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Calculating a film's budget


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 07:32 AM

Ive just completed a short film and giving a dollar figure to the equipment budget is not really straight forward. During the production phase, I used a lot of equipment that I already had in my possession. For example some of the things I had bought several years ago and other things I bought decades ago - for example some of the lenses used in the film. Should they be included in the budget? Or only things that were bought specifically for shooting material for the film? Basically, I want to give a more or less honest answer to the question: "What was your film's budget?"


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 09:37 AM

You can put in a rental value for equipment you own, regarding specially purchased kit, ii depends on if this has a working life other than the production, so if you bought a high end tripod for the film, you should regard a rental figure for this. If it's a cheap lens that's written off for one shot during the production, that cost could be included in the budget. However, if you sell the kit after the production, the depreciation would be in the film's budget.


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#3 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

Thankyou Brian. That's a good tip about the rental value. To work out the rental value, I guess it would be something like 15 - 20% of the purchase price?


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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:56 AM

It's so much per day, week or month, not a fixed amount. Something around 1-2% per week. If it's money you're claiming, 2%, haha.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 11:02 AM

If you're getting reimbursed financially, then yes it's important to have numbers even if you own all the equipment. If you aren't getting reimbursed, then it really doesn't matter.
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#6 John E Clark

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:10 PM

Ive just completed a short film and giving a dollar figure to the equipment budget is not really straight forward. During the production phase, I used a lot of equipment that I already had in my possession. For example some of the things I had bought several years ago and other things I bought decades ago - for example some of the lenses used in the film. Should they be included in the budget? Or only things that were bought specifically for shooting material for the film? Basically, I want to give a more or less honest answer to the question: "What was your film's budget?"

 

Even if you 'own' your own equipment, you should get rental house estimates of what it would have cost for that equipment.

 

In the future, if you do a bigger project, you then have references for what this one cost you, and so you can better estimate how much you need.

 

If you ever do get 'outside' funds, it is good to have a history of working out such details, when an investor asks 'why so much for X item in the budget'.

 

In any case, even if you do own your own equipment you will eventually need to buy more or new, so that money that a product 'pays' for the use of the equipment should be put in the bank for that event...


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