All of the films I made so far are jishu eiga or jishu-seisaku eiga which literally means self-made films. Internationally, there are terms like independent films, underground films, low budget films, micro budget films, no budget films, etc., but jishu eiga is close to no budget films or student films made by non-students.
I hear jishu eiga only exists in Japan. Is that true? The budget of jishu eiga is normally less than USD 50,000 and is self-financed most of the time by directors. Most of the directors spend their own savings, borrow money from their parents, or raise money from crowdfunding.
I produced feature film Yamamoto Eri becomes Recoverability Zero at USD 30,000 and feature film Eriko, Pretended at USD 50,000. Those were possible because we had friends who wanted to make films together under the difficult situations.
I'm not sure if this is true, but I hear that no one makes films under USD 100,000 in the United States or in Europe. However, many of the independent films are produced under USD 100,000 in Japan. Many filmmakers complain that the budget is too small in Japan, but there are many Japanese filmmakers who want to make films even though the budget is very small.
Many Japanese filmmakers say that the budget in the United States or Europe is much bigger, but only lucky filmmakers can reach such big budget in those countries anyway.
We are in a difficult situation for not getting enough budget, but I want to take it positive as we can make films at low budget to start out. Of course, we should move on to the next level soon though.
I'm studying about low budget film financing now aggressively in order to make Osaka filmmaking scene hotter. Let me know if any of you guys have good ideas about micro budget film financing.
Taro Imai, harakiri films