The rules of the game have changed, and now a low budget film isn’t one with a budget under $100,000, but a film made by spending $10,000 or less. An independent romantic-comedy out of Germany, Go With the Flo, had a budget of $10,000 and it is sure to regain its budget and make a profit. With the lack of good stories coming out of Hollywood, the door is open for small films with great stories to experience success. Go With Flo sticks to the classic rules of the romantic-comedy genre, while new Hollywood romantic comedies have failed in trying to adapt themselves to what they think the new generation wants.
Just recently, a friend and I teamed up with the goal of producing several low-budget, genre films. In the coming months, we are both contracted to work on special effects for a feature film, but we plan to start our own production in June! We started with a one bedroom house in North Hollywood, and have been transforming it into a small studio. So far, we are equipped with two notebooks (an HP ZBook 14 and an Acer S7), a Sony SLT A99 DSLR camera, and a full suite of lighting gear.
We have been trying to budget and save wherever we could, and we were researching how to deal with our internet needs for everything from web surfing and video streaming, to sending and receiving video files. Bijan, Editor In Chief of Cinema Without Borders, brought Verizon’s MiFi wireless hotspot into our office for a product review, and in the course of our experience with the device, we found the answer to our internet prayers!
We started to use the Verizon Mifi in our studio as the only source of internet connectivity for both of our notebooks, our two cell phones (iPhone 5S and a Samsung Galaxy s5), and three tablets (an iPad Air, a Kindle Fire HDX, and a Microsoft Surface 2). We had a great speed close to 21 mbps in North Hollywood. We hooked up Verizon Mifi to a power outlet to avoid any interruptions in service.
For us, the Verizon MIFi works great, as we are either on location or at the studio. The flexibility of the device has us thinking about grabbing a second one so we don’t have to fight over it if one of us is on location and the other isn’t.
Usually our crew consists of no more than 4 people, and we work with 2 to 4 actors at a time. In our shoot in the desert outside Palm Springs, we were able to provide WiFi connectivity for our entire cast and crew, and send our dailies to our consultant via our Acer S7 and, of course, the Verizon Mifi. On downtime, crew members were playing online games, posting to social media, talking to friends overseas using Viber, and streaming video.
In our van, we’ve put together a pseudo editing-bay in the rear, complete with our HP ZBook 14 so my partner can work footage and create a rough cut by the time we arrive at our studio. The MiFi comes in handy here as well, as we can send and receive footage from our video consultant and communicate on-the-go.
By the end of the third day of using the Verizon MiFi, we knew that we had found a vital piece for our future studio in North Hollywood.