You want to create a film for the YFEP Film Contest, but you’ve never made a movie before. Where do you start?! We’ve collected all the information you’ll need to make a great 4-minute film on a shoe-string budget!

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 All you need is a camera (yes, a phone counts!) and a message.


The New York Film Academy offers lots of great resources for amateur filmmakers, including the below guides for shooting with camera phones and making polished films.


Coming up with an idea and shooting it is only half the work of filmmaking.  Editing is how you piece the footage together and bring your story to life.  For tips on editing software and techniques, check out the guides below:

More helpful tips from the New York Film Academy.


Using music and other media into your film can be tricky.  Review our handy primer on copyright to avoid any mistakes.


You don’t need studio financing to make a great film.  Tons of captivating films are made on shoe-string budgets everyday.  Here are 6 great sources of guidance (and inspiration):

Check out these ten tips for putting together a film on a shoestring budget, courtesy of Raindance.

This super useful guide from Studiobinder tells you everything you need to know to create your very own film budget.

This blog post gives a great general overview on how you can make your film great without breaking the bank.

Cheap ≠ cheesy! Spice up your low-to-no-budget film with Shadow and Act’s creative guide on making the most with the least.

Read one filmmaker’s personal take on the struggles, challenges and lessons she learned while shooting her first low-budget picture.

Give your talent a leg up with this list of tips for acting in low-budget films.