Stage 32 Budgeting Class: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Television Show Budget

Taught by Rami Rank

$149

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$149.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Projects:

Class hosted by: Rami Rank

President & Producer at Top Ranked Pictures, Inc./GOLIATH (Amazon), DEXTER (Showtime)

Rami Rank is a producer with credits on shows including, DEXTER for Showtime, SWINGTOWN for CBS, HELP ME HELP YOU for ABC, and GOLIATH on Amazon, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Since 2013 Rami has worked on a variety of both scripted and unscripted projects, most recently serving as Co-Producer for the Amazon hit series GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton. Top Ranked Pictures, Inc. is a development and consultancy film that works with filmmakers to bring their project to fruition by providing budgeting and scheduling services. Top Ranked Pictures has also consulted on multiple studio builds and business plans for studio projects. Rami began his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer. After joining the union and coordinating the third season of DEXTER, Rami joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business until 2013 when he came back to production. Full Bio »

Summary

As a television maker, one of the most difficult aspects of your job is creating and managing the budget for your project. Budgeting a feature or a short can be complicated enough, but at least you have all of the information at your fingertips. You have a script, schedule, rates—all of these things are at your disposal. However what happens when you need to budget a TV show? You don’t have all the scripts, there’s seemingly no way to create a schedule and, on the surface, no way to generate a budget. And once that budget is established, how do you handle decision making and cost tracking over a many, many months long process? These seemingly unsolved issues do have answers, and ones that may be simpler than you think.

Successfully producing a TV show to get on screen requires that you understand not just how to build a TV budget, but also how to operate it. Knowing the ins and outs of Movie Magic and the various tools within as it relates to television is key. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and drown in the details of creating and managing the budget of a series. Through thorough research of the software, what it does and how it affects your project, you will be able to create TV budgets with ease. Presenting a solid TV budget will help you gain the confidence of those who can ultimately invite you into the inner circle of TV producing and allow you to advance your career to new heights.

Rami Rank is a producer with credits on shows including Amazon's GOLIATH, DEXTER for Showtime, SWINGTOWN for CBS, HELP ME and HELP YOU for ABC, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Rami began his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer. After joining the union and coordinating the third season of DEXTER, Rami joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business until 2013, when he came back to production. Through his storied career, Rami has produced and budgeted for all types of television shows, including some of the biggest ones out there. He knows intimately what goes into the vital aspect of creating a budget for these projects and is ready to share all he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community.

In this 3-session class, Rami will offer detailed, practical, and exhaustive guide to creating and managing a successful TV budget. In session one he will review the basic starting point of a TV budget: where the information comes from and how to utilize it. He will review some basic concepts like Budgeting and Scheduling Software, Rate Guides and the two types of budgets you’ll be creating – Patterns and Amorts. Session 2 will be a deep dive into the Amort budget. Students will receive a copy of an Amort budget to use as reference as we walk through all of the departments, positions and costs to consider in preparing the Amort. In the final session you will receive copies of a pattern budget to use as reference as he teaches how this budget is transformed into an episodic budget and then tracked using hot costs and cost reports. You will leave these three classes with the knowledge base and confidence to tackle any TV budget.


WHAT TO EXPECT

  • This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of creating a budget for a television show. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more than a standard 90-minute webinar.
  • You will be given guides and walk throughs of software and procedures and will receive handouts and resources that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the class ends.
  • This class will consist of three sessions, each roughly 90 minutes in duration and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the lessons where Rami will be sharing his screen and walking you through section by section of television budgeting software, you will have the opportunity to ask Rami questions during each session. 
  • Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the budgeting process.
  • To see the full budgeting class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

 

"As a long time producer, I know how important a solid budget is for any television show, and I know just how challenging it is to create one successfully—much harder than for features and shorts. I’m excited to empower producers and creatives in the Stage 32 community to do the same. Get ready to learn more about TV budgets than you ever have before!"

