Produceability

We don't discuss produceability much at sfsg. Produceability means the aspects of a screenplay that make it more likely to be produced as a film. Such aspects might be

  • use of a currently popular theme, style, or subject;
  • roles that would be attractive to performers
  • absence of expensive budget items (such as special effects, crowd scenes, or animals)
  • broad audience appeal

Produceability is ignored partly because it's ephemeral — a script that is hot today will be dated tomorrow, but another that is unfilmable now might be indie-material in a few years.

Let me give you an example: the liquid-metal bad-guy from Terminator 2 was originally scripted to appear in the first Terminator. The script had to be changed because the necessary special effects simply couldn't be done convincingly at the time, probably at any price and certainly not for the budget they had. Eight years of technological improvement (and a very successful original) later, it became possible. Today it could be done for a negligible cost.

More important, paying attention to extrinsic matters like produceability diverts attention from the screenplay-as-art. Getting a film made is not the purpose of sfsg, writing better screenplays is.

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