Lessons Learnt: Working Within Your Means

We’re the creators of the web series Out of It. This is our new weekly column to share with you all the things we learnt along the way.

2. Working Within Your Means

Behind the Times: Allow for more time than you think is needed.

Once we had a script and a director we thought everything else would fall into place immediately. We told ourselves; it’ll be filmed next month, or the next one, or the one after… Fast forward five months and no sleep later and we were on set, but it was a lot of stress to get there. Had we set realistic goals from the beginning, with time to find our cast, crew, redraft the script and allow plenty of time for mistakes too, then we would have had an easier time and the whole team could be focused on the same goals without them moving.

Find My Location: Keep it visual.

If you are filming low-budget it’s great to use an interesting location. We had the opportunity to film in a room with black walls and colourful art and furniture which immediately looks unusual onscreen. We had no budget for lighting but used fairy lights and a hanging lamp to light our dinner scene, which again looked great against the backdrop of dark walls. If you can’t spend money on props or location, try and find somewhere naturally visually interesting.

Money, Money, Money: Make it count.

We will talk about fundraising options in the future but for now we will focus on filming. The first draft of our script had a reverse montage set in a dozen locations over the night and with our budget this was just not plausible, simply because multiple locations cost time and money. Although it felt awful, we just had to cut it. If you can stick to one location, brilliant, otherwise know your locations and work backwards. For future episodes of our web series we have three scenes set in one location but in three different episodes, which we will film all in one go. Although this may seem obvious, it’s something we had to learn as writers and knowledge we will use in future projects!

We would love to hear your comments below and any lessons you’ve learnt along the way too. Join us next week to discuss script dilemmas.


I agree wholeheartedly with #2. The production value of an episode goes through the roof even if nothing changes but a cooler location. The scenes we shot for my series in Prospect Park in New York are some of my favorites, because the location is so pretty and textured and interesting.

Also… if anyone wants more specific advice regarding how to find cheap or free locations that AREN’T your apartment… click here!

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Haha so I def agree with number 1, but I will say that the only real way to truly understand how long planning takes is doing it wrong at least once and learning from that experience. Then there’s the issue of: overplaying. Being like so PARALYZED by how much planning you have to do that you never actually do the thing!