Jump to content


Photo

Advice on creating a film budget


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:30 PM

Gents (and ladies), 

 

So the time is soon coming. We are going to need a real, true, no b***poop budget estimate/breakdown for our super independent project. 

 

There is filmbudget.com but I am wondering about alternatives. Any advice? One thing that is key for us is this is going to be a micro-budget production. The normal rules likely will not apply. I know a normal line producer would say we need two million, but that's absurd. We want to shoot he NYC section (act 1) for less than 20 grand and we know it can be done. So we are hoping to find a way to budget this for what we are going to do and not by regualr Hollywood rules. 

 

Thanks.


  • 0

#2 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

I should mention that Filmbudget.com is so expensive to use, it would literally take most of our New York City budget just to buget them to budget our film. If you get my meaning. 


  • 0

#3 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:01 PM

Hell just shoot it in Philadelphia to stand in for NYC. No permits required or anything of the like and there are some good people there who can help you out with equipment/crew.


  • 0

#4 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:26 PM

No NYC it is. We have locations set. External locations are few so it's mostly an indoor (or in a car) shoot. I'd kill to shoot on 16mm, but it has to be digital. No choice. 

 

Acts 2 & 3 take place in Vietnam and that' an entirely different ball of wax. 


Edited by Matt Stevens, 22 May 2013 - 10:28 PM.

  • 0

#5 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:30 PM

lol Well Vietnam I don't think I can help you with. but best of luck on it.


  • 0

#6 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:32 PM

:) Thanks. We'll be working with locals there. This is if we can get the budget. Things are starting to fall into place on certain aspects of the project, but it's going to be a hell of a fight to make it all happen.


  • 0

#7 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

Check out Light House Lights in central NJ for your G/E needs. They are really good guys, and really well kept trucks and equipment. I've had Steve Klink out on a few shoots with me as my own Gaffer-- lower budget stuff, but the guy is such a teddy bear to have on set. Knows his stuff, does a great job, and has an amazing sense of humor. Also CSC up in NY has always taken care of me if you're looking into camera package rentals.


  • 0

#8 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:17 AM

Well what I need is an actual budget breakdown of the script. But the cheapest quote for that service I have come across is 5 grand. 


  • 0

#9 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:00 PM

Really not hard at all to do your own micro budget, I should know, I've done plenty of them.  If it's a budget template you want that will track all the line items, add the totals, etc, I uploaded the TeleFilm budget template for you here, FREE!!

 

https://www.yousendi...pSWUwVWxYd3NUQw

 

 

Just plug in the numbers and ignore what does not apply.  This budget gives you all three sections of a film budget and presents it all nice and neat.

 

I have to say I don't think you can farm out the budget breakdown of the script when using a micro budget.  You really need to do it yourself and become intimately acquainted with all aspects of how the money can be spent. You need to call all the suppliers you need and get their best price, then enter that exact number into the budget.  You can't afford to simply "estimate" the way large shows usually do.

 

If it's an under 100K or 200K budget the money is gonna fly out the door pretty fast.  If this is something you hope to sell you will need E&O, and a long list of other "stuff" that micro filmmakers usually leave out of their budgets.

 

R,

 


  • 0

#10 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

Richard, thank you for that. It is much appreciated. We believe we can pull this thing off for under 150k but we are obviously hoping to raise far more than that. A half mil would allow us to very comfortably make the film (most of which will be shot in Vietnam).


  • 0

#11 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

You can do a lot with 150K.  I shot Dark Reprieve on 35mm for less than that.  Of course I didn't travel.

 

Shooting digitally would allow you to shift much of the costs of shooting on film to travel related costs.  If you don't need exteriors of streets in Vietnam, and only need the jungle.  There are of course places much closer to the USA that frequently stand in for Vietnam.

 

Full Metal Jacket, was filmed entirely in the UK.

 

R,


  • 0

#12 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:31 AM

Well, that's not the kind of movie we will be making. :) The is written for specifically for Vietnam and will actually be cheaper to shoot there because of the weakness in their currency. Much of the production value will come from our shooting in what westerners will consider to be an exotic location. 

 

This is all pie in the sky if we cannot make it to principle photography, but we are trying to cover all the bases as we raise funds.


  • 0

#13 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

You just can't replicate Vietnam's Lunar New Year somewhere else. It's magical. 

 

 

I've been working on the script for three years. The video above was shot on trip #3 this past January and February.


  • 0

#14 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:24 PM

"You just can't replicate Vietnam's Lunar New Year somewhere else. It's magical." 

 

There's always green screen.  :D

 

I joke.  However, it's amazing how much stuff is being shot in studio against green screen and the BG just dropped in later.

 

R,


  • 0

#15 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:06 PM

True, but I hate geenscreen. Just get the actors there and shoot. :)


  • 0


Metropolis Post

CineTape

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Opal

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery