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Help with budget and cash flow


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#1 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 04:23 PM

Hi, can people help me out with some funding that I am applying to? I am trying to get funding for a short film that I am going to shoot in India hopefully end of the year if I get the finances in place, but because - at the moment - I am not at all versed in the business jargon of things I was wondering whether someone could give me a few pointers. My main contention is where do I begin the budgeting process? What are the main things that I would need to consider for budgeting a shoot in India amongst the other considerations, any ideas regarding "cash flows," ? This is my first time applying for funding such as this so any help would be appreciated, thanks - Are there any sites that has templates to build upon?
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:33 PM

This is a BIG question.

There are countless books that introduce you to the task of budgetting a film - and there are software packages that are available too. These will take you from the details of your script through to knowing what items of expense you need to consider, to how much you need to allow for each item - how many days' shoot you'll need etc - , and then to what each of the items will cost. Don't expect it to be simple, particularly if you plan to spend someone else's money,

It's a complex business: production acounting is a skill all by itself, so I don't think you can expect to find all the information you need on-line and for free. You might well find the templates, but knowing what to put into them is a whole lot more complex. AS you plan to shoot in India, the actual numbers will be entirely different too.

As far as funding is concerned (and things you ask about such as cashflow), I guess the first question is what country are you in, and what sort of funding are you seeking - private investors, government investment, government grants, government incentives, distribution deals, development funds . . . . . .
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#3 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:46 AM

This is a BIG question.

As far as funding is concerned (and things you ask about such as cashflow), I guess the first question is what country are you in, and what sort of funding are you seeking - private investors, government investment, government grants, government incentives, distribution deals, development funds . . . . . .


I am in the Uk, and I am applying for funding from Screen South (http://www.screensouth.org/) which is a regional investment board here in England that is given money from the UK film council, and that in turn, is money from the national lottery.

I think if I can roughly cover an initial estimate of what I need, and they actually like the project, I think it is a case that they will put me in touch with someone who can help professionally. But its about getting that initial interest, I feel
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#4 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:36 AM

This is a BIG question.

As far as funding is concerned (and things you ask about such as cashflow), I guess the first question is what country are you in, and what sort of funding are you seeking - private investors, government investment, government grants, government incentives, distribution deals, development funds . . . . . .


I am in the Uk, and I am applying for funding from Screen South (http://www.screensouth.org/) which is a regional investment board here in England that is given money from the UK film council, and that in turn, is money from the national lottery.

I think if I can roughly cover an initial estimate of what I need, and they actually like the project, I think it is a case that they will put me in touch with someone who can help professionally. But its about getting that initial interest, I feel
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:58 AM

Ah, the UK film council. A more worthless waste of time you could not possibly hope to meet.

They don't fund shorts. They don't fund TV. They don't fund anything other than feature films, and they don't fund any sort of feature film that has any sort of mainstream appeal, and ergo, any chance of financial success. Put lots of black and disabled people in it - no offence to either group, they're being used here as much as an yone - and you might have a chance.

There is effectively no funding for short film in the UK. You're welcome to try, of course, but I shall be flabbergasted if you get anywhere.

P
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#6 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:25 AM

Ah, the UK film council. A more worthless waste of time you could not possibly hope to meet.

They don't fund shorts. They don't fund TV. They don't fund anything other than feature films, and they don't fund any sort of feature film that has any sort of mainstream appeal, and ergo, any chance of financial success. Put lots of black and disabled people in it - no offence to either group, they're being used here as much as an yone - and you might have a chance.

There is effectively no funding for short film in the UK. You're welcome to try, of course, but I shall be flabbergasted if you get anywhere.

P


Hey Phil, can I just say that I am liking your existential posts - with regards to the Film Council, I think that it is really impossible to get money out of them, but there are ways and means, and Screen South actually seem quite a friendly lot. I dont know where you are in the UK or if you have any inclination to deal with these types of organisations but the regional bodies seem more approachable than UKFC
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#7 Dominic Case

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:20 AM

I'm in Australia, not the UK, so I'm not familiar with what Screen South does.

However, while I think Phil might be just a wee bit over-negative about its work :unsure: , I am not sure that it is set up to fund you to shoot a film in India.

At a guess, if you are making a film that has a component of the shoot in India and the rest in the UK, and you plan to do your postproduction in the UK (and your postcode is on Screen South's list!), then you might be able to work out with them what support you might qualify for.

But that's not the original question, which was how to do a budget for your film.

Now, as for Phil:

they don't fund any sort of feature film that has any sort of mainstream appeal, and ergo, any chance of financial success.

