The winner of the 2017 Academy Award for best picture was Moonlight, a film with the ridiculously low budget of USD$4,000,000. The 2016 winner Spotlight was still low by industry standards at $20M.
Making a film takes bucks. Bucks and people and boom operators and colourists and banks of editors, costume designers, DoPs, directors, teams of writers and dozens of gophers, just to name a few – yet a multi-hyphenate Byron Bay filmmaker of epic proportions has managed to make not one but four movies, funded by himself and edited on a seven year old MacBook Pro.
All of this while living in his car!
‘The films are primarily adventure documentaries on my own life,’ says filmmaker Anthony Dempsey, who describes his first offering is an extraordinarily human story about finding love in Europe. ‘A European Love Story is a film I shot and edited myself over three years. It’s very entertaining, full of humour, emotion and raw vulnerability.’
Anthony says that living in his car gives him the financial and creative freedom he needs to get the job done. ‘It’s all about money. I don’t have any support yet to make these films and I found that when working full time to pay rent I was unable to get any filmmaking done.
‘It’s far from easy, but this lifestyle allows me to create and make films.’
Dempsey says that he used to think that once you’ve made a film, especially if it’s a good one, then it would quickly find an audience and your job is done. ‘The reality is the filmmaker these days has to become a promoter, which can be a disheartening proposition until you embrace it.’
‘Right now, I’m trying to get my first feature film in front of as large an audience as possible. I’ve started an online campaign, though things are starting slowly.