How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

Most aspiring filmmakers do not always have a huge amount of money to throw into a project. But this limitation should not stop their aspirations, as with a shoestring budget, a good movie can be produced. It might not be a blockbuster, but it will be worth it. Low-budget films require many considerations regarding the storyline; for example, a heavy action story will be more expensive than a home drama with few actors.

1. Do It Your Way

As a filmmaker, you will find out that not being robed by movie moguls’ high expectations allows you to concentrate on being creative. For a low-budget movie, go ahead and do it your way and add your innovation to it. It must not be a blockbuster; as much as you can, create your style.

2. Keep Your Budget in Mind

Having your budget in mind will help you stick to it. Being mindful of how much you are willing to spend on a particular film will guard your decisions. Low-budget film requires lots of discipline and cost-cutting; sometimes, you might be tempted to exceed your budget. But keeping your budget in mind will aid strict adherence.

3. Use New Talents

When making a low-budget film, you might be tempted to hire professional actors, but going for them will mean more money. Most of them might not respond to your call if you can’t afford their payments. There are many undiscovered talents out there waiting to be used. Find them, use them, and they won’t create a hole in your budget.

4. Small Crew

Crew fees always take a considerable portion of the film budget. When doing a low-budget film, the most effective way of reducing this cost is to use a small crew. Honestly, tell your crew what you can afford; some crew will readily offer you a discount as a way of helping you achieve your dream. You can also turn to your family and friends if you need more hands during production.

5. Location

When choosing a low-budget movie location, look for cheap locations to shoot your movie. choose locations where your casts and crew are based to avoiding whooping traveling costs. If you want to keep it low, use one or two locations to save costs.

6. Equipment

Work with what you can afford; rent the equipment’s you don’t have. Renting will be less expensive than buying new ones. Reach out to friends in the industry who are willing to rent out their equipment cheaply.

7. Track your expenses

Keep a record of every dime that leaves your budget to avoid running into debt. When expenses are not tracked, we achieve little even with lots of money. Ensure that every money that leaves your budget leaves for budgeted expenses.

Wrap up

Although Creating a low-budget film can be very tasking, but it’s possible. The major key to achieving this is developing the right mindset and doing it your way. Trying to measure up with the big names in the movie industry might not go well with your budget. Take your chances and create your style.

Let’s Make That Film

What you’ll learn

  • Learn how to produce an independent feature film by yourself
  • Learn how to work with small budgets
  • Learn how to work with crew and different film departments
  • Learn essentials to ensure smooth pre-production, production and post-production of your film

Requirements

  • Basic understanding how film industry functions
  • Basic understanding of camera equipment and filming techniques

Description

When I was younger and decided to become a filmmaker I decided to come to London and study film at the university. Six months into my course I quit university when I realized that the information provided there was not sufficient for me to make a film. I was young, broke, and all I had was a dream, all I needed was the information and guidance.

As times changed, I had to adapt to constantly changing technology. I learned a lot about filmmaking from the Internet, but there was one thing that I couldn’t find online, and that is how to actually make my own film. A real film, a feature film. A film that I can share with the whole world. A film that I can watch on TV. I needed to find a way to make a film without relying on people donating their money for my film or without hurting friends and family by asking them to help me make my film.

So that’s what I did. I rolled my sleeves and jumped into self-education. As years went on I made mistakes, I improved, and I learned from my own failures. And this is what this course is all about. I know how important and how hard it is to make a feature film, but don’t feel down. Let’s make your movie and share it with the world.

By Rick F Costello | Submitted On October 28, 2015

How to create a low budget movie

I bet if you think of your favorite movie, you can hum the theme song or some of the music from that film. Music is an important part of a great movie- so important that Hollywood pays top composers huge amounts of money to create the perfect, catchy score.

If you’re needing music for your new movie, you can hire a composer to custom write music for each and every scene but that may strain your already tight budget. Don’t worry, you can find great, original music on the web and much of it is free or available for a very low price.

I’m talking about Royalty-free music. If you Google ‘royalty free alternative music’ for instance, you will find pages of websites that offer alternative rock music for free or for a small licensing fee. That’s the good news. The bad news is – you’re going to have to do a lot of digging to find the music that fits the mood of your movie.

The best way to start off is to create a rough list of the songs you will need. Perhaps you want a quick uptempo rock song for the opening credits or maybe you have a few steamy scenes where a slow blues number will work nicely. Once you have the basic ‘music outline’, you can start your search for royalty free music that will fit your movie. The same goes for short films or even personal YouTube videos. Make a plan.

I suggest looking for royalty free music sites that have their music categorized and are easy to navigate. You don’t want to waste hours of your time clicking on song titles, wondering what you’re going to hear next. Oh great it’s some cheesy accordion song!

The best royalty free music sites will have easy to navigate categories such as Progressive Rock, Symphony, Blues or Country Music. This makes it much easier to find the music you are looking for.

One feature that I find extremely valuable is the vocal and non-vocal versions of a particular song. This helps develop a ‘theme’ that can be recurring throughout your movie. (Think ‘Titanic’). A lot of soundtracks use the non-vocal version of the song to create a recurring mood for a few scenes and then hit the audience with the vocal version during the closing credits. Don’t be afraid to use the same song in a number of scenes. Think about the theme song for ‘the Godfather’ and how many times the same melody was used over and over to great effect.

An important thing to remember is to protect your work by using a standard or creative commons license. Even though the music may be royalty free, you will still need to credit the owner by using a creative commons license or purchase a license that gives you the right to use the music for a commercial application. Most royalty free sites offer a creative commons license for free and a standard license for $25 to $100.

Be sure the music has a clean, professional sound. It won’t be too hard to tell whether it was recorded in a professional studio or straight from a Casio keyboard. Test the music out on a quality sound system where you can hear the dynamics of the music. It may sound acceptable coming out of your $10 computer speaker but you better test it on a good sound system just to be sure.

After finding the songs you like, you will need to customize the soundtrack to fit your scenes. There are plenty of sound editing software programs out there like Avid Pro Tools or Logic Pro X that enable you to properly fade in, fade out, alter the timing and manipulate the music. Some video editing programs such as Adobe Premiere now include the same sound editing features, just not at the same level of quality.

If the music you need is not available from a royalty free site, you may consider a ‘discount’ composer. It’s a gamble, but the rewards can be great. Many royalty free music sites offer custom soundtrack composing at very reasonable rates. In most cases, the composer is the same guy who wrote the songs on the site so you can feel confident that the quality of the music will be similar.

I know of one composer who has some pretty impressive credits including first run movies and Producer credits on A-list artists’ albums. Today he’s a ‘starving artist’ looking for the next project. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

In summation – create a ‘music outline’ for your movie or video project and try royalty free music sites to find quality music for free or next to nothing.

A great source for soundtrack music is a little known royalty free music site called http://www.freemusicpublicdomain.com All of their music is available for free download.

They also offer custom music services and original film scoring. You can hire Gary Strausbaugh – the music producer whose credits include the feature length Jimi Hendrix movie ‘Jimi, as well as producer of the best selling album from legendary Richie Haven’s of Woodstock fame.

How a Movie Budget is Spent

Before we break down movie budgets, we should emphasize that Hollywood accounting is fishy at best. Studio heads always low-ball the cost of their movies to make them appear more profitable while inside sources cite exorbitant unreported costs. The safe bet? Assume everyone is lying [source: Goldstein].

Even though specific numbers are hard to nail down, we have a good idea where studios spend their money. A film’s production budget includes all costs incurred during pre-production, filming, post-production and promotion. That includes buying the rights to the script, actor’s salaries, production staff salaries, set construction, special effects, wardrobe, craft services, marketing, dog training — everything! How much does “everything” cost? The average production budget of a major studio film in 2007 was $106 million [source: MPAA].

