Fantasy films are so much fun to create and watch, but so freaking expensive! I had no idea my imagination was going to cost so much money when I was writing Avarice, but once we sat down to really think about what we needed to sell this world, I started thinking that maybe creativity was overrated.

However, I quickly learned that creativity is not just about coming up with new and interesting ideas. It’s also about how to make those ideas into a reality. Here are some cost efficient ways to turn your imagination into a world you can share with others.

Hire a Production Designer who can make something out of nothing.

I really lucked out on this one. I found a local artist who was particularly interested in up-cycling, which, in my non-artist words, is kind of like making trash look amazing. He was able to create the most amazing things out of Gatorade bottles, aluminum foil, and  egg cartons. I was amazed at what he was able to do with so little. So finding the right person or people who can do this will be vital to your production.

Pick locations that don’t need much set dressings.

If you choose wisely, you may not need to actually do much to your location for it to look like a fantasy film. I found this amazing old brewery in Memphis that looks like this gothic place where only evil could reside. So I used that as a place the Girl wanders into and it turned out looking really creepy on film. It became my favorite location in the film, and it was actually the easiest to set up. The only thing we had to do was put benches in there for the actors to sit on. The building did the rest.

Thrift stores are your friend.

We used thrift stores for both props and wardrobe. Because I wanted an early 1900s feel to the clothes, thrift stores were more perfect than anything to find that kind of stuff. Plus, it definitely helped save money. It will take up a lot of time, though, because you have to be willing to dig. Again, it’s a really good idea to have the right Production Designer who can see an article of clothing and see how it can fit into the bigger picture.

The best thing to remember is not to allow the fear of expense to hinder you from making the kind of film you want. There is always a way to accomplish it. You just have to be creative and figure out the best way to achieve it.

Questions: What’s one of the most unlikely objects that you’ve used in a fantasy film as a prop? Where do you normally find your wardrobe for fantasy films?


Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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