At the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called "Firelight". The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets costing a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg's first commercial success en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fir…
In the first Terminator movie, they had such a small budget that they performed scenes without permits. So much so, that one scene required Arnold to punch a car even though they didn't own it. youtube.com/watch?v=HC7P2…
The charity Citymeals on wheels was founded by mid 1900s American food icons, Gael Greene and James Beard. They started by spending $35,000 to provide 6,000 needy elders with Christmas dinners and the project's success inspired them. As of 2016 Citymeals had an annual budget of $20 million. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cit…
George Washington's salary as a US President was 2% of the total US budget at that time. businessinsider.in/person…
In 1939 a 24 year old Orson Welles attempted to adapt Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' but had to cancel due to budget constraints. The studio asked him for a more conventional project. He suggested a B film of his, an exploration of a newspaper tycoon’s rise and downfall. He called it Citizen Kane. oneroomwithaview.com/2015…
Oren Peli, previously a software developer, wrote and directed the very first Paranormal Activity movie grossing $193 million from its $15,000 budget. diymag.com/2015/10/27/pro…
The Way of the Dragon was co-produced, directed, and written by Bruce Lee. With a small budget of $130,000, the film grossed over $130,000,000, or 1000x its budget. For reference, Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing film of all time, grossed approx. 8x its budget en.wikipedia.org/w/index.…
The 1995 short "multi-facial" written, directed, produced by and starring Vin diesel was made on a $3000 budget and shot over the course of three days. It aired at Cannes film Festival later that year and caught the eye of Steven Spielberg who would then go on to cast him in Saving Private Ryan. youtu.be/A6j1yfUxB0U
Cleopatra (1963), despite its reputation as a flop, was the highest grossing film of 1963 and one of the highest grossing films of the decade but initially lost money due to its incredibly high budget. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cle…
Between 1990 and 1997 the Hubble Space Telescope assigned several hours per year to projects proposed by amateur astronomers, some of which led to publishable discoveries, but these policy was discontinued due to budget reductions. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub…
The Offspring's Album 'Smash' had a small budget of $20,000, which limited studio time, the last four songs recorded for the album were worked through in just two nights. 'Smash' went on to be the best-selling album released by an independent record label with over 11 million sales. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sma…
Spaceballs wasn’t the first Star Wars spoof. There was a 12 minute short called Hardware Wars that was shot for $8,000 in an abandoned laundromat. The film featured toasters, flashlights, tin foil and other low budget effects. thelaughbutton.com/24-les…
The Young Ones comedy had bands playing at random parts in episodes so it was classed as 'light entertainment' and not a sitcom, as the BBC has no budget for sitcoms at the time eightieskids.com/you-wont…
The production budget of the first season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" was so low, the cast shot the opening credits sequence using a digital camera themselves while driving around Philadelphia one night. Charlie Day called it the "cheapest credits ever." indigoprod.com/nyc-video-…
Les Garland was tasked with recruiting Mick Jagger to pioneer the "I want my MTV" ad campaign, with no budget. When Jagger told Garland that he couldn't do it with no pay, Garland offered $1 from his own pocket. Mick Jagger agreed to do the ad. stonesmusic.co.uk/mtv-how…
On β€œWin Ben Stein's Money,” money won by contestants was paid by the producers. Money left over at the end of a season was given to Stein. If the total amount paid out exceeded that budget, the production company paid the excess so Stein was never in any danger of losing his own money. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Win…
The Spanish Inquisition was devoid of its own budget, meaning it depended exclusively on the confiscation of the goods of the denounced. Due to this organization and possibility of abuse, someone wrote a letter to the king saying of the inquisitors "if they do not burn they do not eat". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spa…
Monty Python's famous gag in Holy Grail of using coconuts for horse clops was NOT out of budget necessity, but was in fact the first idea they had which served as a starting point for the film. filmschoolrejects.com/42-…
The title of the movie "Krakatoa, East of Java", a big budget Cinerama movie from 1968, is inaccurate. Krakatoa actually is west of Java, but the movie's producers thought that "East" was a more atmospheric word. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kra…
During Vietnam's war against French colonists, 80% of the colonists' war budget was financed by the USA en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fir…
Monty Python and the Holy Grail's $319,000 budget was bankrolled by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Elton John, and Jethro Tull. laist.com/2018/11/28/how_…
When Orson Welles got his RKO movie deal, he wanted to adapt Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness. It was going good until the budget grew too high. Cancelled, Welles encountered Herman J Mankiewicz's screenplay, American, renamed to Citizen Kane, which became a landmark cinema film. mentalfloss.com/article/7…
Christopher Nolan waited to make Dunkirk until he had earned the trust of a major studio to let him make it as a pure British film, but with an American budget. He said, "Hollywood studios are interested in films about Americans, and there were no Americans involved." telegraph.co.uk/films/201…
The New York City Ballet has an annual shoe budget of $780,000; on average, their dancers go through 500-800 pointe shows for "The Nutcracker" over six weeks, and even more pairs for two weeks of "Swan Lake" dancespirit.com/the-secre…
Up until 1991 there was a dedicated position in the British Armed Forces called 'The Keeper of the Apes'. Their job was solely to care for the monkeys of Gibraltar. The military even had a budget for ape-related expenses. Any sick or injured monkey was cared for in British hospitals. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar…
The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the first Disney Animation film to be given a $100m budget. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) had the smallest budget of all the Star Trek movies, only $12m. It is often considered by many, to be the best of one en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Since the studio didn’t have enough budget to shoot Riddick (2013). Vin Diesel had to mortgage his house, obtain loans and spend most of his own money on the production en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rid…
The New York City Ballet has a shoe budget of $780,000: the dancers go through 500 to 800 pairs of pointe shoes performing The Nutcracker over 6 weeks, and use up even more pairs in 2 weeks performing Swan Lake. dancespirit.com/the-secre…
An average anime 13-episode season can cost around 250 Million yen (or around $2 million dollars) to make. Most anime’s can’t recoup this expense so they rely on the β€˜windfall’ of other big animes to save budget. animenewsnetwork.com/inte…
The Fight Club executive producer Arnon Milchan quit the film when David Fincher refused to cut the budget by at least $5 million. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fig…
The 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie did not profit from its theatrical run, as it had a budget of between $42 and $48 million, but is estimated to have only earned around $35 million at the box office en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sup…
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (starring Clint Eastwood), one of the most famous westerns of all time, was written, directed, & produced by Italians in Italy. It was part of a popular trend of low budget Italian westerns called β€œSpaghetti Westerns”. mentalfloss.com/article/7…
To raise funds to produce the first Mad Max film, director George Miller went out on emergency medical calls. The budget was still too low, so some of the crew was paid in "slabs" (24-packs) of beer, and some of the props were stolen in the early morning and returned before anyone noticed vanityfair.com/hollywood/…
John Mayer's production team couldn't decide a budget for the music video of his song "New Light", so he went downtown and shot one with a company that makes birthday and bar mitzvah videos. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New…
Monty Python and the Holy Grail was originally planned to end with a massive battle between Arthur's forces, the French knights, and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. This was scrapped because the movie didn't have a big enough budget for it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon…
In 1833 Britain used 40% of its national budget to free all slaves in the Empire. The loan for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it was not paid off until 2015. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sla…
"Mac and Me" had a higher budget than "E.T." youtube.com/watch?v=Ee_cP…
The City of Boston still maintains a fleet of over 3,000 telegraph fire alarm stations all over the region, with an annual budget of roughly $2 million and a dozen workers keeping the system running. The system has been in continuous use since 1852! boston.com/news/local-new…
At the turn of the 19th century the United States had to pay the Barbary states so much money for protection from corsair attacks that in 1800 the corsair protection spending made up for a fifth of the federal budget. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar…
Hallmark movies take 3 weeks to film with a $2mil budget. gobankingrates.com/net-wo…
Home Alone was originally financed/produced by Warner Bros. When the budget grew from $13 million to $18 million and no confidence of success, WB dropped the film, which was then picked up by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed $476.7 million worldwide (of which $285.8 million were from America). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hom…
, that movie Dallas Buyers Club budget was so low, they had only 250$ for the makeups. The film's artists were able to work with that, and the film's Makeup and Hairstyling won an Oscar. vanityfair.com/hollywood/…
The movie "Paranormal Activity" had a budget of only $15,000 but made $194 million. During the screening, people were walking out that one studio executive thought the film was bombing. They later learned that the viewers were actually leaving because they were too frightened. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par…
Saw (2004) was filmed in 18 days with a budget of just $1.2 million. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw…
Today I learned about Elsa-Gate, a phenomenon of mass-produced low budget YouTube videos aimed at children featuring adult and bizarre themes including violence, pregnancy, suicide and medical procedures. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Els…
Grand Theft Auto V cost $265 million to make -- the largest budget of any video game at that time -- but turned around and made $1 billion in its first 72 hours en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dev…
Because β€˜Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was filmed on a microscopic budget of $60,000, the cast and crew had to work 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day in 115Β°F heat in a poorly ventilated farmhouse amid rotting roadkill being used as props to finish the film. mentalfloss.com/article/5…
48 hours before Deadpool was green lit by 20th Century Fox, the studio cut the film's budget by $7-8 million down to $58 million. Numerous changes were made as a result, such as having Deadpool forget his bag of guns before the final battle sequence to avoid a costly gun fight in the third act. io9.gizmodo.com/the-maker…
Hugh Jackman took a pay cut to ensure "Logan" would be rated R. Since 'R-rated' films typically limit the overall audience that can attend, Jackman's reduced salary brought the budget down to an acceptable place to warrant an R rating. esquire.com/entertainment…

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