One of the biggest fears when producing a movie for the first time is if will everything go as planned. Budget plays a really big role in the output of a movie. The big budget movies in Nollywood cost between N100 Million and N400 Million. If you are a newbie in the industry, it would be hard to find a producer willing to invest a huge sum in your project.
If you can’t acquire the funding for a big budget movie, you can write a script specifically suited for a low-budget production.
Here are five tips for writing a low budget screenplay:
1. Keep it simple
One of the key elements to making this work is to keep your script short and simple. You’ll have to convey your message and introduce your cast (protagonist and antagonist) in a limited time so you must have a good story.
2. Use a small cast
The smaller the cast, the less amount of money you’ll spend paying your actors. Many short film producers limit their cast to two to four people.
For example, short filmmaker Olu Yomi Ososanya keeps his cast to a limited number usually four to two people. Full-length feature film “The Visit” features a four-man cast made up of Nse Ikpe-Etim, Bayray Mcnwizu, Blossom Chukwujekwu and Femi Jacobs.
Limit the number of locations you use - write your story using a particular location for several scenes. Multiple locations will cost you money and even if you don’t have to pay for them, moving your cast and crew around will cost you both time and money.
Many short film scripts limit the production to just one location. It’s also best to use indoor locations so you don’t have to deal with weather. Use sets or private where you can control the movement
4. Character development
It might be a small cast but you need to have engaging character your audience will be able to connect with. Give them depth.
Show, don’t tell. Your story needs to needs to be visually rich as talking heads can be boring. Keep dialogue to a minimum and let the characters actions do the speaking.