6. The Visit
Much like David Lowery, M. Night Shyamalan shot his found footage horror-comedy The Visit with his own cash to ensure he had total creative freedom.
After directing numerous big-budget duds - namely The Last Airbender and After Earth - Shyamalan felt the desire to return to more modestly priced filmmaking, and so decided to borrow $5 million against his own home to fund his new low-fi project.
Shooting began in secret in February 2014, less than 9 months after After Earth released to critical and commercial scorn, and once principal photography was completed, Shyamalan put the film through an extensive post-production process as he tinkered with its tone.
Though according to the director every major Hollywood studio passed on the film after viewing a rough cut, Universal eventually agreed to distribute it under their Blumhouse Productions label once he made some additional edits.
The result of Shyamalan making a movie free of studio pressure on his own dime and having as long as he needed to get it right in the editing room?
The Visit was his best-reviewed film since Signs almost 15 years prior, while also grossing almost $100 million worldwide against that mere $5 million price tag.