Aug 13 2009
Remember that the key to keeping a movie cheap is to keep your script simple. Simple does not, by the way, mean less powerful, meaningful, or interesting; it simply means less razzle-dazzle effects and more plot and good direction. Movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Rocky, and Misery did not require special effects to be successful films.
Here are some more tips for keeping your script simple during writing or editing.Limit your scenes. Whether you liked it or not, Twilight was a very successful movie–at least among the teen girl demographic. The entire movie, however, took place in only a few scenes. The Shawshank Redemption, an award-winning film, takes place in a prison for nearly the entire film. The more scenes you use, the more money you are likely to need.
Skip fancy costumes. It’s one thing to have period dresses or a cop uniform; it’s quite another to require lots of monster makeup, fur, scales or antennas. Then there’s the problem of looking real when you have to budget these items down and buy cheap costumes or makeup. Instead, keep an element of mystery in your film by not allowing the monsters to be fully seen; films such as Signs and Cloverfield proved that you can scare an audience just as well with what they can’t see. Help scare them with their own imaginations through the tension you create in your directing.
Keep high-tech equipment to a minimum. Sci-fi scenes can be ruined with rocket ships or medical equipment that look like they were made with tinfoil. If you can’t come by something real–or a decent enough copy–cheaply, you might want to cut it out entirely, show only a part of it, or simply have characters mention it in dialogue. If your scientist is conducting an experiment, you could even simply show his back as he does his work.