A terrific interview in Film & Video with filmmaker Nina Paley, who completed a full-length animated feature by herself…on a Mac…for $200k. Making an animated feature isn’t easy, and there’s a lot of costs associated with one that the average person doesn’t even consider. Take, for example, the problems she describes with making film prints:
“Its world premiere was at the Berlinale. And Berlin only shows 35mm, at least in the section I was programmed in. I wanted to do a DCP [digital cinema package], and I was looking forward to doing a DCP, but they couldn’t show a DCP at Berlin. So suddenly I had to make a 35mm print, and I had no money. So I posted on my blog that this had happened: “The good news is, I’m going to Berlin. The bad news is, I need $30,000.” I actually ended up raising about $15,000 from strangers – some of them were friends, but people donated $15,000 that month. That was really freakin’ exciting. I also got a freelance job around that time, and I borrowed money from friends and family. So I was able to make a 35mm negative and get the sound done, and we got a print.
“Now there are three prints circulating. One of them is about to become a French-only print, because it’s getting French subtitles burned into it for Annecy [the International Animated Film Festival, in Annecy, France], which only accepts 35mm prints with subtitles. It’s all very expensive for an independent filmmaker. I am out of money and in debt and I have about $13,000 in bills coming. And I just have no idea how I’m going to pay for them.”