Sunday, July 11, 2010

How to Write for Independent Movie Companies

No matter how much we love movies, it's important to remember that the operative word in Show Business is Business.

Movies cost a lot of money to make. A LOT!

And the more characters, extras, scene locations, special effects and so on that your screenplay has, the more expensive it will be to produce.

If you want to have your book turned into a movie, it is often easier to break in with the smaller, independent companies.  But one reason they are smaller is that they have access to less money than the big studios do. So anything you can do to lower the cost of making a movie out of your book, the  better.

For example, having a lot of locations in your story increases the cost of production. It's very expensive to move around the actors, crew and equipment from place to place. It also increases the number of days necessary for shooting.  Many indie companies rent cameras, booms, props, etc. The more days they have to rent them because of moving around, the more expensive the production becomes.

One way to decrease the cost is to reduce number of locations in your screenplay adaptation. For example, if your story has a couple that fights a lot -- in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, etc., consider having several of those altercations occur in the same location.

Think My Dinner with Andre vs Avatar.

The former had two main characters and if memory serves, a single location.

Now think about Avatar -- huge cast, lots of characters, state-of-the-art special effects, a huge crew and some very ugly monsters. Those monsters don't work for union scale, either. They want top dollar.

So if you're thinking of approaching an indie company with your adaptation, you might want to consider dinner for two.

Want help adapting your screenplay? Want to work with a produced writer? Learn more here

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