|In our previous Micro Budget Case Study, we saw how filmmaker Chad Haufschild mastered the art of the $10K budget range with his film WAKE THE WITCH. This week, we’re taking things one step further as we look at Steve Hudgins’ production company Big Biting Pig Productions who have produced a slate of 6 films at $10K each, and to date, have profited on every single one.Now that sounds like a real business model to me! Aside from the fact that Steve is able to earn a sustainable living this way, he gets to do what he loves…making movies!
So on that note, I’ll turn you over to Steve and his ‘formula’ for $10K success…..
What are the names of your films?
SPIRIT STALKERS (Summer 2012)
THE CREEPY DOLL (2011)
HELL IS FULL (2010)
MANIAC ON THE LOOSE (2008)
What are the websites for your fims?
Links to all of our films website pages are located here:
Our Main Facebook Page is:
Our Facebook Page for our upcoming movie SPIRIT STALKERS is located here:
What are the budgets of your films?
We’ve been able to make all of our movies for under 10,000 each!
How do you finance your films?
Out of pocket.
Have you had any ‘names’ in your films?
None as of yet, but we’ll be looking to do so with future projects.
Have you recouped or profited yet on your micro budgets?
Yes. We have profited off of all of our movies.
How do you market and generate sales for your micro budgets?
First of all, we always have a way for people to easily buy our DVDs online. That way when someone asks, “How can I see your movie?” We can tell them exactly where to go. That may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many movies are out there that people want to see, but you can’t buy them either because they’re only available to see at Film Festivals or they’re tied up with a distributor who isn’t making it easy to purchase the movies.
So, once our movies are available on DVD we always have them for sale on our website. No matter what, people can always buy them there. Then we make them available on other sites as well, such as Amazon & occasionally Ebay. Regionally, we have our movies available in several different stores & locations. Normally we sell the DVDs to these locations for wholesale prices and they simply resell them for profit. Once we have means by which people can purchase our DVDs, it’s a matter of getting people aware that these movies are out there, which is where Facebook comes in very handy. It’s a great way to generate interest IF you’re willing to put the time into doing so. We make a point to try to keep people interested in the entire filmmaking process from pre-production all the way until the World Premiere.
We always make a point to have a World Premiere in the town that the majority of the movie was filmed and we sell all of our movies at the premiere. Most people, if they enjoy the new movie and haven’t seen some of our previous ones, will want to buy some of those movies afterward. We also make T-Shirts & Posters etc available at the Premiere as well.
And being that we specialize in the horror/thriller genre, we do horror conventions occasionally and sell our DVDs directly from our booth. If it’s a large convention this can be not only profitable, but a great way to gain fans, especially if you’re a company who releases movies regularly as we do. Fans of our previous movies are usually anxious to see our next one. Film Festivals that will allow you to set up some kind of booth or at least do a Q&A of some sort is a good way to generate sales as well. Again, a lot of this is dependent on the size of the festival and the turnout. That’s the way we’ve been doing it with success so far. It’s a lot of time & a lot of work, but if you’re doing solid, original work, there’s an audience out there that appreciates it.
What are some of the obstacles (if any) that you encountered and how did you overcome them (or not!)?
Nothing huge at this point. I would say great organization is going to make your life much easier and we continue to get better with this and most every other aspect, with each movie.
What were some of your biggest mistakes or wastes of time/money ?
We haven’t made any huge mistakes to really make note of, but there are always areas that can be improved and I think it’s very important that filmmakers recognize that, learn from that and do better the next time around.
What resources or tools did you find most helpful during production, post, and/or distribution?
I think it was William Friedkin who said you can learn everything there is to know about making a movie by watching Alfred Hitchcock films. There is so much you can learn from watching other movies. And with the amount of “How to” & “Making of” extras on many DVDs there’s virtually an endless resource of info out there for filmmakers of any level of experience to dive into.
Distribution is a whole other story all together. Film Specific is a great resource to learn all the ins and outs of the distribution business and talking to other filmmakers about what they are doing to get their work out there as well is a great place to start. Chris Jones blog has a lot of great info as well.
Facebook is also a great way to get word out there. People are going to be more inclined to visit a Facebook page than they are a website, although I think it’s important to have both, rather than just one or the either.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Not much, because we haven’t fallen into some of the traps and pitfalls that many other filmmakers have. We make movies within our means and continue growing in experience, production values & most importantly in fan base.
What are your next steps from here?
To keep plugging away and never stop. To keep giving our current fans more of what they love us for, which is originality in a genre (Horror) that is in desperate need of it and to continue to find any avenues available to get our work known to more & more people and thus gaining more fans. We embrace being independent filmmakers, free to make movies the way we want to make them.
Got comments or questions for us? Just post them below!
Want more juice on Micro Budget Business Models? Join me for a Virtual Seminar Wednesday, Jan. 25 for Part 2 in my Getting Your Micro Budget Film Off The Ground series. CLICK HERE for more info. (You can listen to Part One from the series HERE).
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