The film world has long included an ecosystem of young budding auteurs doing everything on a shoestring — but as Max Cea points out, it’s never been this possible to make a movie look this good for this cheap. And those young auteurs are starting to get noticed.

Some of these filmmakers also worry that Hollywood will take the wrong lessons from these movies. At the moment, the ability to make a $50,000 feature that rivals the quality of something made for $5 million is an exciting democratization, but it’s easy to imagine how that advancement might be exploited. “The second you tell people who finance movies that they’re paying five million dollars for something they could be paying fifty grand for, we’re just going to continue to erode at the idea that anyone could ever make a living doing this,” says Free Time director Ryan Martin Brown.