No-Budget Filmmaking
No-Budget Filmmaking is a podcast about the art of making films no matter how small the budget. Hosts Alex Darke & Trevor L. Nelson sit down and talk about the latest trends, coolest gadgets, and ultra top secret filmmaking techniques. Want more cool stuff from Alex and Trevor? Visit Filmmaking Central and Cinema Summit. Plus, join the Fearless Filmmakers community to meet other independent filmmakers like yourself and start the independent revolution!
NBF 061: Mastering the Interview Shoot
November 24, 2020 • 49 MIN
Interview style shoots can be seen across a wide range of projects. And they aren't just for documentaries or reality shows... In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss why mastering the interview shoot is a good move for beginning (and even intermediate) filmmakers looking to build experience and income within the industry.
NBF 060: Navigating The Film Challenges
November 17, 2020 • 46 MIN
Many of us have done the 24, 48, or 100-hour film challenges, but what are some ways you can master the art of making shorts under pressure? We talk about it in this episode!
NBF 059: Brand Yourself!
November 3, 2020 • 59 MIN
Branding is an important part of any business, and your brand as a filmmaker is no different. In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss things to think about when creating your own personal or professional brand.
NBF 058: The Rise of Premium VOD
October 13, 2020 • 59 MIN
With the term "blockbusters" taking on a new form during quarantine, are we going to see a rise in this new PVOD window that is emerging from major studios like Universal and Disney?
NBF 057: Building an Audience for Broader Projects
October 6, 2020 • 61 MIN
We've all heard the advice of building an audience. This is pretty straight forward for things like documentaries or films that center around a very specific niche topic, but what about all the other movies that aren't "topical"? In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss the often daunting task of trying to build an audience for a broad genre indie film. Get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 056: Short-Form & The Death Of Quibi
September 29, 2020 • 48 MIN
Have you ever heard of Quibi? You have? Did you try it? No. In this episode, we discuss short-form content in all its varieties as well as broach the subject of why Quibi failed. Get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 055: Get A Grip!
September 22, 2020 • 49 MIN
It's time to get a grip on... grip! That's right, Alex and Trevor are exploring the vast world of grip gear in this episode and uncovering some of the most common and most useful grip tools you'll come across on set. Get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 054: Avoid Making Your Movie Look Cheap
September 15, 2020 • 67 MIN
In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss different mistakes one should avoid, lest your movie look cheap... Ah yes, it's a common conundrum. No-budget filmmakers want to spend as little as possible while making the movie look as big as possible. But it's hard to do that! We cover the key mistakes to avoid so that your film looks like a million bucks.
NBF 053: Current Trends in Filmmaking
September 8, 2020 • 53 MIN
Alex and Trevor discuss some of the trends that are currently popping up in the film industry. Everything from Instagram to Gimbals, nothing is sacred. Get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 052: 3 Things We Would've Done Differently
September 1, 2020 • 40 MIN
There's no time to wallow in past mistakes, but hey, we're quarantining, so all we've got is time! Listen to Alex and Trevor discuss the 3 things that they would've done differently on their filmmaking journey, had they known better. You can get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 051: Augment Your Reality
August 25, 2020 • 49 MIN
In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss the latest and greatest in Augmented Reality for film production. We've seen it in the hit series "The Mandalorian", but how can you utilize these advanced techniques in your indie films? Get the show notes for this, and all episodes, at
NBF 050: NBF Returns - The Future of the Film Industry and this Podcast
August 18, 2020 • 41 MIN
Alex and Trevor discuss where they've been, why they went on a hiatus from the show, and how things have changed now that they are back. They also discuss the future of the film industry in a post-COVID world and how movie theaters, VOD platforms, and filmmakers will be affected.
NBF 049: SELL SELL SELL!!!!!!! Your Movie
April 23, 2019 • 100 MIN
As a No-Budget Filmmaker, your job doesn't stop once the final edit is done, you need peepers to see your hard work! How do you go about marketing your film to make sure the maximum number of people not only know about it but can't wait to see it? Alex and Trevor walk you through all the different ways you can get the word out for low to no money and make sure that this film won't be your last.
NBF 048: I Like To Move It, Move It - Creating Movement In Your Frame
April 16, 2019 • 83 MIN
There is nothing worse than a static shot of talking heads, so how can you take a mundane scene or shot and add a little spice? By adding movement! Whether it is moving your camera or moving your actors, Alex and Trevor break down how to keep your audience engaged and liven up any shot.
