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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Budget-conscious screenwriting? Moderators: George Willson
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 10:57am Report to Moderator
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Hello. I was wondering how people on here feel about writing with a budget in mind, particularly as it relates to getting optioned or sold.

I assume a lot of writers out there have plenty of great ideas, but how many of them are film-friendly? How many of those ideas would take a fortune to produce? When you're writing on spec, do you write sprawling epics (in scale, not length) when they come to you, or do you deliberately scale them back for practicality? Does this kill your screenplays or make them better?

And from a practical standpoint, does it make more sense for you to stick to writing low-budget spec scripts in hopes of increasing your chances of getting optioned/produced? Or... do you go all-out and just tell the best story possible creatively, even if it would make the script harder to produce?

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Steven
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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I've had a bad habit of doing this, and was told that unless you're writing and directing, just swing for the fences...but still within reason, if that makes sense?


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Mr. Ripley
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 3:00pm Report to Moderator
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Why not write in both categories to increase your odds and to get your creativity out? That's what I usually tend to do. What I care about the most is getting the story out. if it's going to come out low or high budget should not be a main component when you start brainstorming and writing.

Gabe


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with Gabe... if I look at my feature's I've written one mid-range family adventure, probably in 20m range, one period action feature, prob nearer 60m, one straight horror prob under 1m, one scifi/horror in a similar range, one horror/comedy in same range and one limited location/cast thriller probably 250k or so...

The latter I intentionally wrote to be low budget and attractive for indie producers, some interest but no option as yet ;-(


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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eldave1
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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Concur with Gabe


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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PrussianMosby
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 5:14pm Report to Moderator
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In the end, doesn't it count to write for who you know? I mean who you truly know and are allowed to pitch your stuff too. Cause that is your true perspective, I believe.

At all, the most important thing after writing a valuable script, what by the way most people can afford here on this board, then, is, get contacts, recognition, attention.

Imo, getting interest and a personal market for you or me is 51% of the whole game. That's why our situation as free but unpaid working people is a catastrophe. More than we need to become writers, again, we do need to become vendors, what is far away from our usual introvert nature. It's an absurd scenario. What happens to writers in the times of this ultra capitalistic economy is simply a catastrophe to arts and freedom. That's why so many shy gals und guys prefer the 80$ for the contest that only milk them. Those are great writers but they simply cannot sell.


No End of Wolves (9p - psychological horror)


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PrussianMosby
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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Just to go deeper into the question of the questioner:

Don't write for somebody from the start I'd say, but be clear about the people you ""must"" reach with the outcome. There it gets logic and there's no place for dreams and such.

This might read cold but it's the truth. Example: Can you reach the Science-Fiction industry? I mean, can you really or will they laugh their asses off at UNIVERSAL Studios. Just because that's the level you aim at when writing such big budget.

What I mean: it's about self-reflection and also self-awareness, and confidence and realism...



No End of Wolves (9p - psychological horror)

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AnthonyCawood
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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Prussian

I say write what you are passionate about and then aim at the right markets, either via Inktip, Blacklist, competitions, query letters, pitch fests etc.

The idea that you have to sell yourself and work I agree with, to a point, but my two feature options came from 'cold' opportunities... one a competition and one from an indie producer who found me via Google (not kidding).

Just my opinion of course.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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PrussianMosby
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 7:17pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, you're right, Tony. Of course one should write about the passionate subject. You then mention some of the stuff I want to ask you about in the future, if you remember, about indy markets and such. And I will when I have collected my thoughts.

So of course they also can find you. I personally just want to break the illusion that a great script goes its way anyway. Because, imo, it needs direction. Especially, it must be offered, offensive and active.

F.i.: If you write a drama, then better get to know the fitting producers.  


My condolence toward you English people because of the happenings in Manchester. I hope you're not directly involved. It's horrific.

Alex


No End of Wolves (9p - psychological horror)

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AnthonyCawood
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't forgotten Alex, waiting for the questions

Agree re great script, it still needs pushing in the right direction.

And thanks re Manchester, my 17yr old son was actually at the concert, close to the blast but he and his friend got out safely, I'd taken them over and had waited for them so at least I could get them home safely. We're really shocked by it all, you don't expect those sort of things to impact you directly... scariest night of my life

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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PrussianMosby
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 8:01pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony, sad to hear that your family was in fact involved,,, but it's good and also most important to hear you got your boy back home. I hope everybody is well and healthy in your family. I have no more words.


No End of Wolves (9p - psychological horror)

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AnthonyCawood
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Alex


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Angry Bear
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 8:41pm Report to Moderator
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IMHO, what is your goal?

If you want a short produced so you can get some easy imdb credits is your goal, write low budget shorts with a twist.

Want a feature to get produced? Write a great low budget script. Even better with a twist!

Want to sell a feature to Hollywood? Write a script regardless of budget that is better than the other 60 000 scripts written this year...

Just my 0.02 cents.


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Angry Bear
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 8:47pm Report to Moderator
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OMG, Anthony!!!!!!

I didn't see your comment right away. That was such a horrible thing! I can't even imagine what those poor parents are going through.

My FB page, has been bad these last two days. I have a lot of horror sites I follow and today they were all mixed with horror films and the Manchester news. It was an awful mix, to be honest, and it turned me off horror for awhile...


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Penoyer79
Posted: May 23rd, 2017, 10:20pm Report to Moderator
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I'm no Martin Scorsese. I don't have any delusions of grandeur. Budget friendly shorts is what i do. wait for some inde/student filmmakers to come along and pick it up. Charge an up front fee for the rights to do what they want with it - so long as i get a writing credit - and i'm happy.



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