Producing : Is there a book on how to write a film budget or a link that I can go to? by Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Is there a book on how to write a film budget or a link that I can go to?

I am a screenwriter in NYC. Brooklyn native. Manhattan resident. I want to produce my script "Hope Saves Manhattan" as an independent film. I can not afford the expense of hiring a line producer. I have been told if I have a complete film budget for above line and below line costs it will help me to pitch to investors, get donations and generally get the $$ I need to get my cast and crew up and rolling. I will be wearing several hats: screenwriter, director, executive producer Any help would be most appreciated.

Regina Lee

Hi Steven, in full disclosure, this is not my area of expertise. My AD friend (a legit DGA AD who has AD'ed movies for Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, etc.) doesn't think a book will do the job. However, if you look on Amazon, there are good reviews for film budgeting books, so maybe you can at least get started on your own. I've seen the budget creation process, and I'm skeptical that a book will do the trick, but we all have to do our best, so give it a shot! Can't hurt. Good luck!

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Regina- Thank you so much. I will check out the sources.

Regina Lee

Maybe also Google "textbooks" used by prestigious film schools. I bet you'll get some of the best books that way. I feel like budgeting really does require experience though. You get a sense of how many days a scene takes to shoot because you've had the experience from previous film shoots. But that comment doesn't solve your problem. You might even be able to buy some used books so you can sample a spectrum of books.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Peter Fleming- Your link was a big help. I will study it and map it. It gives me a good sense not only of costs. But a good sense of what types of costs there are in the making of a motion picture. With every passing day on Stage 32 I come a little closer to realizing my dream of making "Hope Saves Manhattan " into a film. Thank you so much.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Peter Fleming- The time frame is dependent on us finishing the budget and presenting it to investors/ and or donors who than provide the funds to put everything in motion.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Victor- You're right none of the books will help. I think I'll just give up the idea and become a telemarketer. Thank you for your advice.

Erik A. Jacobson

Steven, just sent you a sample 200K budget. Please note that the daily minmum on such budgets has now been raised by SAG to $125 per day rather than the $100 per day in this sample budget. Hope this helps you.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Erik- Thank you for sending me the sample budget. However where did you send it?

Erik A. Jacobson

Steven, it's actually TWO SAMPLE BUDGETS side by side, one on the left and the other on the right. Hope that's not too confusing.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Erik- No not at all I'll figure it out. If anything it is starting to educate this screenwriter on the difference between above the line costs and below the line costs. BTW. I am finally what I believe to be the final draft of my 96 page script "Hope Saves Manhattan" I have it posted on my profile page under loglines. I know you are busy but if you have a chance and want to give it a read would appreciate some feedback.

Rafael Pinero

Steven, yes there are books about film budgeting and they do help a lot, but before budgeting you have to learn how to schedule and then you can budget, you have to breakdown the script and budget from that.

Rafael Pinero

There are also books about film scheduling, which you need to know before budgeting.

Regina Lee

Exactly what Rafael said. That's why ADs do a lot of budgets and boards. They schedule. You don't necessarily need a line producer/UPM. And to create a real schedule, you need the experience of being a part of preps and shoots.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Rafael & Regina-- Thank you for the advice. I will find out what ever resources are available on Film scheduling as well. As I move forward with my project each day I learn more and more from my fellow Stage 32 members. I am coming up on my one year anniversary with this amazing fellowship. And When I joined last year and met RB at the Tribeca Film Festival my script was still (10) memo pads 847 pages long not even formatted as a screenplay yet. Today thanks to the support I have received here it is down to a 96 page Celtx formatted script that is ready for pre-production & or sale or worthy of a Nicoll or Page submission. Of course If I am fortunate enough to have a Studio produce it. My first choice(because of my love for my Native New York City) is Miramax. But first things first I have a lot of work and education ahead of me. I am looking forward to it with a great deal of confidence.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Thank you.

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