No Budget Film School

No Budget Film School

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No Budget Film School - Los Angeles

NO BUDGET FILM SCHOOL is a unique series of classes specifically designed to help the NO-BUDGET filmmaker, whether he or she is working with a budget of $200,000 or $2,000.  The lessons, tools, and techniques gained from these courses are are intended to maximize very limited resources and minimize critical errors that can doom otherwise worthy projects. 





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It's been a very busy year so far for me. I'm finishing two films right now:  my micro-budget feature DriverX and a higher-budget feature called Devil's Whisper. Devil's Whisper is world premiering in June 2017 at the Dances With Films film festival. I hope to premiere DriverX in the Fall. Until I figure out my festival schedule for DriverX, I can't schedule a new class. The hope, however, is that I will be able to teach my popular two-day seminar "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking" in Los Angeles in October 2017. 

To know when classes will be held as soon as they are scheduled, please join my mailing list. I'll keep you posted and you'll also get my special Subscriber Discount on all classes.



Ok, finally, after all this time, an all-new website for is on it's way! I built this current site nearly 12 years ago and it was out-of-date then! It wasn't a huge problem until social media and Web 2.0 kicked in several years ago and then this old, tired website, more and more, was becoming a liability. Well, that's all going to change. I am working on something that should be fabulous, and it's coming soon.
If you've made it this far, I applaud and thank you. Please come back and see what we've done with the place, or better yet, sign up on our mailing list and then we'll let you know when the new website is complete. It's going to feature some great content--both written and video--and of course all my subscribers are entitled to a special discount to my classes.



I have been on several popular podcasts over the last year or so:

DigiMediaProsLogo  On The DigiMedia Pros Podcast, I discussed the techniques I used on my DriverX Kickstarter campaign, my third successful Kickstarter campaign. In this succinct interview with host Marcelo Lewin, I go over my strategy for reaching my various email lists as well as attracting new followers via social media.  




On The Cinematography Podcast, I discussed my trip to Sundance 2015 and the various movies I saw. I watched about 30 films this year, my 20th year in a row attending the festival, (yes, I was 4 when I first attended!) Podcast hosts Illya Friedman and Ben Rock and I covered a wide range of topics, not just cameras and what films looked like.


That_Post_Show logo


On That Post Show, I discussed No Budget Filmmaking with host Kanen Flowers.  We covered a number of topics including what I cover in my classes, my work at IFC's Next Wave Films, my experience working with Christopher Nolan on his first film Following, the realities of making a no-budget film, the reasons for making a no-budget film, the importance of making money on your no-budget film, conventional low-budget filmmaking versus no-budget filmmaking, Alex Karpovsky's recent no-budget filmmaking successes, the evolution and making of Pig, and much more.


That Post Show


I was also featured on The Geek Speak Show podcast, mostly talking about my film Pig, which was recently released on video by Kino Lorber and was playing in San Francisco as part of the screening series SF in SF (Sci-Fi in San Francisco).  We also talked about no-budget filmmaking in general and a few other things. Pig is available on DVD, download and streaming from our website:

I founded NO BUDGET FILM SCHOOL 12 years ago in 2005. Since then, I have taught hundreds of filmmakers the fine art of micro-budget filmmaking in classes all across the country.  I've always been proud of the feedback I've received from my most popular class, "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking"; here are some recent responses to that class (you can read more testimonials HERE):

"Amazing! Thank you for taking the time & bringing the workshop to NYC. Super-inspired, and really grateful I got the chance to learn what you teach." - Tim Venable

"Thanks so much for the class. I've sat through similar film seminars and classes in the past and must say that your No Budget School was the most inspiring, yet pragmatic in approach and method. It should be called the No Excuse Film School. None of us have any excuse for not producing a feature after taking your class." - Jim Long

"Thank you so much for creating this incredible workshop for filmmakers and for coming all the way to NYC to share it with us here. I have so much admiration for how much work it took for you to put this together, and I so appreciate all your personal experience in the industry that you distilled into such a crystalized and clear format to share with us. I not only learned an incredible number of new tools with which to continue working on my craft, but I also reinforced several things that I've been doing in my filmmaking to date." - Peter Davenport

"Thanks again for the outstanding class. I'm still reeling from all the information you gave in class. I definitely got my money's worth -- and much, much more so." - Larry Daggett


Movie Magic Screenwriter
is the best screenplay formatting software, an industry standard, and the choice of Hollywood professionals. Screenwriter formats while you write so you can focus on what you're writing, not where it goes on the page. It also formats for television, stage, novels and comic book scripts so you've got an all in one package for any story you want to write. With a massive set of features designed to make the rewriting process fast and simple you can get from FADE IN: to FADE OUT effortlessly. Developed by writers for writers, Write Brothers is the first and ony creative team ever to receive a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for screenwriting software. All No Budget Film School attendees get this terrific product FREE for registering.



