One of the most common complaints of a student film is the lack of budget. Between tuition, housing, and living expenses, it’s very difficult to save funds for your thesis film. Unless you’re a killer salesman or have connections to wealth, it is also difficult to convince financiers to back your project. So, typically student filmmakers are cynical and blame a lot of their problems on budget. While this is an obvious hindrance, it shouldn’t be the dagger in the heart. You can still create a compelling film and feel proud that you’ve done so on a low budget.
This was precisely the case with graduate Tim Klein. His short film The Script was shot in NYFA’s ADR room, with three lights, and $50. The film was his semester final in the filmmaking program. “I remember being really frustrated with the fact that it was so hard to find good interior locations in the city. You probably end up shooting in one of your classmate’s apartments that is in no way cinematic, because you’ll most likely find white walls and no art direction at all. This will always be a problem, unless you have money to buy some art direction or pay for a location. For The Script, I had neither. I used the resources that were readily available and shot in NYFA’s ADR room. I wrote the story to take place in a little sound studio (similar to the ADR room.)” Pretty clever and a solid piece of advice for student filmmakers.
Tim started in the filmmaking program but found his passion lied with cinematography. Naturally, he switched over to the Cinematography program. “John Loughlin and the rest of the faculty were always nice, patient, and incredibly passionate about the subject matter. In both programs I had the opportunity to turn my ideas into films and got some satisfying results out of it. What counts is an interesting story and a good script. Everything else just supports that. During my time at NYFA I learned a lot about the collaborative aspects of filmmaking and how important it is to have a professional work-etiquette on set. Tim encouraged students coming out of film school to screen at film festivals in order to network and gain exposure for his or her project. Tim’s taking a bit of his own advice as he takes his short, The Script, to the Cannes Short Film Corner where he’ll have an opportunity to network with filmmakers from all over the world.
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