Over in her blog Mynette Louie breaks down Why Microbudget Sucks and Why Microbudget is good. I personally think every filmmaker, producer, investor should go through a micro-budget process at least once. The skills (well listed by Mynette) that you learn from that experience far out weigh the negatives. Of course the keyword is once. You can't make a career out of microbudgets - well, actually maybe if you manage to create an assembly line style and do enough volume you can (more on that at some later point). The tension of the microbudget comes from Mynette's #1 downside "The wages can't pay your rent. This relegates filmmaking to a "hobby"--but one that necessitates your 24/7 engagement. Paradox!" running smack dab into her #1 plus-side "It's financially sound and investors recoup faster. This is the reason cited by all the pundits, and they're right." This tension highlights one of the problems with current non-studio film models basically either filmmakers can't make a living wage or investors can't make money. A microbudget film is one in which the filmmakers sacrifice their cost of living in order to win by having made a film that will hopefully lead them to go on to make bigger films. And the investor wins in making their money back. Essentially it's the new and improved version of the short film.