The New Stuff

typing machine

Indie Filmmaking: Things to Consider When Writing a Low-budget Script

Coming up with a good script on a very small budget is a skill new independent filmmakers need to learn. They need to be trained how to make stories that are less dependent on the props, special effects, locations… stories that can stand alone without so much grandiose scenes and ultra lavish aesthetics. The worst thing that could happen is that your production would stop because you’re running out of dollars.

Here are some things that you need to think about and consider if you are planning to have a low-buget feature film:

Location should not be too expensive. When writing your script, think of possible ways you can cut-down on your expenses for the location. If your grandfather has a haunted-looking house on a hill, then you might like to think of stories that would make that the perfect location. Who knows you might actually produce a great story because of the house-then you can shoot there for free! Do not come up with concepts that include a mansion in Milan if you do not think that is feasible.

Trim down the number of locations. Every location costs you a lot of money. A 2-hour shoot in a small shack would cost you gas/transportation expenses, location rent, etc. Not only that, you’d be spending time setting up the lights, set design, wardrobe…everything. Remove the locations that will not push the story forward. Ask yourself: “Do they really need to be in this place so the story would move forward? What options are available?”

Eliminate/ limit crowd scenes. Crowd scenes require a big place (location problem), and a lot of people so you better be ready to spend a lot of money. Most big locations require big money and a lot of people means a lot of people to pay (and feed during the shoot). There are ways to push the story forward without actually showing the crowd scenes- it could be implied in the story, or it could be thru the dialogue. But if you are persistent, you might want to take advantage of some special events where there are lots of people gathered together- say, a town parade. But please try your best not to ruin the event or inconvenience the crowd. You will also risk getting caught by authorities if you have no permit so if you are not sure that you can pull this off without causing too much trouble, then you better be sure the scene is not so important in the film.

Reconsider the over-the-top special effects. Special effects are not cheap if you want them to appear professional-looking like the glossy ones made in Hollywood. There are millions of stories to tell. Maybe the special effects-loaded concept can wait until you have made your first feature and connected with some producers who’ll pay for everything.

Creativity does have its limits and when it comes to indie film making, most of the time the limit is the budget. It is the scriptwriter’s challenge to work around the limitations to create a compelling film. As a matter of fact, this lack of resources makes one more creative and innovative. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.  Good luck!


Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.

  • Share/Bookmark

Recently Published

Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 10.45.06 AM

Creative Calendar Designs for Your Christmas Giveaway Inspiration

It’s the time of year again when we need new calendars for the ...

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 4.14.43 PM

5 creative ways Unified can help you market yourself better

When marketing yourself and your products, it’s very important ...


Creative Business Cards for Artists that Incorporate What They Do

If you’re an artist, there’s no way you should hand out a ...


5 Reasons to Put Your Portfolio in a Flash Drive Instead of a DVD

Flash drives are more expensive than DVDs, without a doubt. However, ...


12 Transparent Business Cards That Really Rock

If you want to leave a good impression, hand them something they ...


Music Packaging of the Week: Reckless Kelly’s Long Night Moon (Glow in the Dark Ink)

The GRAMMY-Nominated Long Night Moon packaging features Glow In The ...


7 Design Tips From Graphic Design God Milton Glaser

We cannot talk about graphic design without talking about Milton ...


How to Increase Sales of Your T-shirt Business in Less Than 10 Days

You’ve pretty much given it all you’ve got but your ...


Best Record Package Grammy Nominees (and The Winner) for 2016

In this day where everything is digital, you might think that hard ...

More in DVD Packaging, filmmaking (160 of 197 articles)