Slumdog Millionaire: Does it Really Qualify as Low Budget?

$15 million isn't small change, compared with a movie like Swingers.


The headlines today are touting "Slumdog Millionaire," which won four honors at the Golden Globes last night, as a "low budget" movie. Sure, the film's $15 million budget--bankrolled by Warner Independent--is tiny in comparison to blockbuster productions like Titanic, which cost north of $280 million to make. But it's a lot more than the movies on this list of 25 indie movies made for less than $1 million. Here are a few:

El Mariachi, budget $7,000: Director Robert Rodriguez reportedly slashed costs by using a wheelchair instead of a dolly, using actors to do odd jobs on the set, and using desk lamps for lighting.

Clerks, budget $27,000: Kevin Smith is said to have financed this indie gem by selling part of his comic-book collection, credit cards, and filming the movie at a convenience store where he worked at the time.

The Blair Witch Project, budget: $22,000: We've all heard this story. The filmmakers used viral and Internet marketing and went on to gross a whopping $248 million worldwide.

Swingers, budget $250,000: Pretty impressive production at that cost.

Welcome to the Dollhouse, budget $800,000. This is one of my favorites.