DIY is cool. Low-budget is hard. The two make each other possible, forcing often extreme cases of creativity and ingenuity in order to achieve a goal. Inspired by these two ideas, coupled with the explosion of personal video cameras and powerful, affordable software to work with the images generated by those cameras, Blake Johnson started AnimiVirtus Productions, a solely-personal project dedicated to bringing resources and information – knowledge – to use the DIY spirit to their low-budget advantage and achieve their goals.

And now, a word from the Author…

I’ve been passionate myself about low-budget filmmaking since middle school. I’ve read books about it, scoured the internet for hours on end for anything from tutorials on lightsabers to making a dolly to setting up a light rig, and of course made a few films of my own. In all aspects of life – from computers to exercise to cooking to home organization – I can’t get enough of the Lifehacker ideology, the progressive, voracious, self-reliant, self-taught, self-built spirit. After all, what better way to get at life than with courage of the heart?

And courage it takes…

And courage it takes in this business of low-budget indie filmmaking. Especially in the low-budget arena. But that’s where I see the fun come in. When you don’t have the cash to blow on some on-set effect, you’re forced to learn how to fake it on set, to shoot it in a more interesting way that will hide your lack of funding and spice it up a little in post. Hey, it worked for Robert Rodriguez, why not for you?

But honestly…

But honestly, it takes a lot of hard work, a huge amount of planning and organization, and a lot of good will and help from friends, family, and whoever else is involved in your production, be you a Hollywood vet or a first-time mini-DV filmmaker. Either way, you’re a filmmaker, and either way, you’re making a movie. So put your guts down on paper, drink up all the knowledge you can find, plan like you’re planning a war, and maybe you’ll come out with something awesome. That alone is worth the effort, but what I love the most is the experience you have with the people who are as dedicated as you are, plugging away, cranking out the hours, churning out the rewrites and sweating out the extra shoot days, just to share the dream you all have when you embark on an often seemingly-impossible journey.

So courage, yes…

So courage, yes I would say courage of the heart is most important in these endeavors, and in the current society in general. Often we’re called upon to make decisions affecting other people, ourselves, or no one at all, and it is my belief that the heart, and a rational, practical mind, are where all decisions in life must come from. So take your heart, your practical mind, and make your filmmaking dreams real. Good luck!


More about the Blog

Alright, now onto what you’re really here for… This blog is basically a repository for any and all resources related to filmmaking in all stages and all aspects. If it’s cheap or free and helpful, chances are it gets posted here. The regular schedule is as follows:

  • Sundays: Showcase – Something awesome someone made for little or no money and posted online
  • Wednesdays: Link Dump – Links to everything relevant I find online in the week between posts

Disclaimer: Now, I’m a student, looking for work, and working on building a demo reel. Not to mention the normal life concerns that everybody shares, this blog comes after those in my list of priorities. If you’ve been a subscriber for a while, you’ll know I can go on unannounced hiatuses from time to time, but I assure you, I’ll be doing my absolute best to keep the posts coming regularly and containing awesome stuff. That being said, if something’s not quite awesome enough, feel free to comment about it – or better yet, leave me a suggestion for a future post – and I’ll be sure to review it and hopefully include it in the next relevant post. Lastly, if I’ve been absent for a while and there’s still no word about an update, go ahead and email one of the addresses listed in the contact page and I’ll be sure to post something quick to relieve any anxieties. (Admit it, it’s hard going without my awesome resource-filled blog posts.)

Well, the is without a doubt the longest ‘About’ section I’ve ever written for any of my array of web pages over the years. No worries, one time and it’s done, and then I can get on with the helping of indie filmmakers worldwide. Yea! Alright, now stop reading and git yer butt over to the homepage (click the banner image up top) and read you some good old-fashioned learnin’ material. Thanks for stopping by, look forward to hearing from you at some point in the future.

Happy Filmmaking!


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