Our production company, 511 Films, was started in late 2018 by Sebastian Werz with the intention of creating a vehicle for producing short films, sketch comedy, and feature-length films at micro budgets that are high in quality and compete with what larger production companies make, consistently and frequently.
Although ambitious, Sebastian firmly believes that this is not far from reach by prioritizing what’s most important in a film, namely, the authenticity in its writing and performance. Of course, excelling in these require extensive practice and building a strong team. That is why 511 Films strives to find ways to always strengthen its family of cast and crew members. You can find a successful and obvious example of this by watching Following (1998), a feature film by Christopher Nolan, which was made for $6,000 and shot on 16mm black and white film. The biggest expense of the production was the cost of developing the film. Not only was this just the beginning of soon-to-be legendary director Nolan, but concretely proves that, fortunately, money does not have to be everything.
Since 2018, Sebastian has recruited crew and cast of people in Fresno County and the Central Valley of all kinds of backgrounds and interests. The bottom line for their involvement is that they are seeking a place for a creative outline and a way to grow their knowledge and experience in the craft of filmmaking. We primarily work with individuals new to film and that are already working a job. They are passionate and willing to set hours of their time aside to volunteer for a production. Those involved at 511 Films have a drive to make something great and push their limits creatively.
Most projects 511 Films has worked from 2018 remain unpublished and haven’t see the light of day, and this ratio will most likely be this way for a long time. This is because they proved to be of lesser quality than what we were striving for. It is important to note that nobody sets out to make a bad film. The main reasons we didn’t choose to publish them comes down to the story, casting, and acting not working out as visualized in pre-production. These projects should be seen more as a positive than a negative because the personal and professional growth that results. Improving our ratio of published/unpublished films (our ultimate long term goal) will take practice, practice, and more practice. This is why we have our vehicle, 511 Films to make more and more. We do have a few comedy films online right now about Sebastian running the production company. This was one of our very first ‘large’ collaborations.
We also post snippets and only snippets that we’re proud of, of these mysterious unpublished films, on here sometimes to showcase the hard work of our cast and crew and to critically break them down.
While “our thing” is to make films with hyper low budgets, we very soon want to get to the point where we can afford larger productions. Right now, most of our work can take place only through volunteers for both crew and cast members. While we appreciate it very much, it’s not how we’d like to operate long-term. That said, instead of getting a coffee one day because you’re most likely drinking too much anyways, consider becoming a regular contributor. A few bucks a month go a long way.
As a contributor, not only will you be credited on our page, you will also be given exclusive access to footage, interviews, and events that take place. And we always end up with a lot of that.