Marketing makes up a huge chunk of modern movie budgets — $35.9 million on average — largely because the fates of many Hollywood releases are sealed in the first week. Big money is spent on trailers, TV ads, billboards, and Web sites to pack people in on opening weekend. That strategy seems to work: “Spiderman 3” made 45 percent of its total gross ticket sales in its opening week, while “X-Men: The Last Stand” made 52 percent of its money in its first week of release [source: Box Office Guru]

When calculating a marketing budget, the rule of thumb is to spend 50 percent of the rest of the production costs (pre-production, filming and post-production) [source: Vogel]. So if a movie costs $100 million to make, you’ll need an additional $50 million to sell it.

For studio films, the traditional “safe bet” is to spend major money on a big-name actor. The rationale is simple: Stars sell more tickets and are more recognizable or marketable to international audiences. Once a star has a few mega-hits under his or her belt, they’re usually welcomed into the exclusive $20 million per movie club — although membership isn’t a lifelong privilege.

After a series of relatively star-free hits like “Transformers,” “Star Trek,” and “The Hangover,” — plus a growing list of superstar flops like Will Farrell’s “Land of the Lost” and Julia Roberts’ “Duplicity” — studios are starting to see the light [source: Dobuzinskis]. Icons like Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise are taking pay cuts up front in exchange for a bigger cut of DVD sales and distribution deals on the back end.

Not surprisingly, the most expensive movies of the past 20 years have had the biggest special effects budgets: “Spiderman 3” ($258 million), “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ($250 million), and “Superman Returns” ($232 million) top the list [source: The Numbers]. For “Transformers 2” ($225 million), special effects powerhouse Industrial Light and Magic used 40 full-time animators [source: Tucker]. James Cameron, who more or less invented the super-budget special effects genre with “Titanic,” developed his own 3D technology for “Avatar” — and paid $14 million of his own money to do it [source: Cieply].

With all that money flying around, you’d think that studios could at least spot a potential hit. Not in the least. Every film is a unique product (even sequels) that enters an ever-changing market [source: Vogel]. The next big thing could be a low-budget comedy or a $250 million special effects extravaganza. You never know — and that’s entertainment!

For lots more information on the movie industry, take a look at the links below.

Note: Budget numbers for movies can be both difficult to find and unreliable. Studios often try to keep the information secret and will use accounting tricks to inflate or reduce announced budgets.

The data we have is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate but there are gaps and disputed figures. If you have additional information or corrections, please let us know at [email protected]

A complete list of all movies for which we have budget information can be found here.

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services. The highlighted records in above table are movies that were recently released and/or movies for which we do not have complete data yet. More data and/or additional revenue can result into this movie making more profit and moving up on this list. Movies released in 2005 or earlier are highlighted because we don’t have home market data before 2006.

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services. The highlighted records in above table are movies that were recently released and/or movies for which we do not have complete data yet. More data and/or additional revenue can result into this movie making more profit and moving up on this list. Movies released in 2005 or earlier are highlighted because we don’t have home market data before 2006. For this list only movies with an initial release in 1977 or more recently are considered.

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.

Try Movavi Video Editor Plus!

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If you’re wondering, “How can I improve video quality on my videos?” you’re not alone. But there’s a lot of video quality enhancers out there, and it can be difficult to choose the best. Use the table below to decide which software suits you best.

Adobe ® Premiere ® Pro Making the jump to professional video editing Windows and Mac $20.99 per month or $239.88 annual prepaid
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Special pick: Movavi Video Editor Plus

Our program of choice from the table above is Movavi Video Editor Plus. This software offers a wide variety of special effects, the ability to create keyframe animation, and ready-made intros. Apply Chroma Key to easily change the background of your clips to anything you like. All these features are wrapped into a refined user interface – so easy, there’s nothing to learn. Download the trial version and enjoy lightning-fast file processing and rendering.

