I'm assuming that the $50K being the budget for the entire film will likely only leave $30k at best for the crew/gear situation. Considering every film has above the line costs and expenses associated with attorneys/producers/directors/scripts/ talent/locations/insurance/catering/transpo/DIT & post etc. So lets pretend for a moment that those costs are removed leaving $30K.
Assuming sound takes $3K per week that leaves about $23,000 Then pull out the camera budget at $3K per week for an Epic or equivalent. Assuming there's some ridiculously generous soul at CSC or the equivalent.
Leaving you with $17,000 Then say you want a small HMI and Kino package. All plugins, no gennies or distro. Basic wall units w stands and the usual flags/clamps. That's also a steal at $3K per week with some amazing hookup for 4 decent pars and a small tung package with the steel and stingers, beach etc
Now you have about $11,000 to spread among the entire crew for 12 shoot days. The whole crew. Not just camera/g&e. Everyone but sound which I just deducted. No money for prep at all. Oh, and the van has to be donated. You have nothing in the budget for one. No money for the checkout btw. You have to do that on your own by yourself.
Everyone must prep for free and pay for their own departments expenses. Art has no budget. HMU has no budget. Unless you allocated some upfront before the $30 for that. And most of the crew is at $100pd making it impossible to get a good 1st A.D. or a good focus puller or gaffer.
I did the math a hundred ways for my last project and it just didn't work. The best you can do, with all departments and a solid team starts at $80K assuming that most of the locations are small residential and commercial spaces and you mostly do day for day and night for night. That and the talent doesn't kill you with expenses. But even at $80K you don't have a pre-light team or the gear for one.
This is why I suggested drawing up your own budget and showing the producer what's necessary and what they have to cut since they likely haven't thought about all that. Maybe when they see it all laid out in front of them, it'll be the necessary push to find the additional funding required.
Or perhaps a line producer already did this and the producer and director have tons of experience and they are guerilla shooting this from the hip for fun as a pet project. If they are all very, very experienced, they can do that cause they know the drill and it might be a fun adventure where they don't expect you to do 5 jobs onset by yourself. You have to feel it out and see what their expectations are so you don't end up in one of those "set up to fail" situations.
Edited by Michael LaVoie, 19 June 2014 - 01:10 PM.