NBF 047: The Joy of Casting (With Bob Ross)
April 4, 2019 • 76 MIN
Directors often say that the most important work they do is casting, so how do you find the perfect actors for your project. Alex and Trevor break down all the different ways you can discover the next movie star and talk about how the casting process is moving towards a new process in the digital age.
NBF 046: A Brief Update and a Question for our Listeners
March 28, 2019 • 27 MIN
This episode is LATE! And it's not a true blue episode... But, today, Alex and Trevor give a brief update into what they are doing, why this episode is so lame, and ask the listeners to submit their filmmaking questions and ideas for future podcast episodes.
NBF 045: Why (Most) Horror Movies Suck
March 19, 2019 • 88 MIN
Self describe horror movie freaks Alex and Trevor break down what they view as the biggest problems with horror movies these days. Damsel in distress? Cheesy killer? What do many horror films fall victim (get it?) to? But don't fear, the horror duo also focuses on what they love so much about horror flix.
NBF 044: Nerdin' Out About Post Equipment
March 12, 2019 • 96 MIN
So you have the best camera you could afford, all the equipment, have shot the best project of your life, and are about to sit down and edit it......on an Acer laptop from 2010. Time for a post-production workflow UPGRADE! Alex and Trevor nerd out (mostly Trevor) about what you should look for when pimping out your post-production workshop. From building your own computer and what components are most important to accessories, monitors, and the morel, Alex and Trevor will walk you help you make your post workflow much much smoother.
NBF 043: The Theory of Everything...Filmmaking Related
March 5, 2019 • 55 MIN
They've done many, many episodes - too many, some would say - on the technical aspects of filmmaking. Well today, Alex and Trevor are going in a different direction and talking about the theory behind film and why you should spend the time to learn about the critical studies of film and television.
NBF 042: Kitted Out: Your Dream Equipment Kit
February 26, 2019 • 85 MIN
There is no such thing as a perfect equipment kit that can shoot any project, but we sure can dream can't we? Alex and Trevor walk you through what you should look for and strive for as you build out your equipment and move towards bigger projects, budgets, and profits.
NBF 041: So You're Going to Film School
February 19, 2019 • 76 MIN
They've talked about the pros and cons of going to Film school, but if you are pulling the trigger, what exactly can you expect? How should you prepare for your first class? And what would Alex and Trevor do differently if they could start film school all over again?
NBF 040: YouTube: Key for Indie Filmmakers or Nothing But Cat Videos?
February 12, 2019 • 81 MIN
People love to put their videos on YouTube. Cat videos, kids dunking in trash cans, there are endless videos about countless subjects, but is YouTube a haven for getting your shorts and feature seen by the masses? Alex and Trevor dive into the pitfalls and drawbacks of relying on YouTube and offer better alternatives for the indie filmmaker.
NBF 039: Our EDCC - Every Day Cinema Carry
February 5, 2019 • 83 MIN
We've had episodes about some of the big gear that everyone likes to talk about... Cameras, Lights, and Grip... But in this episode, Alex and Trevor sweat the small stuff and dive into what they carry with them to set each day. There's no telling if either of them were every Boy Scouts, but they sure do like to Be Prepared.
NBF 038: How To Keep A Production Company Afloat
January 29, 2019 • 88 MIN
They talked about what to do to make money as a freelancer, but what do, and how to you survive and thrive if you want to start your own production company? Alex and Trevor talk you through the growth of their production company, Gilded Cinema. How they grew it from a small company doing local gigs for small amounts of kesh to a company that is now working on pilots and feature films.
NBF 037: Its Not Short...It's Just Not That Long
January 22, 2019 • 86 MIN
It's 2019 so it's time to get rocking on your film career! What better way to kick it off than to produce I high quality, well done short to show the world what you can do. Alex and Trevor will take you step-by-step through their process as they begin pre-production on two shorts they plan on shooting this year. What to do, where to put your time, energy, and money towards, and what the goals of a short should be.
NBF 036: Additional Edumacation
January 15, 2019 • 79 MIN
So you don't think Alex and Trevor have all the answers???? Boy are you....right! In this episode, the intrepid duo share their favorite flimmaking learnin' sites, from editing, to VFX, to lighting, if you want to dive deeper into any aspect of filmmaking, Alex and Trevor will tell you their favorite sites to do so. Plus, what awesome new filmmaking gadgets were revealed at CES this year?
NBF 035: New Year, New You, New Goals!
January 8, 2019 • 94 MIN
Happy 2019! It's time to start the new year off right and set yourself up for success. When planning out your filmmaking goals, is it is best to aim high at the unreachable, or to set numerous, obtainable goals? Alex and Trevor talk about their approach to goal setting and discuss their plans for the new year.