How to improve video quality with video enhancer software

Movavi Video Editor Plus

If you want to know how to make a low-quality video look better, a video editor by Movavi is your answer.

It’s a powerful video editing program that can masterfully enhance video quality in modern digital footage and fix common issues with old videos. And the program integrates a lot of tools and features into an easy-to-use interface.

Enhance your footage with a range of effects like chroma key layering, picture-in-picture, color correction, stabilization, and much more. It’s a one-stop-shop video editor with professional tools at a fraction of the price.

Best for editors looking to quickly enhance videos with professional tools and save a lot of money in the process.

OS: Windows or Mac

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  • Stabilization options to correct shaky footage
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  • Full spectrum of titles, stickers, filters, and transitions
  • Complete most videos in just 20 minutes with minimal clicking
  • The trial version is free, but you’ll have to pay for the best features.
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How to create a low budget movie

Making healthy food choices can be difficult. Since people with Type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk for heart disease and stroke, there is also the added pressure of juggling diet needs for two separate conditions.

These healthy choices can become increasingly difficult to make when money is tight. Here are some tips to help you stick to your eating plan without breaking the bank:

  • Limit red meat in favor of healthier and less expensive sources of protein. Eat at least 8 ounces of non-fried fish (particularly fatty fish) each week. Choose fish high in omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart, such as salmon, trout and herring. Unsalted nuts and beans have a lot of protein also, but eat appropriate portions since nuts tend to be high in calories.
  • Enjoy frozen vegetables and fruit. They are just as satisfying, and typically just as healthy, as fresh produce. Just make sure to check the nutrition facts label to confirm that no extra sugar or salt was added.
  • Avoid eating out, as many restaurants serve extra-large portions that come with big price tags. And fast-food restaurants options are typically loaded with saturated fat, sodium and sugar.
  • Eat before you go shopping. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach will leave you more likely to buy on impulse.
  • Grow a garden! Not only will you save on vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes, but you’ll be more physically active.
  • Scout your local newspaper for coupons or download your grocery store’s app and look for online coupons before you go shopping.
  • Shop for seasonal produce. Fruits and veggies are less expensive during their peak growing times, and they’re also tastier!
  • Look for the generic brands. The ingredients are usually similar to the brand-name versions, but they’re much more affordable. Compare the ingredients list and nutrition facts panel to see for yourself.
  • Make your own pre-packaged snacks by buying a large container of raisins, unsalted nuts or popcorn (no saturated fat) and separating them into individual portions yourself. By checking the nutrition facts on the food label, you can gauge how much to eat at one time based on the saturated fat, sodium and added sugar content. Remember to look for “hydrogenated oils” on the ingredients list to avoid trans fats (even if the package says “0g of trans fat”).
  • Plan your meals each week. By planning ahead, you can check the nutrition facts of a meal before you decide to make it and create a detailed grocery list for easy shopping. Planning also helps avoid impulse shopping.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a British slapstick comedy film made in 1975, concerning the Arthurian legend. It tells the story of King Arthur and his attempt to build a court in Camelot.

The comedy was written by the comedy group Monty Python and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus between the third and fourth series of their BBC television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.

The movie, full of random quips, hilarious stand-alone scenes, and the type of comedic anarchy that practically defines British comedy even to this day was a low-budget success story and has become a Cult Classic over time.

How to create a low budget movie

The Helmet of the Black Knight from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Photo Credit

Jones and Gilliam, as co-directors, shared the responsibility of corralling the low-budgeted production across the location shoot in Scotland and at Epping Forest outside London.

Shooting for five weeks in 1974, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was denied access to most of the castles that had been scouted, so Castle Dome stood in for three different locations. Also, they used Castle Stalker in Scotland for shooting the final scene of the movie.

How to create a low budget movie

Doune Castle used in several scenes. Photo Credit

How to create a low budget movie

Castle Stalker, the location of the final scene. Photo Credit

Originally the knight characters were going to ride real horses, but after it became clear that the film’s small budget precluded real horses, the Pythons decided that their characters would mime horse-riding while their porters trotted behind them banging coconut shells together.

How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

The extras in the movie were either students or tourists.

The film’s initial budget of approximately $319,000 was raised by convincing 10 separate investors to pitch in.

It was funded by a coalition of rock stars and record labels such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Island Records, Chrysalis Records and Michael White.

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How to create a low budget movie

Related

  • How Background Actors Become SAG Eligible
  • Part-Time Travel & Tourism Jobs
  • Basic Rehearsal Pay Rates for Actors
  • Casting Job Descriptions
  • How to Be Cast As an Extra

Few things match the excitement of being on a Hollywood movie set, even if you are just a background actor in a low-budget horror film that your mom refuses to see. Along with trying to sneak a peek at elusive celebrities and enjoying catered food, you can make $170 for an eight-hour day, if you are paid in accordance with the 2018-19 salary schedule listed in the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists handbook. But until you are eligible to join SAG-AFTRA, your rate will vary widely, and you may need to work for free in student films to gain acting experience.

General Background Actors

Thousands of ordinary people of all ages, sizes, shapes and backgrounds work as extras. In the movie industry, extras are called background actors because they provide a realistic backdrop for the action of the movie. Landing a part starts with registering for free with a reputable company like Central Casting that provides background talent for producers. Acting classes and coaches can help, but no training is required to work as an extra. According to Schedule X, Part I, in the SAG-AFTRA handbook reference section, general background actors in large cities like Los Angeles and New York typically make $170 per day in 2018-19, with a projected 3 percent increase for 2019-2020.

Bumps in Daily Rate

Perhaps, you have a special talent such as juggling, skateboarding, ice skating, sword fighting, card dealing or square dancing. Skills like this are perfect for a movie production set in a particular era or location. Casting companies often put out a call for special ability actors who are proficient in needed skills. SAG-AFTRA indicates that special ability actors can expect to make $180 per day to perform in the background of a scene. Hazard pay is another type of bump in the daily rate. Background actors negotiate an acceptable daily rate to work under extremes conditions, such as filming at a desert location where dehydration is a likely possibility.

Overtime Pay

If your schedule is flexible and you like making money, overtime pay is a definite perk of being a background actor. Taping and retakes often run longer than expected, and you may need to be on the set for more hours than anticipated. Many movies include nighttime scenes, so you must be prepared to work long, irregular hours that can go past midnight. SAG-AFTRA indicates that background actors are entitled to be paid time and one half if they are directed to work beyond eight hours, not including meal time. If assigned to work over ten hours, their pay rate is doubled.

Other Salary Perks

Your daily rate of $170 can be increased to $184, if you agree to work in the rain or get wet, excluding roles that involve water sports, according to SAG-AFTRA. Willingness to be exposed to smoke, including herbal cigarettes, will also give you an additional $14 per day. Producers may pay $19 more for actors with realistic looking beards, wigs or hair pieces that extras require in the scene. You can also get paid if you have your own props, which saves the production company money. For instance, bringing your pet, Lizzy Lizard, may earn you another $23, or your golf clubs can get you $12. You never know what items in the garage or attic may come in handy.

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What is a Sales Budget?

The sales budget contains an itemization of a company’s sales expectations for the budget period, in both units and dollars. If a company has a large number of products, it usually aggregates its expected sales into a smaller number of product categories or geographic regions; otherwise, it becomes too difficult to generate sales estimates for this budget.

The projected unit sales information in the sales budget feeds directly into the production budget, from which the direct materials and direct labor budgets are created. The sales budget is also used to give managers a general sense of the scale of operations, for when they create the overhead budget and the selling and administrative expenses budget. The total net sales dollars listed in the sales budget are carried forward into the sales line item in the master budget.

