I have just published a book on how to write a low budget screenplay. Hang in there for a moment this is not just going to be a shameless plug for my ebook On Writing A Low Budget Screenplay, available now for the low price of 2.99 at iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Amazon. That was not totally shameless was it?
I thought that the book was needed when looking at all the other ones out there. No one really seems to get that this is becoming a digital - Dslr driven film industry yet and how to craft screenplays that can be made in that ten thousand dollar or less range. If you decide to invest in a copy of the book you will find that a third of it is made of post that have appeared on this blog. The rest consist of new content.
Okay today I would like to offer an excerpt from the book. A chapter about what I would like to call the SaberMetrics of Screenwriting. I hope that most of you have seen Moneyball and perhaps ever read the script. If you cut the on field stuff out and there is not much of that in the film, it could have easily been done on a low budget. Before we begin here is a clip from the film.
The Sabermetrics Of Screenwriting.
Many of you have seen the movie Moneyball. I think that I have seen it a dozen times largely due to the facts that I love baseball and I love the very idea that just because there is a way that things have been done, does not mean that there is a way that things will always be done or should be done.
If you are unfamiliar with the film and the concept of Sabermetrics. At the end of the day you can boil almost everything including baseball down to a single number. A mathematical equation that will make you a winner and or a loser. Despite the fact that this low cost concept worked there are many in baseball who believe to this day that it is all smoke and mirrors or dumb luck.
The micro budget film is sort of sabermetrics being played out in the film industry. Here comes another summer of bloated films that cost between one hundred million to two hundred and fifty million dollars. One of those films will win the yearly box office race. That is the top of the line number, but not the whole story. A super hero movie that cost two hundred million dollars makes one point two billion world wide and the studio heads go crazy. That is a 6 to 1 return on investment not counting in the two hundred million that was also spend to advertise it.
A low budget film like Paranormal Activity cost less than a hundred thousand to make. It gets two to four million in advertising. Most of it online. Let us say a total of five million invested in the release of a film that goes on to make over one hundred million in the US alone. The return on investment is 20 to 1.
The world that Hollywood has created will be rocked to its core when someone makes a comedy for thirty thousand dollars that makes a hundred million. This is going to happen and perhaps you will be the one to write it. The 1929 stock market crash moment for Hollywood studios will be one of us writes a super hero movie that is shoot for under a hundred grand and the thing makes a hundred million plus selling merchandise and spawning toys.
The goal of writing a micro budget film is not to create a movie that will generate a micro budget return. The goal is to write the best movie possible. To create a story that the whole world will embrace.
Your budget should be small, but your goals should never ever be small. The idea behind sabermetrics was that a small market team with a limited payroll could compete with the riches and most powerful teams on earth. They could beat them by paying attention to the little things that had gone totally ignored.
The script that you write can easily be better than the ones that will populate theaters this summer. Low to micro budget does not mean that your screenplay will not be fantastic.
You will be writing a small and compact story, but your aims should never be small.
Okay that is it for this post. Please take a moment to share this post and to stumble it on stumbleupon. The idea of selling the book is a nice one, but the idea of screenwriters learning the proper way to not only write a low budget screenplay, but write a really good one is more important to me. I am not impressed so far by this summers big budget blockbusters and just as disappointed with many of the low and micro budget films I have seen. The weakness in most of these films begin and end with the screenplays. We can do better. We have to do better.
Thank you and good luck.