My reader Q&A has got me some other Qs.
Nate Winchester asked...
Do you think some folks could start making cheaper content to be spread out there? (and/if some are already doing it on blip)
Question 2: With all this revolution, what do you think could be the minimum spent to get a movie/tv show to "look" decent enough without that infamous "in the basement" style a lot of cheap movies have? (looking at you '80s)
Making the content is relatively easy thanks to new technology.
Getting it out there, especially online, is also relatively easy, also thanks to new technology.
The tricky part is getting noticed amid all the noise so that your work can start paying for itself.
A good illustration are the new YouTube channels that make original content. There are some entertaining shows being made, but they seem to be always outdone in viewer numbers by a video of a cat chasing a laser pointer.
Getting it into theatres and on television has similar problems.
Distributors, exhibitors, and networks want you to either have a track record that they can understand, or flash around a lot of money to show that you mean business and can consistently provide them with product that will deliver bums in seats.
People think crowd-sourcing will revolutionize entertainment models. It might, but the trends seem to indicate something different. Some may mock rich celebrities doing Kickstarter campaigns, but with so many projects asking for money, you're probably going to need a rich celebrity involved in your project just to get the notice you need to raise the money.
In short, making it is relatively easy, all you need is money and time, getting it out there is also relatively easier than it used to be, but being noticed above the static is a positively herculean task.
Your second question about exactly how much it takes for a production to look professional?
The short answer is somewhere between 50¢ and $100,000,000.
The long answer is that it all depends on two important factors:
1. Talent. How good is your crew? Especially the cinematographer? Can your producer & production manager make dead presidents cry by squeezing everything they can get out of every dollar? Can your prop, costume, and special effects people deliver for the money you have? If the answer to all these questions is "Yes" then you have a chance.
2. Time. The chief thing a budget buys a production is time. For a low budget production to look professional you must not only buys enough time to do it properly, you have to manage that time right to get the most out of the resources you have.
You asked two very specific questions and I gave you two very vague answers.
Ain't I a stinker?