NBF 034: To Edit or Not To Edit, That Is The Question
December 18, 2018 • 69 MIN
You wrote your masterpiece, the shoot is in the can, now the question is, do you hand your baby off to someone else, or do you hunker down in a dark room for 3 months and edit it on your own. Alex and Trevor tackle to pros and cons of editing your own projects and also talk about how they individually go about setting up their workflow for a new edit.
NBF 033: Artistic or Money Maker? What Kind of Film for Your First Feature
December 11, 2018 • 83 MIN
As filmmakers, we all probably got into this industry to make art, but when you boil it down, the film industry is still a business and most movies need to make money. When planning your first feature, what should you focus on, an artistic film that shows of your skills, or one more likely to make money? Alex and Trevor break down the pros and cons of each, plus are back to drinking during podcasts! Horray!
NBF 032: Shorts vs Features - What Makes The Most Sense In The Current Industry?
December 4, 2018 • 60 MIN
The question of, "Do I make a short or a feature?" came up quite a bit throughout college and we thought we had a pretty cut and dry answer. But, the industry has changed so much just in the last 8-10 years that the answer is no longer that simple. In this episode, Alex and Trevor discuss why they had made up their minds about the short film/feature film debate and what has changed their mind in the opposite direction as of late.
NBF 031: How To Stay Motivated: I'll Write Something Clever Later
November 20, 2018 • 46 MIN
Sometimes the hardest thing for a filmmaker to do is to find motivation when the grind gets to you. What can you do to keep powering through to push your career forward? Alex and Trevor have some tips, techniques, and personal motivations to help push you through the rut.
NBF 030: What Camera Should I Buy? - Answering the Age Old Question
November 13, 2018 • 65 MIN
We see this question asked over and over again on Facebook, in forums and videos, and even in person. In this episode, we attempt to peel away some of the layers of this question and give you a better understanding of different elements to look for when searching for a new camera to buy.
NBF 029: All About You - Marketing Yourself for Gigs
November 6, 2018 • 66 MIN
You got the gear, you got the experience, but you still don't have the work! It's hard out there for a freelancer, so Alex and Trevor dive into the different ways you can build your resume, build your network, and better yet, build your bank account!
NBF 028: All the Avenues for Self-Distribution. Make that Money!!
October 30, 2018 • 63 MIN
You did everything you should in preparation for distribution BEFORE you started filming. Your film is mastered and in the can, ready for the world to see. In this ever-changing field, what avenues do you have to distribute your film (mostly) on your own? Alex and Trevor break down the many options filmmakers have to get their film in front of as many audience members as they can.
NBF 027: Get That Money! Packaging Your Project for Funding
October 23, 2018 • 76 MIN
So you have a great idea that needs money to make, how do you put together a great package to attract investors? Alex and Trevor walk you through the process to build the most attractive package of talent, vision, and creativity. What should you put the most focus on to ensure that your project gets the money that it needs?
NBF 026: How to Develop and Finance Your Film with Slated
October 16, 2018 • 60 MIN
Everyone has a great idea, a great script, or a relationship with a great actor. But that rarely means you can make a film if you don't have the money! So what are your options when it comes to financing? What do you need in place before you even think about looking for money? Alex and Trevor chat with Greg Gertmenian, Head of Development at Slated to answer these questions and more!
NBF 025: Interview With the Directors of Camp Manna
October 9, 2018 • 80 MIN
It's time to go camping! Alex and Trevor talk with writer-director duo Eric Scott Johnson and Eric Machiela about their recent film 'Camp Manna'. How long did it take before it was made, how was it working with Gary Freaking Busey, and what advice they have for independent filmmakers in this ever-changing field?
NBF 024: Is Film School The Best Option?
October 2, 2018 • 77 MIN
Film school and whether or not to go is a big topic of debate online amongst filmmakers.  They are asked it all the time, is going to film school worth it?! In response, Alex and Trevor give a resounding......maybe! The duo discusses the pros and cons of spending a couple years learning the ins and outs of filmmaking. Is it better to just jump on set and learn by trial by fire? Or should you take the time, and money, to study the basics from industry professionals?
NBF 023: Average Movie Budget - Unforeseen Expenses of a No-Budget Film
September 25, 2018 • 84 MIN
What is an average movie budget for a "no-budget" film? A movie shot on an iPhone still had a budget of over $100,000?!?! Filmmakers thinking they are going to make a film super cheap, or free even, need to beware of underlying costs. Alex and Trevor dive into all the ways shooting a no-budget film could cost you. From the food to the art department, to the post-production expenses, "no-budget" doesn't mean there will be no costs.
