From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A low budget film is a very cheaply produced film. Young or not yet recognized directors have no choice but to provide economical films, which should not differ markedly in the end product from normal productions. The actors and technicians of such a low budget film frequently are employed without compensation. They want to assist the artistic idea. Technically, simple film materials or video are used.
It is not determined what amount of budget qualifies a film as a low budget production. Low budget is relative from country to country. In America, a film that cost less than $2 million to produce is considered low budget.
The most successful low budget film was Deep Throat (1972), which cost only a few thousand U.S. dollars yet brought in over US $600 million, though this figure is often disputed. Another successful low-budget film is Clerks by director Kevin Smith. Clerks helped launch Kevin Smith's career, who has now done 5 more films. Robert Rodriguez's career was launched with his first film El Mariachi which cost $7,000 to make.
A micro budget film is that which is made on an extremely low budget. An example would be the 1977 cult film Eraserhead, which cost only $10,000 to produce (Although it may be worth noting 30 years of inflation since the film was made). Another example would be the 2004 science fiction film Primer, which cost only $7,000 to produce, and made it into the Cannes Film Festival and therefore achieved a larger audience than most micro-budget films.