Wikipedia defines "No Budget Film" as-
A no budget film is a produced film made with very little, or no money.
Young directors starting out in filmmaking commonly use this method because there are few other options available to them at that point. All the actors and technicians are employed without remuneration, and the films are largely non-profit. Usually the director works alone on such films, or uses a very minimum "crew" of volunteers to assist him/her on such projects where no money or financing is available, not including the cost of film. No-budget films are made every day with video tapes and consumer cameras.
We, more or less, accept this definition. But, at the same time, we feel the urge to closely examine this sentence--"Young directors starting out in filmmaking commonly use this method because there are few other options available to them at that point"-- as it highlights and poses some serious questions to the traditional mode of film making.
Time and again, we have been told that film making is a costly affair. You need good cameras, lights, large crews, extravagant sets and what not? All of these cost a pretty hefty amount of money. Now, whenever the question of money arises, we presume that there should be a person called the "Producer", standing at the doorstep of the film maker, who will invest the necessary amount of capital and in turn, quite naturally, look for a profit out of his investment. From this point onwards, the problem starts getting more and more complicated.
Accepting the fact that producer will always look for profit mandates that the film should reach out to a large number of audience who will buy the tickets, buy the music tracks (so, you need to have good music or songs in your movie too!), or, at least, buy the DVDs. But, reaching out to a wider audience often implies setting a limit to one's creativity or the flare for experimenting with the art-form.
Now, one may argue that all the great directors in the world, starting from Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Bunuel, Satyajit Ray to Wong Kar-Wai, Bela Tarr and Anurag Kashyap, have always found a producer willing to invest in their experimental films. So, isn't is quite unjust to portray the producer as a dumb bloke who thinks about nothing else, but money and profit?
To answer this question, we must clarify that we are not using the word "producer" in its traditional sense. For us, a "producer" is a representative of the consumerist culture, who tries to impose himself upon the "auteur" and thereby control him, and the entire socio-economic mechanism of today's world supports him in his effort.
Therefore, we view the existence of a "producer" in the process of film making as an unwanted intervention of the consumerist culture to control and, thereby, subjugate the "auteur". We are not bothered about how Godard managed to make "Pierrot Le Fou" despite the fact that he had a producer. Also, we are not arguing whether a producer can produce experimental films or not. But here we are questioning the fundamentals of the system itself. We are questioning the basic logic behind the existence of producers in the value chain of film-making.
That is why, we have taken recourse to no budget film making to ascertain our point and to create a parallel channel for expressing ourselves.
So far, the age-old myth, that film making requires a lot of money, has helped producers to earn their breads. But, we believe that film making is not a costly affair. We can make good, serious films without spending a gargantuan amount of money. Moreover, low cost digital cameras and editing programmes have made our task easier.
Secondly, we also want to dethrone the traditional chain of film distribution. We intend to make our films available on DVD, simultaneously taking advantage of the internet to show and distribute our films. Creating a parallel distribution channel is, we believe, an imperative for the survival of no budget films.
At the end, we'd like to request you all to come and see what kind of quality a no budget film can deliver.
Support us, and help the art of cinema to survive!