It is extremely important to do the best possible job of forecasting, since the information in the sales budget is used by most of the other budgets. Thus, if the sales budget is inaccurate, then so too will be the other budgets that use it as source material.

Presentation of the Sales Budget

The sales budget is usually presented in either a monthly or quarterly format; presenting only annual sales information is too aggregated, and so provides little actionable information.

Sources of the Sales Budget

The information in the sales budget comes from a variety of sources. Most of the detail for existing products comes from those personnel who deal with them on a day-to-day basis. The marketing manager contributes sales promotion information, which can alter the timing and amount of sales. The engineering and marketing managers may also contribute information about the introduction date of new products, as well as the retirement dates of old products. The chief executive officer may revise these figures for the sales of any subsidiaries or product lines that the company plans to terminate or sell during the budget period.

It is generally best not to include in the sales budget any estimates for sales related to prospective acquisitions of other companies, since the timing and amounts of these sales are too difficult to estimate. Instead, revise the sales budget after an acquisition has been finalized.

Structure of the Sales Budget

The basic calculation in the sales budget is to itemize the number of unit sales expected in one row, and then list the average expected unit price in the next row, with the total sales appearing in a third row. The unit price may be adjusted for marketing promotions. If any sales discounts or sales returns are anticipated, these items are also listed in the sales budget.

Revisions to the Sales Budget

It is quite difficult to derive a sales forecast that proves to be accurate for any period of time, so an alternative is to periodically adjust the sales budget with revised estimates, perhaps on a quarterly basis. If this is done, the rest of the budget that is derived from the sales figures will also have to be revised, which can require a significant amount of staff time.

Example of a Sales Budget

ABC Company plans to produce an array of plastic pails during the upcoming budget year, all of which fall into a single product category. Its sales forecast is outlined as follows:

ABC Company
Sales Budget
For the Year Ended December 31, 20XX

Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Forecasted unit sales 5,500 6,000 7,000 8,000
x Price per unit $10 $10 $11 $11
Total gross sales $55,000 $60,000 $77,000 $88,000
– Sales discounts & allowances $1,100 $1,200 $1,540 $1,760
= Total net sales $53,900 $58,800 $75,460 $86,240

ABC’s sales manager expects that increased demand in the second half of the year will allow it to increase its unit price from $10 to $11. Also, the sales manager expects that the company’s historical sales discounts and allowances percentage of two percent of gross sales will continue through the budget period.

This example of the sales budget is simplistic, since it assumes that the company only sells in one product category. In reality, this example might have been a detail page that rolls up into the main sales budget, where it would occupy a single line item.

Other Sales Budget Issues

It is not customary to include a calculation of cash receipts as part of the sales budget. Instead, the cash receipts are calculated for all of the sales and expenditures of a business as a whole, and are then summarized on a separate page of the budget.

How to create a low budget movie

Default PowerPoint Compression = BAD

There is a bad habit of PowerPoint to compress all images by default! Yes, you read correct. The great presentation tool PowerPoint is adjusting your images by default to a low-quality resolution to save space on your hard drive. That was important, years ago when storage was limited and expensive. But now, when you use PowerPoint presentations on large television screens for your advertising and information screens, you need high-quality or high-resolution images.

By default, PowerPoint is compressing images with a 96 PPI resolution. PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch, and a value of 96 is low quality. A higher value here would result in a better image quality. There are 2 ways to make sure that you use (and remain to use) high-quality pictures.

Method 1: Per Presentation

The first method is an option that you can change for the current presentation. I can tell you already that the disadvantage of this option, is that you have to apply this setting again for every new presentation, and you will forget that.

To change the default picture compression for the current presentation, click File, Options, Advanced.

How to create a low budget movie

So this works fine for this presentation, but you will probably forget to do this change for the next presentations. There is another option to make it change permanently .

Method 2: Permanent higher resolution

To make this permanent, we have to enter some information into the registry. To fastest way to open the registry editor, is to click the Windows key + R on your keyboard. There you type in the word regedit and hit OK.

How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

How to create a low budget movie

Here is another great tip for PowerPoint when you want to export your slides to high-quality JPG images.

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If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Some people are just born entertainers. From the perfect food, to the best party playlist, to amazing decorations, some folks always throw stellar soirées.

However, the extravagance of a party often relates to the budget. Obviously, a millionaire can throw an impressive, lavish event – but what if your budget is of less epic proportions? From a small gathering like an intimate office retirement party to a bigger affair like a 500-guest wedding, you don’t need a huge bank account to throw a party that will have everyone talking at brunch the next morning.

Planning a Party on a Tight Budget

Most of your party budget will go toward things that you feel are the most important to your event. When I throw a party, I prioritize decorations, so I always allocate a large chunk of my budget to candles, banners, and any other mood-setting devices that fit my theme.

It’s fine to spend a little extra on your priority items, but that might not leave much for anything else. In this case, try some DIY projects and enlist the help of your friends to relieve some of the financial burden. Here are some of the best tips for entertaining on a strict budget.

1. Use Simple Invitations

Unless its a wedding or formal event, your party doesn’t need paper invitations. Instead, opt for email invites using Evite. They’re free to send and allow your friends the option to instantly RSVP.

If everyone you wish to invite is on Facebook, you can also create an event page to dole out food assignments, as well as to receive playlist requests for the evening. It’s the fastest way to tally guests, and you’ll know in advance how much food to purchase.

2. Find Budget Decor

While you may love spending money on fancy decor, some of the stuff you have sitting around your house could be perfect for your party, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Instead of stressing over your lack of swanky china, mix and match three or four designs of bowls, plates, and cups. The effect is vintage, quirky, and most importantly, cheap. Looking for the perfect place cards? Grab everyday items and use a tag and a Sharpie to add names – pine cones, small Chinese takeout boxes, and even cheap dollar store votive candles work perfectly. Skip the pricey fresh-cut flowers and use groupings of objects to create centerpieces. A grouping of different-sized candles or vases filled with citrus fruit last longer, and you can even send some home with guests.

How to create a low budget movie

3. Supply Cheap Eats

Filet mignon? Please. You don’t need to serve pricey cuts of meat to impress your guests. Instead of adding full entrees to the menu, try offering a smattering of appetizer-sized edibles – you’ll save major dough on your food budget. Soup shooters, meat skewers, and dips fill up your guests on the cheap without sacrificing taste.

If you’re really strapped for cash, consider making your party a potluck dinner. If the word “potluck” gives you pause, try presenting the party as a “recipe exchange” for salads and desserts, and then provide the main dish yourself.

4. Drink Up!

Alcohol can be one of the worst budget-busters when it comes to throwing a party, especially if you need to buy full bottles of a variety of alcohol.

Instead of buying your supplies from the liquor store, go the “chic” route and pick a signature drink for the night. That way, you only have to purchase one or two types of alcohol, and you can specifically base your drink around a cheaper wine spritzer over pricier liquor. Just be sure to supply non-alcohol drinks, like sparkling water and punch, for your thirsty guests and designated drivers.

5. Use Smart Phone Music Apps

Play the role of DJ by loading your smart phone with the Pandora or iHeartRadio apps. They allow you to create your own “radio stations” tailored by mood or similar artists.

Throwing a cocktail party? Load up on Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Christmas party? Add an all-holiday station. Anti-Valentine’s with the girls? Kelly Clarkson all the way. If you choose premium memberships, the tunes are commercial-free – otherwise, you’ll get a 15-second break every 30 minutes or so.

Final Word

An economic recession might not exactly put you in the mood to party, but hosting a night with friends can help you loosen up. By skipping the pricey extras and getting creative with your food and decor, you can throw a cheap party that has the same effect as a pricier fete – time with friends, good food, and epic stories to rehash over breakfast the next day.

What other great budget party ideas have you tried out?

