Anything Goes : How to calculate a budget. by Dennis Smyth

Dennis Smyth

How to calculate a budget.

Hi everyone. I'm a newbie to the industry as far as writing a script and putting it on camera. This is going to be my first and hopefully not my last. My question or questions are related to finding funds. How can I find out how much I would need to budget. Here is what I have to offer as far as info. I have a short script(16pg). I would like to possibly submit the short to a film festival once completed. I want to pay everyone involved. Makeup Actors Locations Special effects Camera crew Director etc. I don't know if there is a percentage to go by. Is there a list of people I need to account for that I haven't mentioned. Please Help, Thank you. P.S. I would also like my script to be edited or reviewed. Where can I get this done.

Amanda Toney

Hey Dennis, we actually have 2 webinars coming up on this topic in december. I think they will help you a lot! Check out the Line producing one and Indie film producing 101, you'll learn how to create a budget

Royce Allen Dudley

$1000 per screen minute is a good starting point on an indie micro budget - and that may be low or high in 2015 depending on many factors- the longer the film the lower per minute is another generalization. So based on page count, that's $16K. How many days you shoot, what people cost per day, gear, food, locations, $1000 for insurance is about minimum, permits...

Vasco Phillip de Sousa

There are a lot of books out there on "budgeting for film and tv" and you can see which style is best for you. There's a lot involved, but if you want a simple book the Michael Weiss book has some sample budgets and explains them all. If you're willing to do the work to budget properly, there are many better books available that take you through script breakdowns, scheduling, and the rest of it. There can be up to 40 or so departments, each department can have many people (lawyers, insurance, script supervisors, assistant director, sound crew and so on.) However, if it is your very first film, I'd suggest doing sound and editing yourself, so you know what to look out for the next time around. Keep your first film small and manageable, and expand from there.

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