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Publisher's Summary

On Writing a Low Budget Screenplay will not only offer advice and rules that must be followed if you wish to craft a script that can be produced for a few thousand dollars, but how to look at your script from the view of the film maker. This audiobook is short and to the point. It does not take more words to tell you how to write a low budget script than are actually in one.

©2017 rodney canon (P)2017 rodney cannon

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A solid and compact book about screenplay writing

Rodney Cannon has delivered a very interesting book, with a effective narration from Jonh Alan. The content of the book itself is a really down to earth aproach on writing a screenplay, focusing not only on doing a low budget movie, but also how to do it with quality. Some of it's tips maybe used in other areas, like in public speaking, because some of the concepts are really usefull in many situations.
"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DK
  • 11-02-17

Interesting and Technical


🎬 This is an interesting book with tidbits and tips about how to keep the costs of moviemaking minimal. The ongoing, repeating tip that I picked up (no less than 5 times was mentioned :-) ) was that the author maintained that it was expensive to feed the crew, extras, actors and all.

Another tip was to keep the cast to a minimum, even if you are working with friends who don't require salary… They still need to be fed.

John Alan Martinson Jr. was a good narrator, though when asking questions his presentation was a bit whiny. Overall a 3.5 – 4 star performance

I'm always interested in reading "how to" books about movies and writing. I will never write a screenplay or write a book, but it is interesting to me.

*I received this book in exchange for my unbiased review. If the review was helpful to you, would you take a moment and select 'yes' below? Also, consider following me on Audible for more reviews.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Quick easy writing primer

This is a nice short primer on writing. I think that the lessons can be applied to writing even outside of screenplays. It by no means stands on its own but does a nice job starting the conversation about writing itself and goals the aspiring auteur may have.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 10-06-17

A mixed bag of lessons on writing

Rodney Cannon has put together in this book a collection of lessons and skills used to write screenplays, ideally for small budget films between $5000 and $100,000 but aiming for around the $20,000 mark. Cannon is basing his work on the idea that the movies you are writing is probably not paying you or the actors (other than feeding them during filming) and thus if you want to get paid the movie needs to succeed. It suggests how to pick styles and genres that suit the budget and to help encourage success.

He presents lots of rules and suggestion on how to write the script, what sort of scope you should be aiming for and what pitfalls to avoid. Many of the rules would actually apply to movies of any size, not just those of small budget. But I guess the assumption is that someone writing a big budget movie shouldn't need a book like this, as you would hope a big budget film is not hiring a beginner.

For all his lessons given here the one thing that came across as really missing from this is why we should listen to Cannon? He doesn't anywhere give his bona fides. When looking for a book on how to do something you would hope that the author explains why they know their advice will work - either supported by their successful experience, or through some sort of peer review analysis. Without providing that information this book effectively becomes unverified opinion.

And when it comes to opinion there are some problems here. In one section, when explaining one of his rules he talks about a movie that failed the rule and thus failed as a movie. Yet when I look up that movie it is rated 'fresh' on rotten tomatoes and had box office returns of sixty times it's budget. Critically and monetarily positive? That is not a failure of a movie. There are several other times that his opinions on the quality of certain movies is presented as universal fact.

There are other issues that either show a lack of polish or a lack of knowledge (I'm hoping the former), like continually calling 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' as 'The Chainsaw Massacre'.

Narration by John Alan Martinson Jr. is very good for a non-fiction work. Where there are quotes or 'questions form the reader' he provides different character and voices for these parts. It livens up the reading and adds to the experience.

He is clear and easy to understand, and well paced. No obvious sound or production errors. Just generally a joy to listen to while adding depth to the book.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Confused, Not Very Helpful

I read/listen to a lot of these types of books. I'm an independent filmmaker who enjoys writing (and ultimately shooting) short films.

First off, to the author "low budget screenplay" equates to "feature length screenplay which can be shot at a low budget". If I recall correctly, he considers low budget to be anything under 100k.

So that is my first problem with this book. Is there really a market for such screenplays? Is there really such a person that writes screenplays for low and micro budget filmmakers, that they are going to pay money for?

In any case... what I really care about is what he says about the writing of it, regardless of any silly notions that he has about the commercial viability of such a thing. For me, the book actually offers very little original insight. He gives very lightweight treatment to characters, structure, and the usual stuff. Stuff that is covered much much better and in more depth by any number of other books.

Skip this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bob
  • Church of the SubGenius
  • 05-21-17

Loved It!

I really just got this book out of curiosity because I'm a fiction writer and wanted to expand my understanding of the screenwriting process. I enjoyed this book and am recommend it to anyone interested in the subject (although I don't know how it compares to other books on the subject).

Non-screenwriters will benefit from this because when writing a novel that you hope could be turned into a movie, you'll understand the kinds of things that small film studios will be looking at.

There is an interesting "take home" message here that you don't have to spend a fortune to make something really enjoyable.

I highly recommend this audiobook.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally a resource for you!

If you are interested in writing a low-budget screenplay, and now looks like the best time to do just that, have we got a resource for you! If this title intrigues you in the least, get this audiobook! It is full of insightful, easy to implement strategies for writing a low budget screenplay.

I can't imagine someone who would buy this being the least bit disappointed. He says what he will do and then he does what he said he would do. Let's get more fodder for the MST3K guys and Amazon Prime. It doesn't take a great writer to get produced anymore. The competition just got easier.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful