“The Swingers script opened and closed with a helicopter shot. On low-budget films, those types of things get axed out fast. It’s a compromise, but it’s not a problem. It doesn’t change the story. You just have to get creative.”

—Jon Favreau, writer, actor, and co-producer, Swingers

Although we come from a background of line producing, we never tell writers to think about the budget while they are writing. It causes too many creative roadblocks. During the first several passes, the writer should focus on making the script as rich as he or she dares. Then, reality must set in: You may not be able to secure the $10 million you had hoped for. You may have to work with $50,000 or $500,000. Remember, good films can be made for this amount ...

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