Why would a government organisation fund a film that is commercially likely to return a profit? That isn't what they are there for. If there is a good chance of a profit, there is a good chance of a private backer or backers, leaving government money for productions that have merit even though they might not appeal to enough people to make the box office pay for them.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:46 AM

> Why would a government organisation fund a film that is commercially
> likely to return a profit?

Because it constantly claims to be trying to create a sustainable film industry. Which it isn't doing, or trying to do, or even pretending to try to do, which is what government departments usually do when faced with a requirement to do something they'd rather not.

The regional bodies are the only ones who'll talk to you - UKFC itself is almost impossible to contact at a meaningful level. The regional outfits are dedicated to pushing production in their region, so they certainly won't want to help you shoot overseas (which isn't a terribly unreasonable position, to be fair).

They are effectively set up to do two things - support preexisting productions which want to shoot in their area, by which I mean externally funded stuff that happens to be using a location on their patch, and fund (very meagrely) some extremely low end PD-150 style politically correct stuff which is really little more than philosophical masturbation.

It is, very strangely, easier to get funding for full features - they will turn you down flat for shorts. Even then, you should at the very least have a package of key people and a producer with some funding already available.

The horrible paradox is that they're only interested in funding you if you are already funded - they're standard industry bandwagon-jumpers of the worst kind. All they really want is to get their logo onto as many films as possible and do as little as possible to make it happen. It's politicised and horrible.

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#9 Ralph Tabith

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:40 AM

Short funded by screen south = in india

Edited by Ralph Tabith, 05 June 2008 - 11:41 AM.

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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:14 PM

You do surprise me...

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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:23 PM

There is effectively no funding for short film in the UK. You're welcome to try, of course, but I shall be flabbergasted if you get anywhere.

P


UK Film Council has put money (and I believe still do ) into regional low budget digital short schemes run by various local film commissions/screens (whatever title applies in each case). In some regions you can get Lottery funding for a percentage of the budget on a short - not commercial funding as such, although the agreements might say you have to pay back the funding from any sales plus a percentage of the profits. Basically a soft loan rather than a grant. Of course, very few shorts make a profit.

On cash flow, VAT is something to be factored in if you're registered. Invoices tend to build up during the wait on the refund from the VAT man so you can pay the outstanding bills.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 02:08 PM

Hi,

I think you're referring to the Digital Shorts schemes, which are a short-duration mentored thing involving training on DV handycams last I checked. It may have changed since.

Any other funding for short films is at best a postcode lottery. Screen East, which is my area, do absolutely no funding for shorts of any kind, or at least that's what they've told me.

P
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#13 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 02:24 PM

Hi,

I think you're referring to the Digital Shorts schemes, which are a short-duration mentored thing involving training on DV handycams last I checked. It may have changed since.

Any other funding for short films is at best a postcode lottery. Screen East, which is my area, do absolutely no funding for shorts of any kind, or at least that's what they've told me.

P


I don't know about this year's batch of our local Digital Shorts (just finished shooting I believe), but last year they shot on a HDW 750 - don't ask me why, it was for Digibeta delivery.

Previous year, it was a mix of high end SD cameras, plus a Z1.

Yes, they are mentored, although that process seems to have become more compressed with time.

Indeed, the funding for shorts seems to depend on where you currently live or were born.
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#14 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:01 PM

I think I am going to apply for funding, I have a few short film scripts at the moment, and if I dont get their funding I can always kill myself working somewhere and save for six months.
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#15 Jonathan Daughtry

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:41 AM

Hi, can people help me out with some funding that I am applying to? I am trying to get funding for a short film that I am going to shoot in India hopefully end of the year if I get the finances in place, but because - at the moment - I am not at all versed in the business jargon of things I was wondering whether someone could give me a few pointers. My main contention is where do I begin the budgeting process? What are the main things that I would need to consider for budgeting a shoot in India amongst the other considerations, any ideas regarding "cash flows," ? This is my first time applying for funding such as this so any help would be appreciated, thanks - Are there any sites that has templates to build upon?



Hey Damien check this out - go to afc.gov.au and then on the left select 'Filming in Australia' and then select 'A-Z Budgets'

you can choose a spreadsheet template for short films here or any other sort of production.

have fun!

Edited by Jonathan Daughtry, 06 June 2008 - 12:44 AM.

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#16 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:47 AM

Hey Damien check this out - go to afc.gov.au and then on the left select 'Filming in Australia' and then select 'A-Z Budgets'

you can choose a spreadsheet template for short films here or any other sort of production.

have fun!


Thanks Jonathan, good website...
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Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

CineTape

The Slider

Abel Cine

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks