Wednesday, May 3, 2017

AUDIO BOOK ON SCREENWRITING

A few years ago I decided that the best way to tell all that I knew about low budget screenwriting was to write a book. Some of you have read it. Now any more of you can little to it if you have an audible.com account. Please take the time to visit this link and after you have listened to it you could maybe leave a review. 

Below I have decided to post two random chapters from my audio book On Writing a Low Budget Screenplay. 



 







Thank you for visiting my site, please take a moment to share by hitting the share link of the audio clip. 

Good luck with your screenwriting and have a great day.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LOW BUDGET HOLLYWOOD DREAMING


LOW BUDGET HOLLYWOOD DREAMING

Ten years ago the Hollywood idea of a low budget film was ten to twenty million dollars. Now they actually produce films in the million dollar range that turn a huge profit. These films (usually horror or thrillers or faith based) are produced independent of studio involvement. These films can sometimes fool the screenwriter into believing that because of box office success they are Hollywood films and come with the massive up front paydays we have read about.



  Understand that if you are writing a low budget film that you are going to be dealing with a indie director or producer and not a studio. The pay is small, but the opportunity is amazing. Write the next Get Out, War Room, The Witch or Paranormal Activity or It Follows and your future in the industry could be very bright. Just remember that the rules still apply when writing one of these films. Limit the cast, limit the locations and limit the effects that are required to tell the story and you have a low budget film script.

 Even though the M. Night films The Visit (5 million to produce) and Split (9 million) were made by a Hollywood film maker these films are the prototypes to follow as far as crafting the low budget screenplay. If you were to illuminate the High price director and talent both films could have been produced for a forth of those budgets. 







  This post is about Hollywood, but I want you to keep in mind that being able to write a low budget screenplay will be a skill that you will need no matter where you end up working in this industry. To learn more I have a great audio book that will soon be available soon. That you for your time and good luck.





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BOTH SCREENWRITER AND FILMMAKER


In a world where film has largely been replaced by digital the modern screenwriter needs to consider the idea of being both screenwriter and filmmaker. 

 For the first century of film making the writer hoped to be part of the film making process as a voice on set or to work their way up to directing someday. This was because movies costed so much to make. Millions of dollars meant that there was a system that allowed very little if any vertical movement. Now low budget films are shot for under a million dollars. The ultra low budget film can be done for less than one hundred thousand. The micro budget film can be done and done well for under ten thousand dollars.


 If you want to be the writer, the producer and the director you can now do this. You do not have to use your own money either. You can shoot a scene of a minute or two to prove your concept and then use it in a crowd funding campaign. You can now craft a no budget screenplay, shoot it and use it to market your skills as a writer or better yet the all in one filmmaker. Let's look at the no budget short film.


 

  Perhaps it is time to consider that the best way to become a successful screenwriter is first to become a film maker. 

If you wish to learn how to craft a micro budget screenplay I have written a great little book that you can check out. It is a paperback that soon will be for sale as an audiobook. What I have suggested here is one path to becoming a successful screenwriter. 

In the next post we will look at the Hollywood way. If you wish to learn more about micro budget film making I would suggest visiting my other blog on the subject. Click here to do so. 


Thanks and good luck with your screenplay.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The New World Of Screenwriting

The New World Of Screenwriting

The Dslr revolution amongst low and micro budget film makers has changed the way that screenwriters are looked at by film makers. 
 

   There are now two worlds. The Hollywood way of looking at screenwriters. The screenwriter is a tool that is to be used, abused and when it begins to make noise to be replaced with a younger and cheaper version. Hollywood believes in the need for quality screenplays, but not necessarily the need for writers. You can still get rich there, but you stand a better chance of hitting it big with a novel as you do with a dozen quality screenplays.

 The indie world of film making offers the screenwriter far less money up front. Face it most of us will be working of spec, but the script will get made and the power of the screenwriter in the micro budget world is like that of the writer in the world of network television. You matter more and if you want to be the film maker then all that is required is a great deal of hard work, a few dollars, a strong computer to edit on and a dlsr camera. Christopher Nolan wrote and directed his first film Following for a few thousand dollars with a bunch of friends. The film was shot over the span of a year of weekends.

 

 
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  Look at it this way. In the Hollywood system you as the screenwriter is looked upon as a house elf who may serve long enough to earn your clothes. In the micro budget universe you at worst a high ranking resistance fighter and at best a long lost Jedi Knight.Your skills are viewed as important as those of the leading actor, the director or producer.

 


The thing that I wish to leaved you with today is a single piece of advice moving forward. Decide on what kind of screenwriter that you wish to be. A Hollywood writer or an indie writer. 

 Can’t I do both? 

Yes and no is my answer. 

