Lo-to-No Budget Filmmaking

(25 customer reviews)


Next date: Saturday and Sunday 17th / 18th October 2020, 10:00 – 17:00
Duration: One weekend
Address: Raindance Film Centre, 10a Craven Street, London, WC2N 5PE or Online
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Online Filmmaking Courses

At A Glance

  • Welcome to Lo-to-no Budget Filmmaking
  • Enjoy professional film education wherever you are
  • A weekend of short sharp advice from a leading professional
  • Ask questions and get instant response

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Make a Movie

Some say it’s a terrible time to make movies. I hasten to disagree. Making movies using the old technology and the old business plan no longer works. If you understand how the industry now works, you can make a feature film, profitably.

Show Me the Money!

All day every day I hear the same complaint: “But you need a million plus to make a movie these days. And money everywhere is tight.”

Oh no, you don’t. And oh no it isn’t!

New technology means it’s never been cheaper to make a movie, if you know the insider tips and secrets that will allow you to maximise your budget and put value for money on the screen.

The money is there for the asking. The trick is to know how to ask, how much, and what for. If you need proof that low budget films are profitable, consider the success of 2011’s Insidious, the year’s most profitable film.

I attended the Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking course with Elliot Grove this weekend and would like to thank him and Raindance. I came away feeling as though I had been in the trenches learning from the Guru. I’m proud to say that Elliot has given me the great foundation of information to draw on.
Sharleen Tutton

Raindance Doesn’t Teach Filmmaking

If you expect to learn filmmaking, this is the wrong course for you. We recommend that you attend an institution where academics will lecture you. This course is constantly updated featuring the latest developments in production and distribution.

If on the other hand, you want to learn how to become a filmmaker, how to kick-start your career, then this Raindance course is for you. At Raindance We Make Filmmakers.

Want to make a movie and don’t know where to start?

This intensive weekend seminar shows you how to shoot a 35mm or HD colour quality feature film, ninety minutes long with a Dolby stereo soundtrack for as little as £10,000. We did it at Raindance. We made the 35mm feature film Table 5 for just £278.38.

Share our first-hand experience in making movies that look great on a minimal budget.

All formats, including film, HDV and HD, and even mobile phones are discussed

Elliot Grove has developed a clear process that will assist you in producing, directing and selling your first feature film. This is the step-by-step method which launches successful careers. Movies like Pi, The Blair Witch Project, Chuck and Buck, Clerks and El Mariachi were all made using the principles that are demonstrated through lecture and video clips on this course.

The writers, directors or producers of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Waking Ned, Sliding Doors, Shawn of the Dead, Slumdog Millionaire and Memento have all attended this intensive seminar before making their first films. You can too.

About the Course

If you do not learn enough low budget tips to cover the cost of this course by lunchtime on the first day, we will refund you the difference.

This course is part lecture and part group discussion.

Day 1: Make The Movie

Learn a step-by-step process using proven cost-effective, low budget filmmaking techniques by considering the best and most efficient ways to produce, direct, shoot and edit a saleable feature film.

Session one: Pre-production: getting the pieces together

Pre-planning your shoot is probably the single most important way you can turn your shoot from disaster into a success. Follow these essential steps.

  • 7 Essentials of a low budget movie
  • Choosing your budget
  • The one week shoot
  • How to pay for your film
  • Script essentials
  • Budgeting and scheduing explained
  • How to talk like a professional.
  • The £10,000/$13,000 feature film budget

Session 2 The Shoot

Once you have your cast and crew assembled, managing the actual shoot is a logistical and creative challenge. Learn how everything you do at this stage will have a ripple effect to the very last step of your film.

  • Choosing a camera
  • The importance of sound
  • securing crew
  • lo and no budget locations
  • guerilla filmmaking explained
  • Proven lo-budget shortcuts and faking a million pound budget
  • More than fifty lo-budget shooting tips

Session 3: Post-prodution

Now that the craziness of the shoot is over, a filmmaker can settle into the editing process. Understanding this process will make you a better filmmaker

  • The role of the editor
  • Using sound and music to enhance production values
  • ADR, Foley and music in your film
  • Getting professional actors
  • The essentials of the art and craft of film directing
  • Delivering the ‘deliverables’
  • Avoiding the three big filmmaking mistakes

Day 2: Sell The Movie

Discover the secrets and real facts behind marketing, selling and distributing your finished film throughout the world and the pre-planning you need to turn your movie into this year’s cult classic, and yourself into a hot filmmaker.