NBF 022: Make a Living Doing What You Love
September 18, 2018 • 77 MIN
You love making films, shooting projects, editing away in your parent's basement, but how do you go about making it a sustaining career! Alex and Trevor offer friendly advice on how you can turn your passion in to dolla dolla bills y'all! What may start out as working on projects for free can turn into a career where you go to work every day loving what you do.
NBF 021: Our No-Budget Filmmaking Philosofizzle
September 11, 2018 • 58 MIN
People keep asking Alex and Trevor all the time... at gas stations, during baseball games, in parks, side-by-side at the urinal... (hahaha jay kay jay kay) what they mean when they say "No-Budget Filmmaking". Then they ask why anyone would listen to them talk for an hour. They figured it was high time they answered the first question (the second answer is no one). Alex and Trevor discuss what they love about no-budget filmmaking, what it means to be a no-budget filmmaker, and why EVERY filmmaker should join the no-budget filmmaking community.
An Announcement from Alex & Trevor (Full Episode Coming Later Today)
September 11, 2018 • 4 MIN
Alex gives an update on a current project in the works and teases the full episode that will be coming out later today. Listen in on what is to come, and stay tuned for episode 21!
NBF 020: Distribution Pitfalls! What You Need to Know Before You Shoot!
September 4, 2018 • 72 MIN
People rarely, if ever, starting thinking of distribution early, just thinking once their film is done they just need to hand it off to a sale agent, but they couldn't be more wrong! Alex and Trevor walk you through the biggest mistakes filmmakers make about distribution, including not planning for it early in the pre-production phase and not setting enough money aside to finally "finish" the film.
NBF 019: The Future (Of Independent Cinema) Is NOW!
August 28, 2018 • 60 MIN
Trevor and Alex join you from the middle of their road trip to Las Vegas to talk about where the future of no-budget filmmaking lies. They discuss trends and give predictions for where we all (the no-budget filmmakers) fall into the mix of the industry in this ever-changing climate. Will new players like Netflix and Amazon pave the way for more independent cinema, or will the giants regain their monopoly and push aside everyone who isn't making tentpole comic book movies? Let's talk about it, in this episode of the No-Budget Filmmaking Podcast.
NBF 018: Double Whammy! Creating Depth in Your Story AND Your Frame
August 21, 2018 • 59 MIN
Is your script flat, uneventful, unmotivated, or just flat out boring? Can the same be said about the composition and the look of your shots? Well Alex and Trevor have (rarely) all the answers! They give advice on how to add depth to your script by building out your characters and plot, but adding subplot and dilemma. But that's not all! They also discuss how to make your shots more interesting and cinematic no matter what equipment you have at your disposal.
NBF 017: Filmmaking for Actors - How to Take You Career into Your Own Hands
August 16, 2018 • 58 MIN
Actors seemingly get the short end of the stick, having to rely on other people in the industry to get their careers started. But no more! Now it is even easier for actors to take control and get their name out there. Alex and Trevor discuss how actors should go about creating their own projects, who they should team up with, and what they can expect.
NBF 016: Zef is in THE HOUSE! Interview with Indie Filmmaker Zef Cota
August 7, 2018 • 75 MIN
We promised and now we deliver! Filmmaker Zef Cota stops by the Cinema Summit offices to talk about his debut feature, "The Trouble". What went wrong, what went right, and what did he learn from his first foray into directing a feature-length film? For more information about Zef and his film, check out:
NBF 015: You Made a Film!....Now What? Interview with Distribution Expert Jason Brubaker
July 31, 2018 • 50 MIN
Our second guest! Alex and Trevor talk with Jason Brubaker, Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Distribber and the Founder of Filmmaking Stuff. They dive into the essentials of distributing your film and getting the most eyes to see it! Plus, at what point in your project should you start devising a distribution plan.   To learn more about Jason Brubaker and his strategies for distribution, visit:
NBF 014: Why Work Harder When You Can Work Smarter? Software and Apps to Help Your Project
July 24, 2018 • 57 MIN
Every day there seems to be some hot new app out there and it is no different in the film industry. Alex and Trevor dive into software and apps that can help your project run smoother. From pre-production to post-production, there is a product out there that you may not have heard of that could be vital to your project.
NBF 013: It's Biznaaasss, it's Biznaaasss TIME! The Film Business Plan - The Necessity of Writing One
July 17, 2018 • 58 MIN
Even though you may be a creative, you must remember, for the most part, the film industry is a business. Because of that, you need a business plan if you want to raise capital for your next project. Alex and Trevor are alllll business on this episode, breaking down what goes into a business plan and when you should start on yours. Plus, Alex got married!
