forget the kindness we've been shown by some many people whilst making his film.
We did plan and budget every inch of the film – and also knew exactly who could help us out to cut costs. Honestly, if we total up the $ amount of favours alone, it is well over $1m. We got locations for free, office space, vintage vehicles (including a biplane), sets built / vfx for a fraction of the cost, etc.
The idea of someone setting their heart on doing a similar project, without a realistic idea of cost, weighs heavy.
As for going with the Canon 5D… we considered RED, but knew it would blow a big hole in the budget. We talked to our DP, who has used 5D a lot, and did some tests. We were blown away by the quality (we did of course have some great lenses) he could get. Rosco loaned us some light pads for the shoot which were great for some of our interior sets (one being the inside of a well).
Later this week, we'll have more on the technologies used as well as coloring and sound design!
Ant Neely on Screenwriting and more
Sloane and I were well aware that we had nothing like the sort of budget we required to make the film we wanted to make – however, we agreed early on that we wouldn’t compromise. Shooting a film on a micro- budget is tough enough – but shooting a period film on such a budget is really quite ridiculous (and to our knowledge it has never been done before).
So, the question was, “how do we make a film that feels like it had a ‘proper’ budget with nothing like the money required?” After all, the quote above is not a joke – we did indeed have a smaller budget than they had for Batman’s cape!
What we found was that once we told people how we were financing the film, there was an amazing outpouring of generosity – something we will never forget. Many incredibly talented and highly experienced film industry friends came on board and worked for a fraction of their usual rates to support us. We managed to attract a little more investment (still less than Batman’s cape, though), we were offered beautiful locations, vintage vehicles (vans, boats and even a biplane)…and the list goes on.
Both Sloane and I are continually amazed at how many people have given so much to this project – it is absolutely a film that has been made through the generosity of others. When we refer to ‘our’ film, we like to remind people that ‘our’ encompasses all of the people involved – they are as much a part of this project as Sloane and I are.
Antony Neely Screenwriter/Producer/Composer
Antony Neely is an all-round creative with his main focuses being writing and music composition. He currently has two television pilot scripts being ‘shopped’ in Los Angeles and has written several feature film scripts.
Ant’s music can be heard on shows such as Six Feet Under, Boston Legal and Samantha Who, and he recently composed orchestral scores for three seasons of the popular Dutch television show Sprookjesboom. He has also composed for feature films and commercials.
Ant has been called “a creative and progressively thinking artist” by Keyboard Magazine in the U.S. and likes to carry that ethos throughout all of his artistic endeavours.
You can learn more about him at www.antneely.com and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant_Neely
Tomorrow: Sloane U'Ren on directing
All Dimensions posts:
- “Dimensions: a line, a loop, a tangle of threads” and an HDSLR feature film
- “Dimensions” – Ant Neely on writing
- “Dimensions” – Sloane U’ren on directing
- “Dimensions” – Simon Dennis – the Director of Photography and Color Grading
- “Dimensions” the final section on audio with Carl Homer
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)