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.
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.