Film Courage: How did you set the budget for the film?
Andrew Guerrero, Writer/Director/Actor: Great! A little nervous to talk about his because…I will…but it’s because I want people to take it seriously and I don’t want them to look at the money because we didn’t have a lot. And I want them to say Who cares that it was shot for this? I think it’s a good story. We had $4,000 production budget, period. That’s all we had was $4,000. Cliché, I called all of my aunts and my uncles and my dad, my family, friends of my family and said I can shoot this movie for a $1,000.00. I need $200.00 from each of you. And they all chipped in. They were all really excited because they know and I ended up with $4,000 and I told everyone This is what we have to make this film. So let’s do it. And I will say upfront it was so much easier to do than people think. Yep.
Film Courage: And why do you think that you were able to get it under the wire like that? Under the $4,000 mark? It’s a feature film, right?
Andrew: Yes, a feature. First and foremost, everyone did it for the credit. Everyone I hired I said Listen, this is what I’ve got. We can make it look really good. We can get locations. I’ll feed you guys every day. But unfortunately right now the eyeballs that people put on this film, the credit of having a feature under your belt, that’s our payment, that’s everyone’s payment, that’s my payment. I’m not ashamed to say that as a new, young, indie filmmaker because we all start there, we all have. I had what I had, that’s what we could go with.
So they were all just so gung ho about it. They all said You know what? That story is worth it. It’s a great enough story to make it happen. So they were able to put all their effort, their time, their life. They gave me 23 days of their life straight, 23 days straight, no breaks. And we shot the whole thing in that time for that amount of money and it’s so doable.
Again, going back to having a great, solid team yes it worked. There was one occasion where as the director I had to pull someone aside and say listen This behavior is not working, it isn’t working. Let’s correct it. And then graciously took it and said You’re right, I’m sorry. I’m stressed because of the time limit/time crunch. And I go There is always going to be time limits, there is always going to be stresses, there’s always going to be money issues, there is always going to be all of that. Get used to that now in a place that you can and take that with you. This person graciously accepted the advice and we just progressed on. But yes, literally asking every family member I had if they could help fund it and they did and we made it work.
Film Courage: That’s awesome, they believe in you and they want to see you happy and do well.
Andrew: They always have.
Film Courage: That’s very cool.
Andrew: And I want to say that I don’t think that this should be out of the norm. I want great experiences like this to be the norm. I feel like there is this general feeling about bleeding for the art and…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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