NBF 011: Put Pen to Paper... or Not - Screenplays for No-Budgets
July 3, 2018 • 61 MIN
It all starts with the story and never is that truer than when making a no-budget film. Alex and Trevor take you through their process of writing a screenplay, give advice on how to write for what you have, and talk about how you should just power through your first draft. Plus, if you aren't the writing type, where can you find a screenplay that could be your next project?
NBF 010: The Mobile Phone Revolution
June 26, 2018 • 72 MIN
We made it to double digits! Thanks for all the listens! Alex and Trevor examine the growing trend of shooting your next project on a mobile phone. With iPhones and Androids getting better and better cameras, is the phone in your pocket a viable option to shoot your next project? If it worked for Soderbergh, it must be ok for you, right? The duo talks about the pros and cons of using your phone as your next cinema camera.
NBF 009: Jack of All Trades, Master of None
June 19, 2018 • 80 MIN
How focused should you be on one aspect of filmmaking? Should you zero in all your attention solely on directing? On editing? On camera work? The guys talk about the pros and cons of knowing how to do every job on set, even if it is just basic, working knowledge. Plus, they reveal the big surprise that they both survived Alex's bachelor party trip to Vegas.
NBF 008: Let There Be LIGHTING!
June 12, 2018 • 85 MIN
LEDs, Tungsten, Fluorescent, HMI - enough technical lighting mumbo jumbo to make your head spin, but what is the lighting route you should go for your next project? Alex and Trevor tackle the best, most cost-effective ways to get the best lighting for any shoot. They point out the biggest lighting mistakes they see in films that just appear "off" and tell you what you can do to avoid making them. Talking about lighting may not be sexy, but it sure is important.
NBF 007: Da Festival Circuit
June 5, 2018 • 63 MIN
Sundance, TIFF, Tribeca! You HAVE to get into these film festivals....or not. Alex and Trevor talk about the pros and cons of film festivals for the no-budget filmmaker. Is it worth the cost to submit? What should you do and what can you expect if you get in? Film festivals may not be the best route for every film, but if you think yours is destined for a screening, they help you prepare to get the most out of it.
NBF 006: Why Buy New When Renting (Equipment) Will Do?
May 29, 2018 • 63 MIN
Rent or Buy? What is the best route to go for the no-budget filmmaker? Alex and Trevor could talk equipment for hours and give you tips on how to go about acquiring your own. Where do you go, what options are the best, and if you do buy, what should be the main purpose? Plus, they talk about the new ways to rent equipment, including services like Sharegrid and KitSplit.
NBF 005: Shooting A Short Over a Weekend
May 22, 2018 • 78 MIN
48 Hour Film Festival, 100 Hour Film Festival, access to equipment for a short time period, there are many reasons people try to shoot an entire short in a weekend. But without the proper planning and execution, what seems like a fun challenge can quickly turn into a sleep deprived nightmare. Alex and Trevor discuss their own experiences with short shoots and help you decide if it is something you should do.
NBF 004: Location, Location, Location!!!....Scouting
May 15, 2018 • 62 MIN
People think there is nothing sexy about location scouting, but it is a vital step in ensuring your no budget project is completed on time and on budget. Alex and Trevor tackle what to look for during a location scout, who to bring, and what to accomplish.
NBF 003: Coming Up With Ideas
May 10, 2018 • 68 MIN
Third times a charm! Everyone has had writer's block - sitting, staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with the next great story. So where can a filmmaker find an idea for their next script? Alex and Trevor talk about where they find inspiration and point you in the right direction for your next project.
NBF 002: Common Micro-Budget Mistakes
May 10, 2018 • 65 MIN
We made it to a second episode! Everyone makes mistakes during the filmmaking process, but they are even more prevalent when you have no budget. Alex and Trevor discuss the most common mistakes they see no-budget filmmakers make and talk about the biggest mistakes they made on their own projects.
NBF 001: To Shot List or Not To Shot List
May 10, 2018 • 77 MIN
Welcome to the debut episode of No-Budget Filmmaking with your hosts, Alex Darke and Trevor L. Nelson! In this episode, Alex and Trevor answer the age-old question, do you shot list or do you not shot list? Spoiler alert, it depends on the situation! They ponder if shot lists actually restrict a filmmaker and discuss how strictly we follow their own detailed, highly professional shot lists. They also talk about what they think is new and cool in the world of filmmaking.