Thursday, February 25, 2021

Quote of the Day (John Sayles, on Writing Screenplays With Budgets in Mind)

“[When writing for independent film producer Roger Corman], [h]e would always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry about the budget.’ Then the poor directors would come squealing, ‘I’ve only got $800,000 to shoot this thing!’ I wrote a science-fiction movie for [director] James Cameron. The fun with that was that anything I could think up, if he liked it, he would invent it. Even if the technology didn’t exist. He’s so good at that stuff that there were no restraints in the storytelling. When I’m writing for myself, though, it’s different. For instance, the movie I’m about to make in Mexico is half in Spanish. The minute you have any subtitles in a movie, you’re talking about a much smaller potential audience. So you have to worry about what it’s going to cost. The minute you have any kind of action or adventure in a movie you probably increase your chances of selling it overseas, and so you can think about a little bit more of a budget. Of course, action-adventure usually costs more to make.”—Screenwriter-director-actor John Sayles quoted in “Back to Craft: David Goldsmith Speaks With John Sayles,” Creative Screenwriting, Volume 9, #4 (2002)

No comments: