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Budget breakdown


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#1 Walter Graff

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:26 PM

http://www.latimes.c...-home-headlines
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 11:44 PM

Certainly very interesting. Makes the government look like they spend money wisely.

How did the composer and production designer command more than the director??????

Composer Clint Mansell

$800,000

Production designer Allan Cameron

44 weeks

$779,688

Director Breck Eisner

$750,000
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:40 AM

I would have loved to have seen the complete budget. There are many items not listed on thier breakdown, but it's still very interesting. Does anyone know where one might find other budget breakdowns for films we might have seen? I think information like this might be very useful when trying to pitch a proposed budget to potential investors and writing out realistic budgets for a film one might be planning. B)
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#4 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:36 PM

How did the composer and production designer command more than the director??????


Because it was his first time directing a feature.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:55 PM

The Village budget
Here's a link to the budget for the Village. It's more complete than the article on Sahara.
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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 12:38 AM

The Village budget
Here's a link to the budget for the Village. It's more complete than the article on Sahara.


That's exactly what I was looking for, thank you. Does anyone else have examples of known film budgets to compare with this one? B)
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#7 Dan Goldberg

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:36 PM

wooow interesting to say the least.

hmmm...

so much money :(

and it wasn't even THAT great of a film.

(sigghhh)

oh and to Bruce Willis who demands all those amentities like a mobile gym, masseuse, etc, that's dispicable. I'm sorry, but it's a film production, not a f*cking vacation.

jeez.
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 01:12 AM

oh and to Bruce Willis who demands all those amentities like a mobile gym, masseuse, etc, that's dispicable. I'm sorry, but it's a film production, not a f*cking vacation.

jeez.

Just remember who's REALLY asking for all that stuff. A lot of the time it's not the actors, it's their agents. Agents flaunt their status by getting more and more perks for their clients. They're a lot like politicians. I think many times the actors don't realize that the salary and perks they're getting mean the crew will get less. I'd like to think that if they did know that, they wouldn't ask for so much. But of course, I'm an optimist, so I could be completely wrong.
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#9 Michael Newton

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 02:13 PM

Certainly very interesting. Makes the government look like they spend money wisely.

How did the composer and production designer command more than the director??????

Composer Clint Mansell

$800,000

Production designer Allan Cameron

44 weeks

$779,688

Director Breck Eisner

$750,000


Amazing information Richard. How can they keep justifying such spend when low to medium indie projects still struggle to convince investors to put their money in small projects? Its really amazing.
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#10 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 03:55 PM

Does anyone else have examples of known film budgets to compare with this one? B)



Hi James,

If you haven't read this already, try finding a copy of the book Final Cut by Steven Bach. It's an in-depth look at the making of Heaven's Gate, the film which financially ruined United Artists. There are plenty of examples of excess and waste. A really fascinating read.

Fran
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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 04:36 PM

Amazing information Richard. How can they keep justifying such spend when low to medium indie projects still struggle to convince investors to put their money in small projects? Its really amazing.


Its difficult to get a return on a single indie project, the studios spread their risk over a number and spend an amount that roughly matches the production cost on advertising and marketing. The cost of an effective campaign is so high that it's rarely worth spending the money on an indie when the costs aren't commensurate to the investment in the production.

Of course, you do get a few exceptions, but most indies don't have a good marketing budget.

However, the star's fees can be too high for what the expected returns on the film are likely to be and the studio still decides to go ahead.
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:59 PM

Amazing information Richard. How can they keep justifying such spend when low to medium indie projects still struggle to convince investors to put their money in small projects? Its really amazing.


Well you walk into the offices at Universal and say, "I've got this movie for Tom Cruise and......"

Before you can finish you'll only hear one word, "Sold!!"

I remember all the Kevin Costner debacles after Dances With Wolves was such a huge hit. The studios gave him any thing he wanted after that, "Water World" green light, "The Postman" green light. Both where disasters.

I'm exagerating some what of course, I'm sure the film execs are more prudent with their investors money than that.

I've often wondered why the major studios don't set up low budget indie companies that will produce films for no more than 250K each. Do a maximum of 8 per year, that's only 2 million dollars. You only need one to be successful to make back the 2 million and a huge profit. Give the money to people with really off the wall ideas and scripts, one may be the "indie film hit of the year" and you're laughing.

And before every one tells me movies for 250K is impossible, it's more than possible when you eliminate the huge star salaries and giant union crews.

R,
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#13 Rob.m.Neilson

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:09 PM

I think I remember reading something about M. Night Shlamalammadingdong refusing to re-shoot a short shot that was out of focus. But instead spent over 1 million of the budget by having every pixel of that shot sharpened!
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#14 Ken Minehan

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:45 PM

Mr. Boddington, you make a very good point. It makes perfect sense to me. I think the problem every indie project runs in to is the lack of money for marketing.

