4 Practical Tips For Making A Documentary On A Limited Budget by Ben Gummery

Hi, this is Ben Gummery, director of the documentary ONE VOICE, ONE MIC (The Rise of Podcasting) and KEVHEADS.

I’m here with some tips on making a documentary for a very limited budget.

Podcasters featured in ONE VOICE, ONE MIC

First tip I discovered about making a documentary for a very limited budget is what I’ve done with my short debut documentary ONE VOICE, ONE MIC where I had some of my interview subjects that were in remote locations record themselves answering a series of questions and using a set of instructions that I set them to film themselves. This saved me a lot of time and money going from one location filming them and I was still able to use the content for the film.

Although the results can be hit-or-miss and you’re relying on interview subjects for the quality of what they film.

“I don’t think people realize how liberating, freeing and inspiring podcasting can be?” Jaime Westwood, podcast listener and former podcaster.


“Even just walking into any genre of podcasting, you are walking into a community.” Doctor Squee of Gallifrey Stands Podcast


“The reason podcasts connects so much is it feels more personal.” Scroobius Pip of Distraction Pieces Network


Another tip I’ve picked up is using free stock clips from Pixels.com. Stock clips start at 50£ and go up quite steeply so this was able to save me a lot of money from my budget while still including some fun stock clips in the film.

Another way that I saved money on my budget with this documentary which was by using archived footage which I had permission to use but wasn’t charged a licensing fee for. This meant I had some great content for my film but didn’t have to pay out for it or spend time filming it despite using these elements that were filmed by other people, I was able to produce a cohesive and entertaining documentary.

I also used Mandy.com to find people who were willing to work for free on my film to help gain experience which helped me out a lot with producing my films.

Please check out my trailer on Twitter.





Ben Gummery started out as a technology writer taking inspiration from the likes of Leo Laporte and MacWorld. However his love of independent cinema led to him becoming a film reviewer and writer through the website he co-founded IndieMacUser.com where he has reviewed and written about hundreds of independent and studio films. He has always gotten involved with and supported crowd-funded and ‘fan’ film projects and has previously created and produced short videos for YouTube however this project marks his short film directorial debut.

One Voice, One Mic marks the culmination between his lifelong interests in new technology, film and podcasting.

He is currently developing a feature documentary ‘KevHeads’ exploring the fandom associated with writer/director Kevin Smith.


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