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  • Writer's pictureJoe Sikoryak

Make Better Films—On the Cheap

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Stanley Kubrick said that “you rarely get what you pay for, but you NEVER get what you don’t pay for.” That applies to your script as well: you can’t make every scene good, but you won’t have any good scenes if they’re not written down. And yet, filmmakers at all levels are too anxious to begin filming, confident that “the script is good enough” or worse, that they will “fix it in the editing room.”

If you’re a typical low-budget filmmaker, you know it’s hard enough to capture good scenes. You certainly don’t need the pressure of trying to improvise when you’re losing light, fighting fatigue and fixing glitches. Like the proverbial shark, the production needs to keep moving to survive and there’s no time to stop and think about things that aren’t working.

So the cheapest, best way to improve your film and give it a fighting chance to succeed is to invest in writing and rewrites. Make sure you get some experienced eyes on your script. Share it in a writers’ group, workshop it with actors, and don’t skimp on development time. Because once the clock starts running on production, you’ve increased your cost exponentially and lost most of your opportunities to refine your story.

Consider that extra draft an investment in a better movie. A solid script makes it easier to raise money, attract talent and get attention. Can you afford to end up with anything less?

Writer-director Scotty Cornfield works his script with the cast of "Goodbye Nola."


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