How to make a good low-budget film
Keep it simple. Everything from the story to the crew.
Operate as though you have a budget, a big budget. Be demanding of yourself and your crew - not a dictator just demad the best they can do. Dont let the 'no budget' tag be a licence for 'it'll do...' make it the best you can.
Ask for favours, everybody does and then, offer your help to other people and they will help you out - its the only way to get good people to help you.
Be humble but not apologetic. Be professional. Be courteous, provide the best food you can for your team. They will remember that and work harder for it. Making pasta, couscous and soups are a lot cheaper than buying or making sandwiches and crews like to have something hot. A crew marches on its stomach, they will work for hours if well fed and not just on junk.
Be organised. Low budget shoots are often let down by lack of planning and production organisation.
University students can get access to some great equipment. Use the students to help on the shoot and you can get most of your basic equipment for free.
Stay small. If you keep your crew small you can shoot in locations guerilla style and get away without paying massive fees. Once you get the big equipment and big attitude out you are going to end up paying.
Use lighting which is available where you can. You already know that though. Shoot tight when possible. Wides without production value can look cheap.
Cast the film. Sounds stupid? Dont let lack of budget stop you from auditioning as carefully as if you were offering a paid role. This is vital to your story dont just go with friends and family unless they are actually good.
Keep it short.
Thats it from me. Happy shooting.