PRODUCTION DESIGN TIPS FOR LOW BUDGET FILMMAKERS
(Required Workshop for members who want to direct/produce their own projects through NB Film Co-op)
Among the most neglected key elements in low-budget films are production design and art direction. That's a problem because production design impacts all aspects of your project. It is the detailed blueprint you follow to make your vision come alive.
Self-taught independents often are so wrapped up in the story and technical stuff they forget about the aesthetics. You don't have to be a production designer to at least put some thought into what the camera is seeing, over and above the action. The Instructor's purpose in the workshop is to encourage you to spend more effort on getting your overall design right without breaking the bank.
Your art department will most likely have the production designer and art director combined in one person, who may also become set decorator and set builder. Do not neglect this part of the project.
The environment where your action takes place has a significant impact on the audience's emotional response. Sure, you don't have a budget for it. But that is no excuse. Production design costs you nothing … if you organize it yourself. Set decoration can be done on a shoestring … if you're clever. It may involve some social engineering to get volunteers to do the work and artful negotiation to get the stuff you need.