-Rami Rank

What You'll Learn

SESSION 1 – GROUNDWORK

In session one we will review the basic starting point of a TV budget: where the information comes from and how to utilize it. We'll review some basic concepts like budgeting and scheduling software, rate guides and the two types of budgets you’ll be creating – Patterns and Amorts.

  • The Unknown Void of TV Budgeting
    • The art of balancing and forecasting
    • Honesty as a priority
    • The budget as a living document
  • Where do you get your information?
    • Creative concepts
    • Nuts and bolts
  • Tools of the Trade
    • Movie Magic budgeting
    • Movie Magic scheduling
    • Calendar program
    • EP Paymaster or Pay Rate Guide
  • What and How Do I Pay People
    • The Roles of Unions / Guilds
    • Minimum Rates
    • Minimum Staffing
    • Pay Hours
    • Overscale Employees
    • Fringes / Eventual Savings
  • General Concepts
    • Pattern and Amort Budgets
    • Out / In Pattern
    • Hero Sets
    • Cast
    • On Production vs. Off Production Roles
    • Hot Costs
    • Cost Reports
    • Projections
  • Q&A with Rami

SESSION 2 – THE AMORT BUDGET

Session 2 will be a deep dive into the Amort budget. Students will receive a PDF copy of an amort budget to use as reference as we walk through all of the departments, positions and costs to consider in preparing the Amort.

  • What is in the Amort Budget?
    • Prep Costs
    • Wrap Costs
    • Seasonal Costs
    • Non-Episodic Costs
    • Fixed Costs
  • ATL - A Walkthrough of the Above the Line Costs / Departments in the Amort Budget and some basic estimation tools
    • Writers
    • Producer
    • Director
    • Cast
    • ATL Travel
  • BTL – A Walkthrough of the Below the Line Costs Along with a brief outline of job responsibilities
    • Extras
    • Production
    • Art Department
    • Construction
    • Strike Costs
    • Grip / Set Operations
    • SFX
    • Set Dressing
    • Property
    • Picture Vehicles
    • Set Lighting
    • Camera
    • Sound
    • Costumes
    • Hair / Make-Up
    • Transportation
    • Location Expenses
    • General Expenses
    • Tests
    • 2nd Unit
    • Stage and Backlot Rentals
    • Editorial
    • Main Title Sequence
    • Stock Footage
    • Miscellaneous Overhead
  • Q&A with Rami

SESSION 3 – THE PATTERN BUDGET AND GOING FORWARD

In the final session students will receive PDF copies of a pattern budget to use as reference as we learn how this budget is transformed into an episodic budget and then tracked using hot costs and cost reports.

  • The Pattern Budget
    • Finding and Understanding Balance in the Pattern
    • Managing expectations and realities of future savings
  • New Items Not In The Amort Budget
    • While most of the items in the pattern budget are already in the amort, there are a multitude of new costs purely related to the episode, here, we will review those
  • Creating the Episodic Budget From the Pattern
    • Concept Meeting
    • Preliminary Budgets
    • Department Meetings
    • Tech Scout
    • Production Meeting
    • Final Budgets
  • Tracking and Projections
    • Hot Costs
    • Cost Reports
    • Seasonal Tracking
    • Projections
  • Q&A with Rami

About Your Instructor

Rami Rank is a producer with credits on shows including, DEXTER for Showtime, SWINGTOWN for CBS, HELP ME HELP YOU for ABC, and GOLIATH on Amazon, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Since 2013 Rami has worked on a variety of both scripted and unscripted projects, most recently serving as Co-Producer for the Amazon hit series GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton.

Top Ranked Pictures, Inc. is a development and consultancy film that works with filmmakers to bring their project to fruition by providing budgeting and scheduling services. Top Ranked Pictures has also consulted on multiple studio builds and business plans for studio projects.

Rami began his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer. After joining the union and coordinating the third season of DEXTER, Rami joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business until 2013 when he came back to production.

