Early on, I would self finance everything, or figure out a way to shoot what I needed to for no budget. As my needs grew and the projects increased in scope, I started working with other colleagues with mutual interests to raise money. For instance, on one of my short films I worked with 3 producers who each put forward an investment. They wanted some skin in the game and experience making a film, and I needed the capital to finance the project. Reaching out to producers/friends/potential investors directly is always an option.
For my next film, I’ll be crowdfunding. I’ve waited to do it until now, because I only want to do it once! I also just released a podcast interview on fundraising you can listen to after the AMA here: http://noamkroll.com/podcast-5-options-for-financing-your-independent-feature-film/