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How to Make a No Budget Science Fiction Movie

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How to Make a No Budget Science Fiction Movie

How to Make a No Budget Science Fiction Movie. My name is Dimi Nakov and I am indie filmmaker/content creator with a soft spot for science fiction, which is why I decided in 2011 to venture into making a sci-fi feature titled "ARA". In 2012 I wrote the script and in 2013 we shot the film on weekends only. We tried a number of crowd-funding campaigns but because of the lack of experience in crowdfunding and not enough compelling material for the campaign we raised just over NZ$9,000, which was enough for food, some equipment and petrol vouchers for 3-4 weeks. 

By Dimi Nakov, Auckland, New Zealand

How to Generate Interest in Your Movie

We managed to get the interest of some incredible actors and crew that loved the script (also read: How A Great Script Helped Us Make Our Movie), which really helped me to make the call to keep going and even if we did not raised the funds we hoped I would make sure we get to the finish line. The fact that experienced actors like Anthony Ray-Parker (The Matrix) and Bruce Hopkins (The Lord Of The Rings) believed in the story and jumped on board, gave the whole production a new positive energy and vibe. 

To summarise the principal photography ARA's current cut has around 1565 shots with more than 4500 takes (pushing the red/record button over 4500 times) during the principal photography, 48 days on set (during weekends only) over the 8 month period in 2013. Since 2014, we have been in post production, which has not been easy. We are currently talking to few VFX Schools and also one post production studio to join us and help us finish the film while we are seeking finishing funds. 

One of the tricky things of doing a sci fi without funding and no post production experience is to make sure everything is shot correctly for the post production team, which luckily we did.

The other thing is if you dont have a budget for the VFX make sure you have the crew and artists that can help you achieve your goal or make sure you can do it yourself. Otherwise the things get uphill very fast.

The biggest tip I can give is if you believe in yourself and your idea/film never give up. Please keep pushing forward and make new friends and network like there is no tomorrow and help others to achieve their goals and dreams so you can achieve yours. Pay it forward and get to the finish line with a smile.

It is not impossible to make it happen, but its very very time consuming. 

Well after 8-9 months shooting on weekends we managed to complete the principal photography. Now we faced the never ending post production process. Before we get into that below is something about ARA.

About ARA Science Fiction Movie

ARA in a short summary: It is the year 2050 and we live in a world a lot different from now, where Jason Andrews, a biotech Engineer who's last chance of waking up his daughter Samara (Sam) from deep coma is an AI software "ARA" that he developed for the largest corporation on the planet (C.O.M.A Corp) and he is yet to make it fully operational, but before he does Jason will be presented with the most difficult choice in his life. In the meantime the only thing that keeps Sam alive is "ARA", but for how long they can stay alive? In which way the scales of reality will tip?

What does the word ARA means or stands for? 

ARA stands for (Artificial Re-Constructive Anomaly & Augmented Reality Application) >> an AI capable software running C.O.M.A Corp facilities world-wide

ARA is the hardest and most ambitions project I have undertaken so far and I am glad that I had the privilege to work with some amazing cast and crew. ARA is a thought provoking multi-reality science fiction drama currently in Post-Production seeking finishing funds and VFX Post House/Studio or VFX School to Partner up and Join our exciting adventure to the big screen. 

So now in order for us to finish the film we are in the process of convincing VFX studios and vfx schools to help us get to a point that we can show investors the look of the film so we can get the funds and hire the same people and more if needed to complete the film. Or if we are lucky we complete it with the help of a vfx school, which could take double if not triple the time if we had the funds. 

Just a few interesting facts we do know about the meaning of the word ARA:

The Origin of the Meaning of ARA is unknown, but quite possibly it could be Sumerian. An Armenian legend tells that ARA was the name of an Armenian king who was so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis went to war to capture him, which makes quite a story if you think about it and we can maybe make something of it in Part Two of ARA.

(ARA in Japanese = ??= FRESH) / (In Maori = Look, awake, arise, rise up, path, route, passageway, crossroads) / (In Maltese = See, watch) / (In Persian = brings rain) / (In Arabic = opinions, perspective) - ARA is also constellation, which in ancient Greek is called "Altar"

Thank you to Film Proposals for creating such a helpful and resourceful website for us filmmakers. Also for giving us a chance to pay it forward and share our projects with the community.

For more information, please visit

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Thank You 
by: Dimi Nakov 

Thank You Melissa and Film Proposals

Great Tips - Thank You!
by: Melissa - FilmProposals 

Hi Dimi: 
Thanks so very much for taking the time to provide insightful tips to other filmmakers who are also working hard to make their films. My favorite tip you provided is: 

Even though the crowdfunding campaign didn't raise all you needed, it did help to attract experienced actors like Anthony Ray-Parker (The Matrix) and Bruce Hopkins (The Lord Of The Rings) who believed in the story and jumped on board. 

This is a GREAT example of how things don't always work in a straight line, but the more activity around your project, the more activity it will continue to generate and each step gets you closer to the finish line. 

We all wish you the best of luck towards getting your finishing and post funds!!!!!

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