Yes $250,000 is more than enough to make an indie film provided that it is simple enough (not too much special effects, no highly paid actors, etc). But i think many great indie films made out there think of marketing the film after the film is complete, where as it should be thought of and budgeted in the pre production.

I am learning more and more on the business side of film making now days as my girl friend works for UIP. She does the marketing for Universal, Paramount and Dreamworks. I started learning how hard it really is for Indie film makers to make money.

eg:
You put in $500,000 in to the film. The distributors in Singapore (where i'm from) will take a percentage of Box office takings (15%-25%). This is just the fee for marketing. The marketing budget will be paid for by film maker. Then the cinema will take 50% of box office takings. Now here in Singapore theres roughly 1 million regular movie goers. And the movie may only run for 2 weeks. the cinema will give you a 3rd week if it's doing very well in box office. So it's very hard for local film makers to make it in the film industry here. However, with that been said, if we can see the movie in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, we're laughing.

Now the example i gave you is for Singapore. I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world. I would love to here about how it is on the US, UK etc etc.

Now going back to what I was saying earlier. I am all for the scenario given by Mr. Boddington. Hope it happens one day.

A question for Mr. Nielson,
You mean there is technology to sharpen an image in post now?? i know that you an do a bit of sharpening in TC, but it wont make an out of focus shot in focus. But still cheaper to reshoot right?

regards
Ken Minehan
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#15 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:52 PM

at this point I am more familiar with TV budgets than I am with film budgets, but the Village budget linked to above looks like an early draft to me furhter, I just can't make sense of a good deal of the numbers and catagories. But that may be because I don't know their work flow. For example, what work flow would require the rental of Avids and flat beds?

I'd say writting a good budget is as close as accounting ever comes to being an artform. I don't think looking at a budget like that would be very helpful to indy folks because its full of added expenses generate by flying a ton of people around, editing in multiple locations. Further it has a ton of "allows" and numbers that look like they are just thrown in as place holders.
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:13 PM

Ken,

In my 250K scenario a theatrical release is not done. Too expensive, you're 100% correct, P&A gobble up too much cash.

My plan is for direct to DVD release of the films, no promotion or marketing. The DVD box IS the only promotion it will get sitting on the shelf of Blockbuster. Walk around the big Blockbuster stores, they have hundreds of movies on the shelves that where never in the theatres and don't have any ad campaigns behind them. One copy of the 250K feature in each Blockbuster is more than enough to make money considering the huge size of the US market. And you have not even tapped into the rest of the world or sales of the DVD via the web like Amazon.com. People do pick up and rent movies they have never heard of or seen before based soley on the cover art of the DVD.

Then there's also Netflix, which takes a hefty slate of indies each year. Only expenses are DVD duplication.

Don't forget cable stations world wide. The licensing fees even for late night cable could really add up around the globe. The only expense is duplicating the master and shipping it to the cable outlet. The on-air promotions people at the cable station will cut the on-air promos that will run for a week before the movie airs. I know, I did this job for six years :( (hated it)

Now if your indie cost 25 million, then my above plan would not work. But 250K? You could easily be well on your way to profitability with this scenario. Provided of course the movie is quirky, funny, scary, some hook like that. This can be achieved with some creative writing in the absence of big stars or VFX.

R,
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:02 AM

I've often wondered why the major studios don't set up low budget indie companies that will produce films for no more than 250K each. Do a maximum of 8 per year, that's only 2 million dollars. You only need one to be successful to make back the 2 million and a huge profit. Give the money to people with really off the wall ideas and scripts, one may be the "indie film hit of the year" and you're laughing.

And before every one tells me movies for 250K is impossible, it's more than possible when you eliminate the huge star salaries and giant union crews.

R,


If you own Welch's, why would you invest in a string of limonade stands even if a few of them might triple your investmant? The studios are owned by mutli-nationals and are a very small part of their over all profit. They think big and expect big. They want films that are low risk, sure fire hits that can open in ever theater in America at once so that they can regain thier investment in 2 weeks and move on to the next bit of product. That is why there are remakes, and TV show movies and sequiels and mega-stars and the same people over and over again making the same movie over and over again and if you think the film industry is bad, try putting out a record. Art in the film industry died in 1975 B)

Hi James,

If you haven't read this already, try finding a copy of the book Final Cut by Steven Bach. It's an in-depth look at the making of Heaven's Gate, the film which financially ruined United Artists. There are plenty of examples of excess and waste. A really fascinating read.

Fran


Thanks Fran, I'll check it out. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 19 April 2007 - 12:01 AM.

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