Low Budget Features

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With the 'Low -Budget 1st feature' having become the new industry calling-card, this course is designed for emerging feature Producers, Directors & Writers and aims to lead filmmakers through the minefield of low budget production possibilities and pitfalls, with testimony and real world examples from a range of recent productions, both ‘ultra -low’ budget and those accessing the Producer Offset via its $500k threshold. It is the how, why and what not to do for Low-Budget feature production, complete with frontline testimony from battle-scarred but triumphant filmmaker special guests.


Taking a complete 360 degree view, the course will draw on a range of recent projects - directors and producers alike will explore the creative freedoms and restrictions that accompany the low budget feature route, and debunk the myth that bigger is necessarily better. The course will also talk filmmakers through the conceptual reasons why embracing a low budget aesthetic may be wise, pragmatic and creatively freeing career move. Included in the course:

Using real life current examples, Producers and Directors will discuss production budgets and practical obstacles they encountered and solved.

  • the recurring shortcomings and the legal and contractual oversights that plague low budget projects and how to avoid them
  • exploring the position of the low budget feature in the era of the Producer Offset , including innovative ways of attracting and rewarding private investment to your project.
  • different approaches to dealing with state and federal agencies to secure their support for a low budget project
  • how to structure deferral deals with cast, crew and suppliers
  • the pros and cons of 'self-distribution' and 'cinema-on-demand' for your film

Tait's special guests will include Writer/Director/ Producer Dean Francis (Drown, Road Train) and Megan Riakos , Director/Producer/Writer of Crushed.


The last 10 years has seen an explosion in “ low budget” and “micro-budget” feature film production in Australia many of which have had tremendous critical, commercial and/or career-building success for their makers. Increasingly, as pressure mounts on the limited existing funds of the various state and federal film agencies, and aided by the accessibility and affordability of high quality digital equipment for both production and post -production, this DIY route is seen as the almost inevitable entry point for emerging filmmakers wanting to stretch their wings into long form content. Are low -budget features the new short film?


"Tait is a fountain of knowledge, offering incredibly valuable information for us emerging filmmakers. This course has really helped me refocus and rethink my strategy in making my 1st feature film later this year"

"Fantastic course! Highly recommend to any potential filmmaker"

"Great weekend of mind boggling figures & facts - Thanks Tait - more questions now than before, but I think that is good??"


Producer (Healing, The 25th Reich, Little Acorns etc) Distributor ( Label Distribution / Palace Films) , Industry consultant and project assessor; former FFC Evaluation Manager and Festival Director - Brady has been a frontline observer of the changes in the Australian industry over the last 25+ years and been involved with the development, distribution and/or funding of numerous low budget, indie features and feature docs.

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page.​


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.