Christopher Nolan’s most acclaimed film is “Memento.” It’s about a guy named Leonard Shelby who wants nothing more than to avenge the horrific murder of his wife. The only problem is he suffers short-term memory loss so severely he can barely remember to do it.
The truth is she murdered herself by having him give her a fatal dose of medicine. The psychological thriller made $40 million, eight times its original budget.
"Moon" is a compelling sci-fi film that brings the surface of the moon to life without much CGI to speak of and with a very modest budget. It tells the story of astronaut Sam Bell played by Sam Rockwell.
He was dispatched to the moon on a three-year contract to mine helium 3. Themes of solitude are brought out with his Siri-voiced companion, GERTY. Kevin Spacey voices Sam’s robot companion. Duncan Jones’ directorial debut "Moon" brought in $10 million and won the 2010 Hugo Award.
Christopher Nolan’s debut film Following was made with virtually no budget. He scraped up funds himself from his day-job wages. It was filmed in black and white, not for purely aesthetic purposes, but also to keep costs down.
The film did very well at film festivals landing a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance, amongst others. It is about a struggling writer who follows strangers around in desperate hope of landing inspiration. Following sold $49,000 in tickets. It’s not much, but with a near-zero budget, this movie is one of the most well-known films made with no financing.
Slimy, tentacled, extraterrestrial CGI monsters inhabit this film. The beasts got to Earth after a NASA research probe crashed. The failed mission sent its sample of alien life free to roam the planet.
The British sci-fi thriller flips the usual plot of aliens abducting humans around. Humans abduct aliens in "Monsters." It earned over $4 million but, consider; it was made with barely a half-million dollars. It did plenty well to go to sequel. Monsters also earned director Gareth Edwards enough acclaim to win major Hollywood blockbusters "Godzilla" and "Rogue One."
Starring Christina Ricci, Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Gallo, and Jan-Michael Vincent and directed by Gallo, this low-budget flick isn’t afraid to emulate a B-movie. It’s a crime drama and a comedy with a rocking soundtrack that includes Yes and King Crimson. It was made for a drop in the bucket, and it about doubled its investment.
Gallo plays Billy Brown, who served his time and comes back home. He finds a girl at a club (Ricci) and takes her home to his family, so they will think he is responsibly married. Things get dicey when he falls in love with her.