LightSPEED eps is a a web-based entertainment production management system designed specifically for the film and television industry. It centralizes your production information and provides secure access from your computer, cell phone, or wireless device. LightSPEED combines and integrates several production management functions, like scheduling, call sheet creation, contact list creation, and makes them available in the cloud for your whole production, safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. All attendees receive a discount on the LightSPEED product.

Got a script and are ready to shoot? Can't make it to the next class? I offer private, one-on-one Consulting for no-budget filmmakers who need some guidance. Check out my No Budget Consulting Page for more information.

And I blog, Facebook and Tweet, so feel free to follow me here:

- Film Radar Indie Producer Blog
- No Budget Film School Facebook Page
- Mark Stolaroff Twitter Page


DriverX Poster

DRIVERX is my fifth collaboration with award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial. It stars Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as a middle-aged stay-at-home dad who has to start driving for an Uber-like rideshare company to help support his working wife and two young daughters. It features a number talented actors including Tanya Clarke (Banshee), Desmin Borges (You're The Worst), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine Nine), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Travis Schuldt (Scrubs), and many others. It is currently in post and nearing completion. To learn more, visit our website and sign up on our mailing list:

You can also join our Facebook Fan Page and follow us on Twitter.



PIG is my third collaboration with award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial. It stars Rudolf Martin (Swordfish, NCIS) as a man who wakes up in the middle of the desert with no idea who he is or how he got there. Pig is a "lo-fi sci-fi" that plays like a mystery and a drama, all the while messing with the audience's head. I produced "Pig" using the same techniques taught in No Budget Film School.  Pig was an official selection at over 35 festivals worldwide and won 10 awards, including 7 Best Feature awards. Kino Lorber released Pig in 2014. To learn more, visit our website and sign up on the PIG mailing list:

You can also join our Facebook Fan Page and follow us on Twitter.



Think Outside!



Filmmaker Jon Reiss has written THE guide to indie film distribution in the new decade--THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OFFICE. If you think selling your movie means making it and then waiting for distributors to come a-calling, then you're living in 1998. That reality is a pipe dream for most filmmakers, but the good news is there are new ways and new tools that will allow you to get your film out into the world yourself. Jon's book is the manual for DIY and Hybrid Distribution. He's taken what he's learned from distributing his own film, the successful documentary Bomb The System and also interviewed countless experts in every relevant area of DIY distribution to come up with the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the subject. When should you be thinking about how you're going to market and sell your film? The moment just after you've come up with the idea for your film!

Buy your copy today:


Be The Media

Renowned media consultant and author David Mathison has assembled a who's who of new media experts and compiled his essential guide to the "personal media renaissance"--BE THE MEDIA. Until recently, publishing books, music and film required years of education and the expensive assistance of publishers, labels, studios, distributors and lawyers. Today, artists can leverage low-cost tools and new methods of distribution to connect with their audience directly, and keep more of their royalties and rights. This book covers everything from how to blog and podcast to the ins and outs of social networking and internet syndication. Specific chapters help authors, musicians, and filmmakers, (yours truly contributed to this chapter).

Buy your copy today:


This Is The Truth!

Journalist, professor and marketing executive Reed Martin has written one of the most exhaustingly researched books on the pitfalls of independent filmmaking ever written--THE REEL TRUTH: EVERYTHING YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAKING AN INDEPENDENT FILM. Already considered a classic, this best-selling tome has quickly become the indie filmmaker's bible. Martin has interviewed just about everyone (including Yours Truly) in the industry to uncover nearly every conceivable mistake that the first- or second-time filmmaker might make when they go about developing, writing, shooting and selling their film. Experts like producer Ted Hope, filmmaker Chris Nolan, and entertainment attorney John Sloss lay it on the line and give the reel deal on what it takes to avoid all those nasty pitfalls that are out there just waiting for us!

Buy your copy today:
The Reel Truth Amazon Page

For information on where and when the next No Budget Film School classes will be held, subscribe to THE NO BUDGET MAILING LIST. You'll also get valuable discounts on classes!
For the latest No Budget news, films, and filmmakers, check out THE NO BUDGET REPORT.
For information on some of the best no-budget films out there, check out the NO BUDGET FILMS PAGE .

Questions? Email questions or comments to:

Mark Stolaroff (is losing his hair)

Producer Mark Stolaroff (former principal of Next Wave Films) shares what he's learned from years in the trenches of independent filmmaking. 

He and other no-budget professionals will offer their first-hand knowledge of production, post production, marketing, and distribution.

Click here for more information on Mark Stolaroff and future guest speakers.