Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to make a british blockbuster…on a budget

ben wheatley.jpg

When it comes to making great films for no money, Ben Wheatley is your man. His first, the critically adored Down Terrace, was made for just £6,000, while 2011’s Kill List and last year’s blood-splattered Sightseers cost less than Tom Cruise’s trailer. Probably. That’s why we asked him how to create that difficult first blockbuster.

Use your critical cache

“Because Down Terrace was a film we self-funded and it did well critically, we could show we knew what we were doing. When we pitched Kill List, we just showed them that film. People trusted us to deliver.”

Seek unknown stars

“Cutting corners is negative. Work to your budget: that dictates the people you can work with, but it also means that you can work with whoever you like, because there’s very little financial pressure. Being a star isn’t a talent thing. There are brilliant actors all over the place.”

Know your fx

“If I want special effects in a film, I know exactly how much it’s going to cost before I start shooting. Some directors say, ‘I want this – just make it happen,’ and then things get expensive. It’s also worth looking into the cost of things such as music rights. There’s free stuff out there. In Kill List, we could only afford one track – It Could Have Been Better by Joan Armatrading – so we just used public domain music, which was mostly old blues stuff because it was free.”

Keep it handheld

“Shoot a film like a documentary. Use available light, don’t think about tracking, dollies and cranes and all that sh*t. In Sightseers and Kill List, everything’s handheld, which means you work a lot faster and you’re just working with the actors. The thing audiences take away is the performance.”

Sightseers is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 25 March

(Image: Rex Features)

Related

creepy hero.jpg

The 25 creepiest movie posters ever

alien.png

Bad reviews for good movies

HERO_ET.jpg

50 Best Final Lines In Movies

Comments

More

Exclusive: Sam Neill confirms he's in Thor 3

23 Sep 2016

Chris Pratt is a big deal - and we couldn't be happier for him

Chris Pratt talks to Jimi Famurewa about stripping off, the pay gap and why he’s happy to be a piece of meat

22 Sep 2016

See the hilarious War On Everyone for FREE

ShortList Film Club gives you the chance to catch it first and for free

21 Sep 2016

Morgan Spurlock's 'Rats' documentary is the biggest horror of 2016

If you weren't already terrified of rats then you will be after this by Paddy Maddison

19 Sep 2016

Why does Bill Murray have no friends?

Is there are more sinister side to why Billy 'No Mates' Murray needs to be worshipped? by Tristan Cross

15 Sep 2016

Six reasons new thriller The Clan is unmissable

by Joe Ellison

15 Sep 2016

Daniel Radcliffe has issues in exclusive clip for new Neo-Nazi drama

He's come a long way since Harry Potter by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Stylised Sci-Fi posters bring new life to your favourite films

Your favourite Sci-Fi films reimagined by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Mad Max without special effects is still incredible

Those of a nervous disposition may wish to look away now. by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Does this confirm Wolverine dies in the next film?

Boyd Holbrook hints it might be the end of Logan's run

13 Sep 2016