• Usher Morgan

Make a Public Domain Film

There is a vast wealth of true stories, fiction novels, films, and plays circulating around the world-wide-web that are currently in the public domain, and a quick Google search will reveal them to you.

You can take any piece of work that’s in the public domain and remake it, retell it, and reshoot it. It’s not only a great way to get experience, but it’s also the best way of creating branded content.

without spending a whole lot of money in the process.


Want to make a movie about Zorro? Go ahead, he’s in the public domain. How about Dracula? Sherlock Holmes, Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Ebenezer Scrooge, Frankenstein, etc. These are all characters in the public domain, and anyone can write a story about them.


Antonio Banderas in the "Mask of Zorro"


Now, just because I said the word “Zorro,” you shouldn’t automatically calculate the 20 million dollars you think it’ll cost to make a Zorro western epic. Who said that you should be restricted by any production standard?


For example, let’s say you decide to make a feature film about Rapunzel. Could it not be shot in a Poconos cabin for $20,000? Could it not be filmed on a limited budget with a limited cast and a limited crew? The way in which you chose to tell these stories can vary, but rest assured that a low-budget version of Zorro can still utilize the name “Zorro” in its script and in its marketing. All you need is a mask and a sword, everything else is creativity.


“Filmmaking is like any kind of art form. You have to try to figure it out, and you’re going to do that by trying.”
~ Nicolas Winding Refn
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