Source: @MovieBytesNews & David Santo
#screenwriting #film #screenplay
“The average budget for a Hollywood movie is well over 8o million dollars. But if you’re waiting for a producer with Scrooge McDuck sized jack to come along and finance your film you’re begging. A bigshot producer that doesn’t personally know you is not going to trust you to write an 80 million dollar movie even if you’ve been writing for years and your script is great. People with a big bankroll work with people they already know because they need to be certain the script will be delivered on time and exactly what they need in order to succeed. There’s just too much money at stake and the risk is too high to do otherwise. This means, like it or not, if you plan on writing a script and having it produced there’s a good chance you are going to be writing it for a low-budget production.
LET’S MEET AT MCDONALD’S
I have never met a producer that’s shooting a story. They all shoot “budgets” and the lower the budget the better. So the trick becomes; how do you tell a compelling story and keep the costs down?
William Martell is a genius screenwriter that specializes in low-budget scripts. He describes writing low-budget screenplays similar to juggling chainsaws - and not the bloody kind in horror movies. Plot, character, theme, setting, action, dialogue, POV – each of these elements is a metaphorical chainsaw you must keep in play. Then a producer tosses in one final chainsaw called money.
SECRET #1 - ONE LOCATION
Standard indie-style scripts traditionally break down into 9, 12, 18, and 24 day shoots. There’s a good reason for this but that’s a discussion for another time. Just know this - you must write your script so it can be filmed in one location. Not one city or one giant building or one outdoor venue; I’m talking one, small, easy to get, contained, central location. And you might want to make it interior so weather and lighting is not an issue. This way the cast and crew can set things up one time, shoot the script with the enthusiasm of mutant gerbils on shore leave, and actually get it done. But this strategy comes with one daunting problem…
Single location scripts eat ideas - they devour them like a hungry bum eating a cheese sandwich so you must bring your A-game. This is full-contact ninja-style screenwriting gone gonzo as you launch your pixel-apocalypse-upon-the-world type of screenwriting. And the story concept must be linked to that location and be freakishly cool for it to make any sense at all. And you must work that single location like you are a nickel whore and everyone you meet is horny and they have a quarter. But how?
SECRET #2 - HIGH-CONCEPT
Hardly a secret, right? Everybody has heard of high-concept. It is a one sentence description of your story and it must contain the hero, villain, conflict and goal, and be universal and unique all at the same time. Low-budget films absolutely depend on great story concepts. But the titles should also be high-concept. Check it out…Snakes on a Plane. Hobo with a Shotgun. Dead Hooker in a Trunk. Angry Slut on a Chain (that last one is mine). All these titles convey the story in a very clear fashion even before we get to the actual story.
SECRET #3 - SMALL CAST
2 characters = awesome. 3 = great. 4,5,6 = good. Any more actors than that and you risk breaking the bank. But how do you sustain the interest of a reader (or viewer) with just a few people in one spot?
SECRET #4 - CHARACTER
This is where Ed Stephens - www.zedfest.org - freaking nailed it! If you are forced to write low-budget scripts you are forced to write insanely great characters. If you don’t? Nothing can save you. No CGI or slick marketing campaigns will help………”
Source: American Cinema: 1960-Present
#screenwriting #film #writing
“Personal paranoia plays a large role throughout the entirety of Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, especially as it relates to gender. There is often music when Clarice and Hannibal speak, however each of them seems to have a different instrument assigned as their own. Often times, when Clarice speaks, we hear strings, yet when Hannibal speaks, we hear much lower tones of brass instruments. Often times, as tension builds, we are led into the scene by minor, dissonant music, which inevitably cuts to silence at some point. Furthermore, whenever Clarice travels to a more “small town” landscape, a different type of music, perhaps more subdued and melancholy, is introduced. When Hannibal and Clarice speak about Clarice’s past in the prison, the conversation begins with, I think, timpani whenever Clarice speaks, and brass whenever Hannibal does. However as the exchange and editing get more and more rapid, the instruments blend into one instrumental piece. The low tones for Hannibal whenever he is onscreen keep us constantly on edge….”
article by Empire Contact
#screenwriting #screenplay #film
“The great majority of Hollywood movies has been adapted from other sources, e.g., novels, biographies, plays, short stories, epic poems, news articles, real life, etc. An adaptation simply has greater chance of being made into a movie—of appealing to producers and investors….”
Five Turning Points Of All Successful Scripts
(article by Michael Hague )
#screenwriting #screenplay #film
“Hollywood movies are simple.
Though writing a successful Hollywood movie is certainly not easy, the stories for mainstream Hollywood films are all built on only three basic components: character, desire and conflict…..”