Finding Success With Micro-Budget Feature Films

Today on Filmmaker Freedom, an in-depth conversation with Liz Manashil.

Liz has written and directed two micro-budget features, and is in the early stages of a third.

She's also manages Sundance's Creative Distribution Initiative, which is a fancy way of saying that she knows more about indie distribution than the rest of us put together.

Anyhow, we cover lots of stuff in this conversation, including how Liz attracts big name talent to her micro-budget projects, how she's booking her own theatrical run for her current project, and some tips for successfully crowdfunding your films.

Here’s the episode.


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What Liz and I covered in the interview

Liz Manashil is pretty prolific when it comes to writing and directing micro-budget features.


I actually found out about Liz a few years ago after her first feature, Bread and Butter, recouped its budget, and she wrote a great article for MovieMaker transparently sharing those numbers and revenue streams.

These days, Liz just finished her second feature, Speed of Life, and is taking it around the festival circuit, hammering out a unique distribution deal for it, and planning a DIY theatrical run that includes a David Bowie cover band, all of which we talk about in our conversation.

And finally, she's in the early stages on a new feature called Lady Parts, that's honestly got one of the funnier crowdfunding pitch videos I've ever seen.

Anyhow, here's a rundown of what we talk about in this interview.

  • The totally awesome name of Liz's dog (and the not-quite-as-awesome name of our cat)

  • What Liz learned from conducting the largest ever survey of distributors to find out what they look for in a film.

  • How Liz makes sure she doesn't get screwed when negotiating a distribution deal.

  • Why and how Liz is booking her own short theatrical run for her latest feature, and why she's hiring a David Bowie cover band to play those shows.

  • How Liz attracts and attaches big name talent to her micro-budget features.

  • Liz's history with crowdfunding, and how she consistently manages to raise money for her films through that channel.

Links & Resources Mentioned In The Episode

If you’re truly invested in putting these ideas to use, I’d recommend joining Freedom Fighters, my private community for entrepreneurial indie filmmakers.

It’s not another spammy facebook group or noisy forum. It’s an online oasis just for people like us. A place of sanity and respect, where we try our best to support one another in our respective journeys.

So if you’re interested in becoming a member, here’s where you can get the full scoop and apply (don’t worry, it’s totally free).

Hoping to see you inside.

-Rob Hardy

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