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Old 12-10-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
Lucha Scribre
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Default Big Budget Tentpoles

Don't let so many comments deter or discourage you in writing your next 100+M budget film. People love them. People want them. Just saying.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

My manager is actually encouraging me to write one of these -- to think bigger than I have been. Much bigger. Especially since big budget action-thrillers with franchise potential are the types of screenplays that are selling right now -- and probably will be for some time to come.

From what I'm hearing, if you can write the next SALT/BOURNE, you're in good shape.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

Writing/Thinking Big not only can impress the right people, but also demonstrate how well the writer can produce a "studio concept".

SALT/BOURNE, minus the whole CIA angle. Most people cringe if I mention CIA in a pitch (which I don't really do, except to say that mine is NOT a CIA flick).
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucha Scribre View Post
Don't let so many comments deter or discourage you in writing your next 100+M budget film. People love them. People want them. Just saying.
If big budget movies are the kind you love to write, go for it. Just as long as you're being realistic about where you send them. There's a market for all kinds of scripts. Are big budget movies harder to sell than low budget movies? Sure. Because there are less of them out there, fewer companies who make them, and the jobs are higher paying and more actively sought out by accomplished writers. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't write them if that's what you love to write.

People do love big budget tentpoles (including me). If that's what floats your boat, go for it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

I do write them, but I prefer a balance between the big stuff and smaller indie stuff. I only posted this topic to encourage writers who want to write big, not to be afraid of giving it a try.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

It's not impossible but it's definitely harder, since the hugely expensive films hardly ever come from original specs but rather from novels, comic books and other IPs. Not as much with action thrillers, as SS said up-thread, but certainly with action adventure fantasies (LOTR, Harry Potter, Narnia, all the superheroes) --those flicks have HUGE built-in audiences before they even go into production.

I just had a guy at Warner Bros tell me my tentpole was the right place to start conceptually and that he was in fact seriously looking for that kind of material, but then my story specifically was not what he wanted. BUMMER.

Last edited by Rantanplan : 12-10-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Poorly structured sentence.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

Agreed.

Sometimes I get the advice "just write it low budget to improve your odds."

Hell no. I'll write the movie that needs to be written. Not big budget for the sake of being big budget and not low budget because I'm scared of finding someone to like it. It just is what it is. No sacrifices. Not when I'm writing on spec just trying to impress people.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucha Scribre View Post
Did he like the script?
Was it Warners directly, or a company with a studio deal?

There are many ways you can use the "not specifically for me" for referrals elsewhere.
He was at Warners and he made those comments based on the log and synopsis, he didn't read the script, which of course would have been great and could have generated some discussion between us (or not). I don't want to go into what my basic conceptual departure was, which he liked (a lot to mined there), but what I ended up writing was a four quadrant piece and he seemed to be looking for darker material.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

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Last edited by TheCleaner : 03-02-2011 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Budget Tentpoles

I think it's also a good idea to have another script that's in a more reasonable budget. That way if someone reads your tentpole and likes your writing, you've got something else to show them that might be more affordable to make.
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