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

How to create a low budget movieImagine how much time you would be able to save if you could look up and track all your important indicators at a glance…

Fortunately, that’s what dashboards are all about.

In this article, you will learn step-by-step on how to create a dashboard in Excel.

Let’s get started!

*This tutorial is for Excel 2019/Microsoft 365 (for Windows). Got a different version? No problem, you can still follow the exact same steps.

Table of Content

What is an Excel dashboard?

An Excel dashboard is a place where you could track all your business’s important indicators, metrics, and data points using visuals and charts.

Dashboards are often confused with reports. Simply, a dashboard can be a report but not all reports are dashboards.

Dashboards give you a high-level view of how your business is doing and help you make snap decisions based on data.

How to create a low budget movie

There are three common types of dashboards:

  • Strategic dashboards
  • Analytical dashboards
  • Operational dashboards

All these types of dashboards will help you save time in the analysis and presentation of your data.

Things to consider…

Before you proceed in making an Excel dashboard, you have to pause first and consider some things that will simplify your dashboard.

There are questions you have to ask yourself first such as…

  • What is your purpose in creating the dashboard? Clarify your reason for creating a dashboard. Is it to prove a point? Show the overall status of the operation? Or measure the performance of the business?
  • What key performance indicators or metrics should you track to fulfill the purpose of your dashboard? To make your dashboard more effective, you have to highlight only the data that are necessary. Including data that’s not important will only service to distract anyone who’s using the dashboard.
  • Who will use the Excel dashboard? Is the dashboard for yourself, manager, vendor, executive, or for an analyst? You need to structure the data and tailor the dashboard for the person who will be using the dashboard.

After that, you would also benefit from outlining your dashboard structure. Think of this as creating a skeleton map of your dashboard and identifying what KPI chart or visual to put and where.

Lastly, consider converting your raw data into an Excel table. This allows you to instantly update the table with new information and even filter or reformat them in a few clicks.

If you’re not sure how to do it, check out this awesome guide that will walk you through on how to make an Excel table in 60 seconds.

How to create a low budget movie

Equipping your home theater system with speakers can cost a fortune. Thankfully, you don’t have to break the bank to find a decent soundbar that can make watching TV or movies more exciting. Even some of the cheapest soundbars perform well, especially if you watch a lot of dialogue-heavy content like TV dramas or listen to podcasts or audiobooks at home. Whether you’re looking for a soundbar with a subwoofer for watching action movies or a small soundbar that’ll fit under your TV, there’s something for everyone in the budget range.

We’ve tested over 130 soundbars, and below you’ll find the best soundbars under $250 to buy. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars under $200, and the best soundbars under $300.

Best Budget Soundbar: Vizio V Series V51-H6

The best soundbar under $250 we’ve tested is the Vizio V Series V51-H6. This 5.1 setup offers a very versatile performance for its price, so it’s a suitable choice for listening to music, movies, and TV shows. It’s also one of the few setups in its price range to come with discrete satellite speakers, which help create a more immersive surround sound.

Out-of-the-box, it has a neutral sound profile with a little extra boom in the bass range, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix. Thanks to its dedicated subwoofer, it has a deep and extended low bass to help you feel the rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. If you prefer a different sound, there are some standard customization features available, including a dialogue enhancement mode, as well as bass and treble adjustments.

Like most budget bars, it doesn’t offer support for Dolby Atmos content. You won’t find as many sound enhancement features as you would with more premium bars, either, and without room correction, it can sound a bit different depending on the room you’re in. If you’re on a budget, it’s a versatile pick.

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How to create a low budget movie

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It’s a challenge to stay within budget when doing any kind of home improvement or construction project. Get control with a construction budget template from Excel. Quickly see if you are within your home construction budget and the funds you have remaining. Easily track labor, materials, and home building cost breakdown against your original estimates. Adapt the residential construction budget template for Excel with your own project categories and tasks. This is an accessible template.