From $0 to Silver Screen: Learn the Art of Filmmaking on a Shoestring Budget with 6K Filmmaker

Joshua Caldwell
4 min readApr 4, 2023

Overcoming the Financial Hurdles of Feature Film Production

Are you tired of making one short film after another and finding it impossible to get your feature film funded? Are you worried that your career is passing you by because you can’t seem to make the leap from shorts to features?

Trust me, I know the feeling. As a filmmaker myself, I’ve been in your shoes. Before I made my first feature film for $6000, I was in the same position you were. I had made a number of short films, spending twenty thousand or even forty thousand dollars on them because that’s “what they cost” and that’s the way I was taught to make films. I had to go out and fundraise that money, hire a big crew, rent or buy high end equipment and it had to look high quality and professional. And while some of those films turned out great and played at festivals and got me some attention, they did not open up opportunities for me to direct features. All that money spent and while I gained experience, all I was left with was a short film that I couldn’t even sell.

Even with all this experience, I was struggling to get a feature off the ground. Every script I developed would require hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars because, like with the shorts, that was just what I was told movies cost. But getting someone to TRUST me with an amount of money equal to a really, really nice house, when I hadn’t made a feature before, was impossible.

You see, they're such a thing as the “feature film club.” No matter how many festivals your shorts screened in, no matter how many awards you’ve won, you’re STILL just a short film director. Until you’ve directed a feature, and proven you can do it, you’re just NOT a part of the club. But now I’ve got the keys.

Finally, after years of trying to get funding for a feature film, I had a breakthrough. Instead of writing a script and then figuring out what it would cost, I started with what I had: $6000. I was inspired by stories of the Polish Brothers and Ed Burns and John Cassavetes making films for thousands of dollars and so I flipped the script and designed the film from the ground up so it could be shot for only $6000. And best of all: it was not “two people in one location.”

The result was my debut feature film LAYOVER. The film had no “stars” and nearly 90% of the movie in French — that’s right, French, and no, I don’t speak French. Despite that, the film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and was nominated for the prestigious FIPRRESCI New American Cinema Award. It got a lot of attention online and it launched my career as a director. The Hulu series and two feature films I made right after it were a DIRECT result of people seeing LAYOVER and being impressed I had made it for so little.

But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new course, 6K Filmmaker. With this course, you’ll learn how to make a feature film for $6000 or less. No more waiting for funding or trying to cobble together a budget from grants and crowdfunding campaigns.

Over the years, and I’ve seen so many talented filmmakers struggle to find the resources they need to make their feature films. But with this course, you’ll learn how to make a feature film with no budget and without sacrificing quality.

So…who am I and how I can be so confident about this? My name is Joshua Caldwell and I’m a director, writer, producer, MTV Movie Award winner, a member of the Director’s Guild of America and I’ve done it, multiple times. I successfully leveraged my first feature film LAYOVER, produced for only $6000, into a career directing movies with budgets now in the MILLIONS. With more than TWENTY YEARS of experience in the film industry, I’ve distilled my knowledge of micro-budget filmmaking into an easy to follow, comprehensive course that covers EVERY aspect of making a feature film on a SHOE STRING budget. From the initial idea, to screenwriting, pre-production through post, I will guide you through the process of making a professional quality film without breaking the bank and I will do it using real world examples from my own work.

So if you’re ready to take the leap from shorts to features, and to finally make the film you’ve been dreaming of, then join me and hundreds of other filmmakers in the 6K Filmmaker community. And as an early adopter, you can get access to the course for just $97. Don’t let financial hurdles hold you back any longer. Sign up today and start making your feature film dreams a reality.



Joshua Caldwell

Director, Producer, Writer, MENDING THE LINE, INFAMOUS, NEGATIVE, LAYOVER. MTV Movie Award Winner. Reel: