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There are those who say that the cheapest way to make a film is to have a small cast in one set. This is true. You can get a few people and put them in a house or a locked room or a cabin in the woods. But that's not a play.

That's a screenplay.

Plays were and are meant to be performed in front of a live audience. Movies aren't.

If you set out to write a play you're not concerning yourself with all the equipment and variables necessary to make a movie. You're basically just concerned with what your characters are saying. Others are concerned with the sound, lighting, editing, etc.

But when you set out to write a screenplay you have to worry about all that stuff. And before you shoot your movie you have to make sure your characters are interacting in a fluid way. There comes along the occasional independent film with a small cast in minimal locations. Did you catch that? Minimal locations. "Pieces of April" and "The Station Agent" come to mind. Both films had a number of outdoor shots and the bulk of the scenes took place ins April's apartment and her apartment building. "Hard Candy" is the most recent indie film that literally had one set, other than a few short establishing scenes.

All three films were talkie. Which I like. But they weren't filmed plays. Why not? Because of their respective stories.

It might be good practice for you to write a script with two or three characters in a room talking, but it's not going to be your calling card.


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