John Carney, the director of the indie music gem Once, gave me an interview for Variety to talk about how he made do with $160,000 in filmmaking funds:
A year to the day after "Once" premiered at Ireland's Galway Film Fleadh, writer-director John Carney was trying to explain how he pulled it off.
How did he turn E130,000 (approximately $160,000 at the time) into a film that has earned more than $5 million in U.S. release? How did he parlay an average filmmaker's tip money into a contender for Oscar recognition and what looks to be an Independent Film Awards player in several categories?
The short answer: Economy-class filmmaking was familiar territory.
"In a way, it appears like a first-time film," Carney said while making a roadside dinner stop on the way back to Galway to attend this year's fest, "but actually I had done stuff before, so I knew the ropes. I knew what mistakes could happen. ..."