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How do one write a low budget script that is believable?

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  • How do one write a low budget script that is believable?

    For my script I have things happen in it, to suit a low budget shoot, but readers will say this can cause plot holes to happen in my story.

    For example, one 'plot hole' I was told about why does the villain choose to keep his incriminating materials, in a self storage facility, when he can just keep them in a much better guarded safe deposit box in a bank? And I wrote it that way for two reasons.

    1. Since I want the villains incriminating materials to be stolen, it's easier to rob a self-storage facility than a bank, and it's just much simpler to write. I wanted it to be stolen without the anyone noticing right away and without the authorities being called right away. It's easier to rob a storage unit, while all alone, compared to breaking into a bank, which is much more complicated to do, and it just over complicates the plot.

    and 2. It's less budget to shoot, because it's easier to shoot in a self storage facility, than an actual bank, or building a bank and a bank vault set.

    Or another plot hole is, why would the villains wipe down a hideout with bleach to get rid of DNA, when that is not enough, and you have to actually set fire to the building, even though I don't want to spend extra money on something like that.

    Or why does a cop enter a building without back up? He hears someone screaming that could be in danger, but that is not enough, he still has to wait for back up, readers say. I don't want to have to pay for extra actors to be his back up.

    Things like that? So what's the trick to writing a low budget script that still makes logical sense, even if money will not allow for the most ideal plot scenarios to take place?

  • #2
    Substitute gun shots for screams - then he's justified in going in.

    Use stock footage of a burning building.
    Screenwriter and script consultant:


    • #3
      Okay thanks, but I am worried that the stock footage will not match, especially when all of a sudden the villains will run out, and then the building would all of a sudden be burning, and there is no shot in between to establish that they set the fire.

      Also there is no reason for them to fire gunshots though. They have a kidnapped person, but there is no reason for anyone to get shot in the plot, and I can't just create a reason, otherwise the plot won't hold together if I change that much around.


      • #4
        Setting the fire is easy - you see some people with matches and lighter fluid. Cut to a 2 second shot of a burning building. Cut to a shot of men running.

        Of course you can make a reason. One of the kidnappers is an idiot. He wants to scare the person they're holding so he points the gun at the hostage, then shoots at the wall instead.

        Make it up. Figure it out. Change what you have to change in the plot to make it work. I do this all the time - you can do it, too.
        Screenwriter and script consultant:


        • #5
          Okay thanks. When you change plot details around, how to keep it from creating a domino effect of unwanted plot holes though? I keep having that problem, and want to learn the key to changing a plot point around, without the rest of the plot around it being effected. Do you have any idea what the key to that is, for you?

          What if I wrote it so that the kidnappers know there is a cop outside, and decide to take the victim with them and sneak out the back, but the cop sees them and intercepts? But would the kidnappers take the victim with them, if they are trying to escape, is another thing.


          • #6
            They decide this isn't a good place to hide - pick a reason - it's too hot, it's too cold, there's no food, the water doesn't work. Whatever.
            So they sneak out the back with the kidnap victim and the cops find them.

            Or the cop simply decides that he will lie and say that he heard a gun shot, which is justification for him to go in.

            There are no perfect plots. Make the damn movie and stop worrying about that.
            Screenwriter and script consultant:


            • #7
              Well I wanted to write it so that they sneak with the victim out the back. The cop hears screams and noise, comes around the back and sees them. But I was told that there are two problems with this, cause I want the cop to arrest one of them, and I was told by a cop in my research that a cop cannot arrest a person and then chase after kidnappers trying to get away with a kidnapped hostage, cause legally the cop has to stay with the person he arrested, and has to radio ahead for back up, and then rely on back up rescuing the hostage instead, cause the cop cannot leave the arrested suspect.

              So things like this I feel make me worry, cause I feel painted into a corner, since I want the cop to do things, and I am told by a real cop, that legally he can only do one of the those things, and will have to rely on back up to do the other.


              • #8
                Stop worrying about what's truly legal. Think only about what the "average" viewer will accept.

                Here's a real-life example of what I mean - my dad was a lawyer and a judge. He couldn't stand watching any TV shows or movies about lawyers because he said they were totally unrealistic and usually broke every rule/convention that you could come up with. These are big budget, network shows and hit movies. "Normal" people didn't care.
                Last edited by mara; 10-01-2018, 05:19 PM.
                Screenwriter and script consultant: