How to create a stunning film with no budget

09. Find time in your commercial schedule

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

"People have said to us: 'It took you two years to make the post'. Well yes – we have a commercial production division, so we were doing Sundays in between jobs. The whole team would get stuck in and try to push Sundays as far as possible before the next commercial job started. It was a lot of juggling," admits Markham

10. Auction your feature film with a short

"One of the main advantages [of auctioning your feature film] is that you can visually make your ideas explicit," explains producer Jules Tervoort. "Alongside developing a good story outline or scrip, this is the perfect opportunity to visualise your idea. You get a really strong case: it leaves little room for individuals with less imagination to have different interpretations about the script, story and visual ideas."

11. Apply your skills to a new platform

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

"The motivation for us is intelligent sci-fi films - we want to see more of them," says Markham. "For us, it's all about how we can apply the skills we've learned over the past 17 years in the commercial world to a feature film platform."

"We've learned our craft slowly and passionately, and we're ready. For us it's the beginning of a new chapter where we can put into play all these plans we had all these years ago. I really hope it opens doors for other filmmakers to take the same route, because there is enough room for everybody in Hollywood."

12. Surround yourself with the right people

"There is always a danger [to auctioning a feature fiim] of course," points out Tervoort. "From my perspective, it's really important to have the right people surrounding you on a business and strategy level, to keep the ideas in tact – as well as the integrity of the idea."

13. Prepare for the long haul

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

"Don't take things lightly," adds Tervoort. "Especially if you're going to raise funds through Kickstarter. It takes a lot of effort. You really have to campaign your idea and put a lot of time in it, find the right people and be committed and determined because it's not going to be easy – it's going to take a long time. You're basically depending on a lot of favours." "I really can't calculate how long it's going to take," adds Rozema. "I know it's going to be a big production. The filming itself and the post-production will take a good part of two years, I guess."

14. Have a business structure

"At the end of the day, it's a business," says Markham. "Hollywood is a business: it has to make business sense – so aside from the creative promise there has to be a business structure underlying it that ' going to make people think it's worth investing in."

15. Look further than the creative idea

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

"You have to make it sound on a business level. Think about what the next step will be, and what will be the step afterwards, because if you just focus on making something that's a nice creative piece - that's not enough," says Markham.

16. Find the best writing talent

"Right now I'm reading a lot of screenwriters," says Rozema. " We're trying to team-up with some of the best writing talent out there, which is very, very exiting. Once we've found a writer, we'll start re-writing what I've written, 'furnish the house' and get some people in there - that's the analogy I would use." "That will probably take about three months and from that point on we'll have a first draft. That's a very important moment because that's where the studio actually decides if they want to go for this or if they want a second or third draft and so on."

17. Connect talented creatives with great concepts and stories

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

Still from PostPanic's proof of concept short film, Sundays

"The next step for PostPanic Pictures is actually very, very exciting," explains Rozema. "We just came back from Hollywood where we pitched. Alongside Sundays we're working on six other feature film projects – one of them is actually going into production as we speak. It's in development."

"The idea is that over the years we've gathered some of the best creative directorial talent out there, who operate outside of the Hollywood system. It turns out that every director we've talked to has a passion project – they all have their Sundays."

"We're trying to connect good directors with great concepts and great stories, and work them out much in the same way we did with Sundays, by making a proof of concept and having a script."

18. Start producing your own projects

"For years we've been working to get into a position to start producing our own projects. We have great production and post-production values inside Amsterdam, and a network of some of the best talent out there on many many levels, so we're completely ready for this. It's just the start of a new phase, a new chapter for PostPanic and PostPanic Pictures in particular," says Rozema.

Words: Julia Sagar

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