NEW: Self-distribution and the internet explained for filmmakers.

Session 1: Budget and castings

Discover how the level of your budget will impact casting and the evenutaul valual of your film.

  • The 100k/250k/500k/1mil budget
  • Dealing with guilds and unions
  • Securing actors
  • Determining an actors value
  • Typical low budget genres

Session 2: Film publicity, marketing and film festival

Marketing and publicity is the secret to independent film success

  • Publicity: the essential ingredient to selling your film
  • PR kit: creating an effective package
  • Turning your film and your career into this year’s cult classic
  • Distribution and marketing
  • Film buyers and film markets
  • Plotting the film festival route

Session 3: Raising money and deal structure

  • The movie game: presenting your first project to investors.
  • Film financing: executing a strategy for a £50,000 – £3,000,000 budget
  • how crowdfunding works
  • Honing a workable pitch for your film.
  • The distribution deal

Over 15,000 film students and filmmakers have taken this course worldwide since 1993.

The honesty of what a film maker is up against! It was a wake up call! I would love to be able to make a 35mm motion picture but realise that while I still have a lot to learn I feel I’m learning faster than before. I need to make more short films however I will get there in the end!
Geraint Sweeney

It’s impossible to pick out any one single aspect of the course for special mention – the whole thing was excellent from start to finish. Elliot should be bottled and made available as a tonic for everyone involved in film!!! Brilliant and inspirational.

Andy North

Elliot’s infectious thirst for the low budget filmmaking process and all that entails. I feel more inspired to make a film than I have done in the last few years.

Carl Appletree

The Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking class was presented in a structured, but relaxed and friendly manor. I left with a clear understanding of how to ascertain a required budget, arrange the financing and shoot a film, as well as how to take that film and move forward with gaining a distribution deal. I found the positive “you can do it” attitude of the tutor throughout the two days quashed any hesitations I had regarding entering into the movie industry.

John Merrick

This course is also available Live Online

Hi Elliot,
It’s Simon from the (online) Lo-To-No course this weekend just gone – thank you so much for such a fantastic weekend! To say I learned a lot would be an understatement, I feel like I have gone from a total novice to well-versed in the intricacies of low budget filmmaking. I had no idea so much went into producing movies! Your expertise and knowledge was invaluable, thank you very much!
Now all that’s left is for me to crack on with writing my movie, I already have an outline but now that I know that I could actually make it into a movie with the right funding, I’m raring to go!
Kind regards,

25 reviews for


Lo-to-No Budget Filmmaking

  1. Marcus Agar

    Two days to learn the basics filmmaking: intense, but not overwhelming. I was unsure how much I could pick up from such a short course, but the know-how, guidance and tips stacked up fast. Whatever your area of filmmaking, appreciation of complementary areas can only be valuable – and this course provides that broad foundation. As well as increasing knowledge, ability and confidence, the course is already delivering results for me. I chose to supplement my learning with the Producers Foundation and Screenwriting Certificate to fit my areas of interest. Together, I couldn’t have had better value.

  2. Marcus Agar

    Two days to learn the basics of filmmaking: intense, but not overwhelming. I was unsure how much I could pick up from such a short course, but the know-how, guidance and tips stacked up fast. Whatever your area of filmmaking, appreciation of complementary areas can only be valuable – and this course provides that broad foundation. As well as increasing knowledge, ability and confidence, the course is already delivering results for me. I chose to supplement my learning with the Producers Foundation and Screenwriting Certificate to fit my areas of interest. Together, I couldn’t have had better value.

  3. Iggy Blanco

    Lo-to-no Budget Filmaking book is the best course book I’ve ever read in my life! It is practical, specific and fun to read. has given me all the information and tools I needed it. In fact, after reading it I opened my production company and produced my first short, and now I’m involved in the production of a feature. If I wouldn’t have read Lo-to-no Budget Filmmaking book I wouldn’t have even known how to start.
    Ultra highly recommended.

  4. Austin Staton

    If you’re new to the business this is a great course to learn from and also lots of helpful tips for proven professionals. Bring a note pad as you will probably fill the whole thing over the two day course. 😊

  5. Nicola Peluso

    Absolutely Fantastic! I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend for those interested in film making. Elliot’s extensive knowledge of filmmaking start-to -finish is beyond impressive. Super informative and a great way to meet other filmmakers.

  6. Georgina Jacobs

    This course has really helped me understand how to make a feature film with a tiny budget from start to finish. It gives you practical knowledge on how to realistically film an indie feature and get that precious footage in the bag, in a short, cheap time frame. The course goes into detail on how to actually get your project made, going through pre-production, production, post and finally distribution. Definitely go to this course if you want the know how and inspiration to make your dream project a reality.

  7. Lucy Linger

    You’ll save the cost of this course the first couple of times you put any of the advice into practice. Understanding how to properly draw up a budget, finally getting to grips with complicated investment opportunities like EIS, tips, guides, examples – the list goes on and on. And you learn it all in a relaxed and fun way peppered with incredible industry anecdotes that help you steal the secrets of previous successes from Quentin Tarantino to Blair Witch project. Highly recommend.

  8. Lottie Yinka

    Great Course! Really glad I took this, loads of helpful tips and good value for money; very positive experience.

  9. Justin Shevlin

    I genuinely cannot recommend this course highly enough. If you are looking for solid practical insight into how to go about making a film with minimal resources, then I’d say this course is actually a ‘must’. It is a fantastic resource, based on Elliot’s (and others) long and varied industry experience, that breaks down the entire process, from idea through script, financing, production and distribution, into practical steps that provide you with an invaluable template on how to go about achieving your goal. It’s also a great opportunity to meet potential collaborators and colleagues and is brilliantly presented by Elliot, who is a genuinely engaging and funny speaker. Thanks to specific information gleaned from this course, I am well on the way in my film making journey, with successful pitches behind me, some development funding and a team of collaborators to help me take my project forward.

  10. Melanie Mahdessian

    I followed this course online in February 2016. I took a lot of positive things away from this course as I’ve been able to produce, direct and write 2 shortfilms since then. What has stayed with me most is the positive do-it-now mentality of Elliot Grove. It’s by getting out there you’ll learn how to take your filmmaking ambitions to the next level.

    He really provides you with a template for the whole process, from idea through script, financing, production and distribution, to marketing.

    I found his ideas, tips and tricks for marketing really helpful. It liberated me and showed me how I could improve my social media presence and what I need to deliver for film festivals, agents, managers, professionals,…

    I wanted to know more about financing. We went over the different types of financing very fast. I would’ve liked to know how for example crowdfunding and marketing tie in together in the current landscape. Or financing of films through tax incentives. Or how distributors (Netflix, Amazon) start making their own content and how you can deliver content for them.

    This was my first course that I followed online, and overall it was a really good experience. Sometimes the sound fell out when resuming after the break, something to keep in mind in the future for your online audience.

    I’m really glad I followed this course, the information and tools I took away from this masterclass help inform my decision making every step of the way.

  11. Simon

    A enjoyable weekend full of interesting information and facts for people wanting to make films and break into the film industry.

  12. Alistair

    A great, informative weekend. Really practical learning environment and Elliot is an incredibly knowledgeable teacher. This is an introductory course on the practicalities of getting your first project off the ground, with limited theory and all useful action. If you are like myself and learn by doing, this is the course for you and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
    It was also wonderful to connect with like-minded people, as networking is an essential component of any creative endeavor.
    All in all the course is a wonderful primer. There are a slew of filmmaking courses out there, but Raindance and Low to no budget filmmaking gives you the real, nuts and bolts reality of what you need to do to make your dream a reality.

  13. Michelle Atherley

    I enjoyed the course, it was a lot for a newbie but still useful.There were some good practical suggestions.

  14. Ian McLoughlin MBKS (verified owner)

    I can only echo previous commentators; a fascinating, informative course presented in a structured but informal way by Elliot and which personally caused me to carefully review my shooting script and the budget implications and subsequently added a few more grey hairs to my head! It’s also an opportunity to meet and network with – on my weekend at least – an amazing cross-section of people. I’d honestly consider it a well-worth investment in your future in this business we call film.

  15. Peter Tonks

    This course gives an insider’s view of Independent Film Making at all levels. It covers the requirements for getting a film into the Festival Circuit. A great opportunity to meet fellow film makers.

  16. georgia

    Very informative and useful. The course covered extensive ground in only two days. Lots of realistic and ready to use methodologies, alongside many real examples of triumphing against the odds and making good work.

  17. Raveena (verified owner)

    I learned so much on this course. Being taught by Elliot is a pure joy, and I feel that I have the knowledge and tools to make my first short because of this course. You will save way more than the course cost you by avoiding the common pitfalls, and being told what things roughly should be costing you, and the basics of negotiating. We were pointed to lots of resources throughout – my only comment would be that I would have liked to have covered what options are available for funding in the UK (we covered how to structure investment deals and crowdfunding, but I think it might have been useful to be told about funding/grants you can apply for). But I completely get that 2 days is not a lot of time and I feel that we covered the most important things.

  18. Earl Kopeledi (verified owner)

    Very in depth course touching on all elements of film making. Very interactive which helps with the real time Q&A. Amazing to also meet and network with like minded peers that share similar passions as film making can be an intimidating and lonely journey. My inly suggestion is to completely focus the course on digital film making as the the probability of doing your first film in non digital format in 2019 is highly unlikely given the cost and resource barriers. Thanks Elliot

  19. Nico (verified owner)

    I loved this weekend course. Good to see so much dedication and passion for the world of movies. The best thing: Most we covered can be practically and directly applied for my next movie production. Can highly recommend!

  20. Julia

    a great time, entertaining and informative, the time flew by. A great practical introduction whether you are directing, writing or producing

  21. Jouni

    This course is must for all filmmakers! It’s a number one course to do in Raindance. Of course after that do as many Raindance course as possible.

    Lo to no budget course gives you a lot of knowledge about filmmaking and encourage you make movies. It boost your confidence. Elliot will tell you how is possible to make Movies. Lots of inspirational information. I highly recommend this course for everyone in film industry.

  22. Per Malm

    This has been a very informative weekend! I got everything out of it that I hoped to. I appreciate focusing so much on the business side of things. The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is because of hiccups in using Zoom. I felt like we lost some productive time because of that. Hopefully things will go smoother next time!

    Thank you so much for providing this course! It helped give me a much needed perspective on where I’m at as a filmmaker and plus some awesome advice and tips, one of which I used this morning.

  23. Barbara

    Great overview and detailed presentation over two whole days on how to budget and then market a lo- to- no budget indie film. Plenty of opportunity to ask questions and examples from the industry on tips and trick to get your project made.

  24. terri potoczna-fussen

    This is essential for any would-be writer/producer, director/producer or just vanilla producer. We were lucky to get Elliot Grove presenting this complete overview of the whole process from concept to distribution deal in an easy to follow way with plenty of fascinating anecdotes. Even if you have some experience, it’s very useful as a recap. Obviously it can’t be in depth but this gave me a rock solid framework and told me what I didn’t even know that I didn’t know so I know what to find out next.

    My only gripe is a technical one which applies to all communications via skype/zoom/hangouts these days and that concerns the quality of the sound output which could easily be fixed by plugging in a decent microphone.

  25. Scott K

    Sign up and get your dream started. The passion in this class is what makes you want to push to pursue your dreams. I feel like this was a class where you can learn so much in two days. Take really good notes for you to review. The best advice I can say is: This class teaches you creative thinking about how to get your film done from start to end.

    The main reason I give this class 5 stars is because you know the difference between places that care and places that don’t. THIS ONE CARES.

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