Schedule

CLASS 1 - Groundwork - 7/6/20

CLASS 2 - The Amort Budget - 7/13/20

CLASS 3 - The Pattern Budget and Going Forward - 7/20/20

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 3 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Introduction to Movie Magic: Learn to Budget Like a Pro

Any producer can tell you just how much goes into creating a budget for a film. Layer after layer, projection after projection, contingency after contingency, it’s always an incredibly difficult, incredibly fragile, and incredibly intricate document that take an immense amount of work and care to put together. And with so many elements involved, it’s just too big and specialized for a program like Excel to handle. There is a reason why nearly every studio, producer, accountant and unit production manager utilizes Movie Magic Budgeting to write budgets. If you are in the position where you have been asked to create a budget, Movie Magic is absolutely essential. It is the easiest and cleanest budgeting program and can handle anything from shorts to multi-cam and single camera series to full features. It is both simple and deeply complex as you start getting into the minutiae of everything it can do. Yet a solid understanding of how to operate Movie Magic is a powerful tool in the arsenal of those looking to move up into management on either the show or studio level and might be a requirement for those looking to find success in their producing career. Rami Rank is a leading and sought-after producer with credits on shows including Amazon's GOLIATH, Showtime’s DEXTER, SWINGTOWN on CBS, HELP ME and HELP YOU on ABC, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Beginning his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer, Rami later joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business. Since then, he returned to production and continues to put together high profile films and series. Through his storied career, Rami has become intimately familiar with the inner workings of Movie Magic Budgeting and set to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Rami will give a full walkthrough of how to successfully use the Movie Magic Budgeting (MMB) software to put together a budget for your own film or series. He will begin by giving an overview of what the budget will look like on MMB, including the top sheet, the accounts, details, helpful shortcut keys, and understanding what amt, units, x, cur, and rate mean. Next he will talk you through how to set up a budget from scratch, including how to choose the right template, input budget info, and set up your header and footer. Rami will teach you how to set up and use different units and will then delve into globals, explaining what they are and how to create them. He’ll to through global groups, applying globals and changing globals. Then he will discuss fringes, explaining what they are in the context of MMB, and go over percentage fringes, flat rate fringes, applying and removing fringes, and setting the fringe account. He will also explain how groups work on MMB, why they are important, how to create them yourself, and how to turn them on and off. Next Rami will explain how to use the currency function and how to set up and build contractual fees. Finally Rami will break down additional basic functions of MMB including pagination, recalculation, and printing and PDF conversion. Movie Magic Budgeting can be an intimidating software, but Rami will give you an accessible and actionable walkthrough so you can have the tools and confidence to build your own budget with it.   Rami will be operating from Movie Magic's Version 7.7, the Legacy version of its budgeting software, which is also the version that most professional producers currently use.     Praise for Rami's Stage 32 Webinar   "It was great, good presenter, very experienced, good communication" -Paul B.   "Terrific host, valuable content." -Mark M.   "Rami was great. He was entertaining, and showed he knew what he was teaching. Webinar flowed well and was engaging for the whole timeframe" -Nicholas B.   "Very helpful, good overview of the software" -Angie L.

