Making movies on tiny budgets

The
latest Cayman Islands Film Commission workshops showed wannabe movie makers how
to create documentaries and films on a miniscule budget.

Bob
Carruthers, director of a zombie movie being made in Cayman, and the film’s
co-producer David McWhinnie, who was executive producer of Sundance Film
Festival’s cinematography award-winning “Obselidia,” told participants in
workshops on Saturday and Sunday the secrets to making a film on tight purse
strings.

Mr.
Carruthers explained that technology had developed to such an extent that
filming could now be done on lightweight equipment that costs little.

To
demonstrate how easy it is, he mounted a camera he bought for $156 on a tripod
that cost about $20, attached a microphone and set up his laptop with software
for cutting and editing.

“Back
in the 1980s, cameras cost up to $60,000. Now, with this kind of technology,
documentary film making is within the grasp of everybody in this room,” he told
those at Saturday’s workshop at the Harquail Theatre.

The
two Scotsmen explained how to get into careers of film and documentary making,
showing them samples of documentaries and movies they had made over the years
on low budgets.

Mr.
Carruthers, an Emmy-award winner, showed a segment from a documentary he had
made about the life of Adolf Hitler, which he made with no film crew and with
himself as the presenter and narrator, travelling through Austria and Germany.

“With
small equipment, you don’t need permits. It’s unobtrusive… You can do it all
with one person,” he said, adding that there is now a huge amount of free
research information and footage available on the internet.

The
duo urged participants to network within the workshops they were attending,
saying that there were a lot of talented and skilled individuals in Cayman.

About
30 people attended the workshops, which cost $20 each.

LOCALmoviesSTORY

Bob Carruthers displays lightweight, inexpensive film-making equipment at a workshop at the Harquail Theatre on Saturday.
Photo: Norma Connolly