A low budget writer who pens a film like Mad Max can write films like Thunderdome and Fury Road. A guy who writes the Evil Dead can do three Spiderman films scripts. While someone who did Star Wars films for twenty years cannot think in terms of less than thirty million dollars or once you have done big budget horror films such as the Village and the Happening you think that spending five million dollars to shoot The Visit (most indies could have done it shot for shot for less than a hundred thousand) cannot got micro budget. 

Decide which type of writer you are, not want to be, but are and you will be on your way. 

Thank you for visiting today and my final piece of advice is to study film making this cannot help but to make you a best writer of film.


 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Adapting a Public Domain Comic Book

How About Public Domain Comic Books

 As we watch another summer where many of the massive budget films were adapted from popular comic books. as a micro budget screenwriter there are not many direct ways for you to get in on the action. These adaptations are for those who have worked in the Hollywood system for a while. There are however ways for you to prove yourself capable of writing one of these types of screenplays. I have superheroe dreams like many of your. I would love to do a Green Hornet screenplay, but no one is going to offer me a shot unless I have a track record. 

 How do you build a track record in this genre? 

 You can write a great fan film based upon one of your favorite heroes. The best micro budget superhero film that I have ever seen (better than a few of the big budget versions as well) is a fan film titled Joker Rising. That movie’s script is a great calling card. You could do the same thing. The only problem with this is that you either need to be a film maker or network with film makers who are interested in shooting a fan film.


    

 Recently I was introduced to a new concept. Instead of adapting a famous comic book into a screenplay why not adapt a public domain comic book. A little known fact is that there are thousands of comics that have fallen into the public domain due to the fact that the companies in the forties and fifties that released them went out of businesses and never renewed the copyrights. 

 “That was a long time ago. You can not be serious. Who wants to bring back a character from the forties or fifties?”You say. 

 

Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman and my favorite Captain America began their careers around World War 2. Those characters have endured and changed with the times. You should take the time to investigate these lost characters. There are also characters that are based upon mythical heroes such as Thor or Isis. You can take these heroes and created a screenplay featuring them as long as they do not resemble their comic book counterparts. Sci-fi channel does things like this all the time. They did a Thor movie and it was pretty bad, but they did it and had no problem with the copyright. 

You can make the Frankenstein monster into a hero an antihero like Dracula which is done to perfection in the anime series Hellsing.






 

  If you chose to do this you must first find a subject that you love. Read the original material over and over until you know every single detail and then get to work on the story. If you do not love a character and comic book based films are usually character driven stories then you should not attempt the task of writing a screenplay based upon that character. 


 Good luck with your project and please take a moment to add me to your google plus. I may have some news soon about a screenplay I have been working on for sometime.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Consider The Audience

Consider The Audience

 My favorite film maker Alfred Hitchcock would constantly talk about the audience. He always had what each and ever scene was doing to his audience. Film making to him was the art of conducting an audience like a conduct would conduct an orchestra. 

 When sitting down to craft your screenplay are you only considering the characters on the page or are you thinking about the audience that someday will be getting to know them. When you have mastered your craft you will find yourself considering what each scene and within those scenes what each line of dialogue and or action is going to be doing to this audience.

  

The first and best way to get the audience involved with your screenplay is to get them to care about you characters. These characters do not have to be likeable, but they do need to be understandable and relatable. If they care about your lead character or villain then you are half way home.


 

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  Thank you very much for visiting my blog. If you are interested in learning all the basics of writing a micro budget screenplay then I would recommend my ebook on the subject. Good luck with your screen writing and have a nice day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Screenwriting Advice, From the Pros

Screenwriting Advice, From the Pros


 I know that it has been over six months since my last post. I have been busy writing a series of ebooks, two of which will be available by the middle of the month of November. Until then I thought that I would touch base with all of my blogs. I have had little to say about screenwriting due to the fact that I published a really good book on the subject last year and the fact that it comes easy to me these days. 

Part of writing about any given subject is the effort to find a better way to understand that subject. I write about film making at my other blog because there is a lifetime of lessons left to learn on that subject. Returning to this blog I can predict that I will approach future post more from the angle of a film maker rather than a screen writer. 

As a writer first, I thought only in terms of story. Now I look at the screenplay in a new light. I will explain what I mean by this in future post. Right now I would like to share a backlog of videos from a few accomplished screen writers.

 First up is Joe Eszterhas. 

 

Next up is Peter Russell.





 The last writer we are going to hear from is Thunder Levin. If you do not know him he wrote a certain shark/tornado movie. Okay, fine, I will say it. He wrote Sharknado and he seems to be proud of it. 

 


 Thank you for visiting my blog and if you would like a complete tutorial on how to write a micro budget screenplay you may want to check out my book pictured below. Good luck and please take a moment to share this post and to like it on stumbleupon.