Navigating Today's Distribution Landscape To Successfully Release Your Film

The landscape of distribution has shifted dramatically over recent years and continues to change in this post-pandemic world. If you have completed your feature film and are trying to secure distribution, it can be difficult to even know where to start, much less which option is the best fit for your specific project. Is theatrical, streaming, or VOD your best bet? Will the film festival circuit help you? What can and should a distributor do for you? Before making a decision, it’s important you understand what options are actually available and what the distribution marketplace really looks like today. While there are more places than ever to go to for distribution, there’s also more competition for your project to be noticed by distributors and, once distributed, for viewers to decide to watch your film over the other thousands at their fingertips. Moreover, with so many companies and services in this space, it can be difficult to determine which companies are actually on the up-and-up and which will treat your film with the respect it deserves. If you’re trying to get your film picked up right now or hope to have your feature project distributed in the future, the most important step is to understand what the landscape looks like today and what your options actually are. Let’s break it down for you. Kristin Harris is a seasoned entertainment executive who has spent the past 15 years in the independent distribution space. She has held key acquisition, development, and production roles at Starz Media, Overture Films, and Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Kristin currently serves as VP, Distribution and Acquisitions at Good Deed Entertainment, where she oversees all aspects of the company's distribution arm and manages the release slate, which includes EXTRA ORDINARY, JOURNEY’S END, Spirit Award Nominee, TO DUST, and the Academy Award nominated LOVING VINCENT. Kristin has been at the forefront of distribution as it continues to evolve and is bringing her experience to the Stage 32 community. Kristin will teach you how film distribution currently works today, what options are currently available to you and your feature film, and how to best navigate this world to ultimately get people to watch your project. Kristin will begin with an overview of how distribution works today before diving into the primary release models and options currently being used, including a discussion of which model is the best fit for your specific film. She’ll explain the rights and revenue streams you need to understand and will then lay out the primary players and platforms currently running, including all rights distributors, festivals and theatrical, digital home entertainment, non-theatrical, and streamers. Finally Kristin will go over how can you work on connecting with your audience from the very beginning to make the most of your own distribution.   Making decisions regarding distribution for your film can be a daunting task, but Kristin is going to give you the most up-to-date and comprehensive breakdown of what distribution looks like today so you can be armed with facts and strategies when finding the best release strategy for your own film.     Praise for Kristin's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Very informative and have learned a great deal. Will definitely put to use for our Feature Film Projects. Thank you!" -Haskell A.   "The webinar was cutting edge and valuable information" -Angela G.   "Very good practical information detailed enough to get the lay of the land on this topic." -James P.   "Great info in a new age." -Mary M.

Stage 32 Presents: COVID-19 - A Conversation with Industry Professionals of the Current State of the Entertainment Industry

Founded in 2011 by Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 is the world's largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV and new media creatives and professionals worldwide. Stage 32 works with over five hundred industry professionals and executives who provide education, instruction and professional opportunities for members of the platform. Stage 32 currently has over 1,200 hours of exclusive film, television and digital craft and business education in its library. Stage 32 members use the platform daily to build their network, take online webinars, classes and labs, find work and cast and crew their projects. Stage 32 members range from students to Emmy, BAFTA and Academy Award Winners. Over the last few weeks, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that you know that Stage 32 is your online home to stay connected with over 600,000 creatives and professionals from across the globe. Now, we are looking forward to bringing you another virtual event to help you stay up-to-date about the state of the entertainment industry featuring some of the top professionals in the business. In this special event webcast we presented a virtual panel featuring some of the top minds in the Stage 32 community to discuss the current state of the entertainment industry as we are all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our Stage 32 Managing Director, Amanda Toney, hosted this incredible lineup, where you will hear the point of view of a production company (Andrew Fried of Boardwalk Pictures), a lender (Viviana Zarragoitia of Three Point Capital), lender counsel (Carolyn Hunt of Barnes & Thornburg LLP), a talent representative (Tracy Christian of TCA Management), all moderated by producer and production company counsel (Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law PC). Stage 32 is proud to be putting the "social" in #SocialDistancing. Please share this event on your social media and tag @stage32 on Twitter and @stage32online on Instagram.   

Beyond The Page: The Business Side of Breaking In & Getting Work as a Screenwriter

Learn directly from Michael Poisson, the former Director of Development at Silent Machine Entertainment, Krysten Ritter’s production company that has a first look deal at Universal TV. Michael is also a comedy writer who used his insider knowledge to land a manager, and get two projects in development at TV production companies. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Michael Poisson will guide you through the business side of how to become a working writer in Hollywood. Writing an awesome script is only part of the process for becoming successful in this industry. Having worked on various projects from both the executive side, as well as the writer side of things, Michael has obtained great insight for how to avoid the difficult terrain when meeting and working with producers, studios, and networks. And while the process of finding a manager or agent is daunting, keeping a strong relationship with them so that they’re doing the most for you as their client can be equally difficult. Michael will share with you his insider knowledge to help: keep your writing on track, your meetings fruitful, and your industry contacts strong. If you’ve ever wondered what you should talk about in “general meetings”, how to take notes from friends/producers/execs that you don’t agree with, or how to be a more prolific writer, this webinar is for you!  

