Kevin Smith Shows How To Budget An Indie Film (If It Were 1994)


Whether it is about bizarre meetings with high-powered producers, difficulties with big name stars or just the small minutiae of writing, shooting and editing a project, Kevin Smith has always been pretty open about his filmmaking process. His “Evenings with Kevin Smith” personal appearances are rife with stories about his twenty plus years in the business, often with hilarious spins on the events under discussion.

This weekend, Smith took it all the way back to the beginning, posting on his Facebook page his one-page budget breakdown for his first film, 1994’s Clerks. It is a short document that he prepared and sent to Miramax in the hopes that they would pick up the film for distribution. Of course, they did and the rest is history.

What’s interesting about the budget is that even accounting for inflation, the affordability of filmmaking technology has dropped so much that one could make a film for much less than what Smith paid for twenty-two years ago. For what he spent on film in 1994, one could be a high end 4K digital camera today. His equipment rental would cover the cost of purchasing a decent lighting package today. And the upside is that you would still have all this equipment available for your second film, amortizing your costs.


About Rich Drees 6337 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.

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