Scriptwriting Tip 3

SCMM WRITERS TIP SHEETS

WRITING FOR THE MICRO/NO-BUDGET

  1. WRITE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE
    - Locations – where is available.
    - Props – vehicles etc
    - Wardrobe – what can you get, what can others provide.
  2. LOCATIONS
    - Condense your locations. The more you have the more difficult it becomes.
  3. ACTORS
    - Have in mind who you may want to play parts before writing.
    - Keep characters to a minimum. It allows you to focus on your narrative and expand the character
    arcs.
    - Shorten the characters timeframe. It is difficult to film somebody’s en􀆟re life (might need more than one actor for the same role if you do).
    - Avoid too many extras. They are difficult to source and can be a logistical nightmare.
  4. CREW
    - There is an argument to keep this to a minimum as well for fluidity purposes. The more involved the more it becomes logistically difficult.
    - 5 people or fewer is suggested with the possibility of doubling up on jobs.
  5. WEATHER
    - Don’t write scenes that take place in the rain or snow.
  6. THINK BEFORE WRITING PERIOD PIECES
    - Is it possible to pull off the wardrobe.
    - Can you get period props (including vehicles).
  7. EQUIPMENT
    - Ensure you can source what you may require for your scene before writing anything that is unachievable.
  8. AVOID STUNTS
    - Think, ‘can the actors do this?’.
    - Insurance considerations.
  9. AVOID SPECIAL EFFECTS
    - Are the effects required because of your writing doable & will they look realistic (flying in a spaceship
    for example).
  10. KEEP IT SIMPLE
    - Go through all the above again and simplify further if you can down to the finest detail.
    - Simplify, the concept, conflicts, characters, story, plot, action, and locations.
    - The more you pare down the script the better the screenplay will be.
  11. BREAK THE ABOVE RULES (well maybe one or two tops!)
    - You need to follow most of the above but sometimes you need to break the rules, because if you’re too disciplined it may harm the finished article
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