What Makes an Unscripted Show Attractive to a Cable or Streaming Buyer?

Unscripted (reality) television has burst onto cable and streaming platforms with a vengeance. In fact, reality seems to be everywhere these days with shows covering just about every subject imaginable. However, much has changed since the pioneers of reality TV came into people's living rooms (remember THE REAL WORLD and JOE MILLIONAIRE?). Gone are the days of simple formats allowing unfiltered access into the day to day lives of real people. Today, the networks and streamers are interested in shows providing a behind the curtain peak into all sorts of different subcultures. Mostly everyone can think of a time when they've thought "Wow, that would make a great reality TV" - But where do you start if you want to develop and pitch an unscripted show ? The challenges in developing unscripted/reality shows are lengthy. Unscripted shows don’t have scripts or actors, and they deal with real people and the personal conflicts they deal with in navigating their work and personal lives. And, just like networks and streaming platforms have mandates for scripted shows, they also have mandates for unscripted shows. So, how do you plan and develop the trajectory of a show if it's not scripted? If you have a great concept and cast, it's your job to function as a producer - read: therapist and gatekeeper -  to prove that you can sustain the concept through multiple seasons. You have to make sure that you have a reliable cast that's on board with your vision. And you have to know how to sell that vision in a clear and winning fashion. This all begins by understanding what networks and the steaming platforms are looking for, who's programming what, what materials you will need to have in order to pitch, and how to put together a sizzle real and/or deck that rises above the rest. Catherine Keithley is the Vice President of Current and Development at Brian Graden Media. She produced Season 1 of INSTANT INFLUENCER with James Charles for YouTube Originals, Seasons 1 - 4 of ESCAPE THE NIGHT for YouTube Originals starring Joey Graceffa, the hour special also for YouTube Originals BAND TOGETHER WITH LOGIC and season 1 of MS. T'S MUSIC FACTORY for Lifetime. She's sold and developed a number of shows for BGM at various stages of development, casting, presentations, and pilots for networks like Lifetime, NBC, BET, POP, E!, Bravo, GSN, A&E, Fullscreen, & YouTube Originals. Catherine will teach you what makes a network interested in an unscripted show. You will learn how to pick "characters" that are watchable and whey they'd be attractive to a buyer. She'll go over the various genres that are produced for unscripted television and break them down by network. She will take you through what goes into development for each of the genres, including what materials you will need and what your sizzle needs to look like. She will even go into detail by network on who is buying what in unscripted - breaking down budget ranges so you're fully understanding on where your unscripted idea stands.    Like what you heard from Catherine during this webcast?  Send your concept to Catherine and speak with her for half-hour by clicking here.     You will see what types of characters stand out to a network, what your pitch deck needs to look like and how you can hook someone immediately with your sizzle. Catherine will give you all the tools you need to make your unscripted pitch sing.   "After working in unscripted selling to mostly all major networks, I'll help give you the insight into what it takes to pitch a winning unscripted idea that will get sold."  - Catherine Keithley

The Business of Unscripted/Reality TV & the Best Way to Develop and Pitch It

There is a myth in the television industry right now: more channels mean it’s easier to sell a show, right? WRONG! The diversification of television and the dominance of streaming services over linear cable have made it HARDER to sell unscripted programming. Why? Because there are too many places for the audience to go. In order to get a hit, networks have to become specialized and truly define their brand in order to stand out. You can no longer just pitch IDEAS to networks. IDEAS are not STORIES and they’re not SERIES. There is a lot more work (research, interviews, and writing) that has to go into a pitch before you can take it to a network. Bomb a pitch and a network might not let you in the door again. Angela Molloy is one of the original unscripted executives having been in the game since 2001, when it was just getting started. She’s also one of the only executives who has been a network buyer, a production company development executive (seller), and an Executive Producer in the field. In this webinar you’ll learn get an overall sense of the reality landscape and concrete essential tips for how to develop and pitch into it. Sign up today to make sure you don’t get caught with your pants down during a pitch!  

register for stage 32 Register / Log In