Shooting short films is one of the greatest creative outlets for many video shooters, especially those that might otherwise be trapped in the corporate world, always shooting to a brief. But shooting a film, even a short one, can be quite expensive, depending on what that story is, and how you think you need to tell it.
This short film above, Whispers, shot by filmmaker Joris Hermans, however, was shot on no budget at all. Of course, there are some prerequisites. You need to have a camera (Joris used the Canon EOS M50) and other basic gear, but they’re things that almost all those interested in shooting with video will have already.
Despite the film only lasting for a minute and a half, a lot went into it, as Joris explains in the fifteen-and-a-half-minute behind-the-scenes video where he talks about the gear used, the actors and location, lighting and other tricks used to bring everything together.
Mounted to the Canon EOS M50, Joris used the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens, a variable ND filter, some Pixel RGB lights, and an inexpensive Neewer gravity-based handheld stabiliser. Overall, a very inexpensive set of gear that’s well within the means of most people who want to pursue video. And it’s not like you’d be buying the kit and only using it for your one short film. You’d be using it over and over again. So, they’re not really part of the budget.
“Budget” in film terms typically applies to expenses specifically for that production. It might be paying actors, hiring locations, renting equipment, hiring a crew, etc. The equipment you already own and the equipment you may have to buy and will continue to keep using isn’t really included.
But to save money on the budget, Joris used his girlfriend as his actor, the location was a local park and he used minimal lower end equipment he already owned. As for the little window on the tree… Well, that was already at the location. He has no idea how it got there or why it’s there, but it’s there, so he used it. Joris also covers a bunch of the tricks and techniques that he used to shoot the film and how to get around gear limitations in order to be able to create certain effects and it all results in a pretty cool short.