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Should you try and make your screenplay on a low budget?

I got this question recently:

“When I posted on FB that I’m concluding my revision of this script, an acquaintance from Santa Fe, who has worked on a couple of shoots with my movie-grip son, commented that I should talk to him; he’s a cinematographer and producer of 3 short films. He said his crews are second to none. I spoke with him, and he talked about raising the money…getting a package – maybe via the Internet – to people who invest in Independents.

But I want to see if I can get an offer from a producer with a big budget before I go the Indie route. I want to sell the script (for as much money as I can, so that my wife – who’s been bringing in most of our income – can leave the good-paying career she doesn’t like, and follow her dream of photography and painting) more than make the film…although, if possible I’d like to have some input in the actual production, as rare as that might be.

Do you think it’s worth my time to plan anything with the Santa Fe guy? I watched his 3 Shorts on YouTube, and liked 2 of them. Good cinematography and directing.”

I never look down on any offer. Getting one of your scripts turned into an actual film is a difficult process and if there’s someone who can help you realize that goal, even at a low budget, I think it’s worth considering. Especially if you want to keep some creative control over the project, a low budget independent film might be exactly what you’re looking for. In all likelihood you’ll no creative control on a larger budget project.

Perhaps you can go after both opportunities. Work like mad getting your screenplay to producers for 6 – 12 months and then if that doesn’t work out start pursing other opportunities like your friend in Santa Fe. I’m sure the cinematographer friend will understand why you’d want to go after a larger deal first.