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  • This is kind of a weird question

    It's kind of hard to put into words either, or what I'm trying to ask. But I really really want to get a feature under my belt within the next couple years, and i've written a script I am super confident in, but I feel the number of actors, locations, props and budget in general just simply aren't practical for what I have to work with.

    My question is, what is the best way/tricks to pulling off an interesting movie with about 4-5 locations max? I feel I could do it if I really sat down and thought about it. But how would I keep it interesting?

  • #2
    You might change the locations, make the characters more quirky, and/or include comic relief.
    L A Morgan
    Novels, Screenplays, Short Scripts, and Music
    http://lamorganwriter.com

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    • #3
      Look at movies like Cube, 1408, and Night of the Living Dead. Pretty much one set movies. Its not the nymber of locations, its the story.

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      • #4
        Yeah I have seen Cube and loved it. 1408 not so much lol.

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        • #5
          To start, write your script budget friendly, meaning, keep down the locations, props, gore, special effects and number of actors. The movie I just completed, I used a total of 4 locations (if you consider the inside of a car a location, which I am). But 98% of the movie takes place inside one house.

          Think about making it more of a psycho thriller, or as Mick suggested, a Night of the Living Dead (still a classic). If you can't rework the script you're currently sitting on, then write a new one. Part of developing your talent in writing scripts is writing around budget. When I wrote "Tied in Knots" the producers told me it was too expensive, and I had to re-write to fit a budget of about $500,000, which I did.

          Lastly, I wrote a thread here regarding this very subject. Look it up.

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          • #6
            You can make really interesting movies with only a few locations, that really depends on the script and what you really NEED to make the film work. Without knowing the kind of film you're talking about doing, or having an idea of the types of locations, props, etc. that you are thinking of using, it's kind of hard to just throw out ideas. Can you offer a little more in the line of specifics? Genre? Location ideas, number of actors you're considering, anything that will help narrow things down a bit?

            I'm no expert in this yet, but I'm damn creative when it comes to making things work in unexpected ways! :)

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            • #7
              That is a dilemma we all have when writing scripts to shoot on a low-no budget. The less locations, the better though.

              It's tough keeping things interesting in so few locations, but it can be done. As stated above, watch similar movies that used few locations.

              My most recent film (which I'm currently editing) has just 2 locations (house and woods. the bigger the house the better. More rooms to keep it interesting).

              I shot the film from a 66 page script. The script had very little dialogue so I knew I'd end up with at least a 72 minute movie (my minimum desired length). The rough cut was 85 minutes, but I edited it down to 79 minutes as of now. Hopefully the fact that it's a movie told 'visually' is what makes it interesting. The house itself was kind of cool looking too.

              I have two other unproduced scripts that use few locations. A (sort of) sequel to the one I just shot that again uses one house and woods.

              The other one all takes place on a boat with only 3 actors (kind of an 'Evil Dead' on a boat). I watched movies like Knife in the Water and Dead Calm to see how they handle 3 people on a boat scenario.

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              • #8
                Trust me, locations aren't everything.

                Depending on the movie, the locations shouldn't even matter. The most important aspect of any film is story. That's what draws you in. With that said, if the locations are important to your story, I suggest filming locations in a variety of ways, angles, etc. The more you shoot, the more you see. Take advantage of your area. For example, I live in Miami. There's a ton of wonderful stuff to see here and it adds an aesthetic. I shoot discreetly to use it to my advantage.

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                • #9
                  Oh! maybe I should have given a little more detail on what I'm trying to do. My b lol.

                  So far I've narrowed down the logistics. The locations aren't fancy at all. And are very do-able. The tough thing would be scouting and actually finding them. The movie centers around three different characters at the same time, all with the same theme, but un-connected. It's about human sex-trafficking but in no way is a PSA. I would hate that lol.

                  So really just need locations like apartments, suburban homes, parking lots, office buildings. In total I think I found out I need about 12 locations, :S

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                  • #10
                    I'm confused.

                    Are you asking: (a) how do you write a different script that needs fewer locations or (b) how do you get those 12 locations or (c) something completely different?
                    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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                    • #11
                      I was mainly asking how to write an interesting movie with minimum locations.

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                      • #12
                        If you're asking about finding locations, then just ask the owner of the property you want whether you can use it. Cheap or free.

                        Years ago, the first feature film I made (and ultimately shelved) had several locations. Shot at the Jersey Shore, I managed to use the beach, boardwalk, a bar, a video store (originally a clothing store), 4 houses, an office building and a bridge for free with no permits.

                        I was able to get all that for free simply by asking or (in the case of exteriors like the beach) by just showing up and shooting. I shot that film on B/W 16mm for $7,200. It wasn't easy though. I could write a book on that production.

                        I lost one location, the clothing store. The clothing store eventually became a general store which we were almost able to get. Almost because the owner agreed to let us shoot there, but when we showed up there to shoot, he demanded money. I personally think someone got to him and told him to demand pay for use of the store.

                        Needless to say, we didn't use the general store, but luckily one of the actors knew a video store owner and we simply switched the location to a video store (though I hesitated because I didn't want it to look like a scene from Clerks).

                        If you really want to get a feature made within the next couple years, you should really limit the locations and number of actors. The less you have, the better chances of getting the film done.

                        What I originally wanted to shoot in a few weeks ultimately took 10 months for that film, mainly because it was kind of a logistical nightmare with a number of actors.

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Christopher Dye;16871]I thought you were asking how do you keep a movie with few locations interesting? I guess you're really asking how do I find the locations I need?

                          lol yeah, that's what I asked. I only responded with the location thing, because people said they needed more details about the story and stuff. So I said the locations.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Christopher Dye View Post
                            I thought you were asking how do you keep a movie with few locations interesting? I guess you're really asking how do I find the locations I need?.
                            lol yeah, that's what I was originally asking. I only responded with the location thing, because people said they needed more details about the story and stuff. So I said the locations.

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                            • #15
                              Oh. Okay. I hope my response was helpful anyway.

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