Everyone likes to enjoy the final results of making a movie, but not many wonders how the whole process looks, how many people need to be engaged in a given project, and most importantly, how movie budgets are created and financed. Whether you are an amateur moviemaker, a dreamer or simply an enthusiast of cinematography, here’s all you need to know about a movie production budget.
What is a film budget?
It might seem that the term film budget is self-explanatory, but in reality, numerous beginners in the industry underestimate how costly it might be to make a movie and what costs need to be considered in the budget. Let’s start by explaining that there is a difference between a production budget and the total budget of a given film. Besides production costs, which include cast salaries, equipment rentals, permits and more, there are also the expenses connected to marketing and promotion, usually not included in the production budget.
A production budget is often divided into two categories – above and below the line. The first section, above the line, includes all the creative members of the cast and crew, directors, writers, and producers. The second category is the rest of the personnel and the non-key cast as well as all other expenses.
A movie production cost
It takes a lot of effort and hard work, but most importantly, money to make a movie, even if it’s not a blockbuster. The total cost includes so many expenses an amateur movie-maker would never think of. From props to food for the cast and crew, it all costs money. Every day of shooting adds hundreds of dollars to the whole budget.
Usually, the first draft of the budget, the preliminary one, includes a short summary of expected expenses. If you are about to create a low-budget movie and you don’t look for any outside sources of funding for the project, this might do. Otherwise, you will need to prepare the second, more organized and detailed budget. If you are looking for investors, remember to back up your plan with examples of budgets of similar productions. In other words, if you plan on shooting a documentary, share a budget for an analogous project and its outcome.
Keeping track of your budget and expenses throughout the whole process is crucial, as it will allow you to complete the project and enjoy the results everyone expects. There might, and most certainly will, occur some unforeseen events that will require additional finances or moving money from one sector to another. If you trace your budget, you will be able to easily and quickly react to such situations.
How to create a movie budget?
Going from theory to practice is the most challenging part. You might want to make use of the ready-made templates available online if you are a beginner in the industry, as it might help you focus on all the important aspects of creating a budget.
Start with adding all the costs of the pre-production process and wrap-crew, which includes gaffers, DP, and more. Make sure to schedule the pre-production as it might turn into a chaotic period that will consume a lion’s share of your finances if it’s not properly organized.
The next step is adding the expenses of the shooting crew, which includes the personnel but also craft services. Add the materials, costumes, accessories, props, electronics and animatronics, make-up, animals, and whatever else might be necessary to make the project happen. Moreover, you need to shoot the movie somewhere, even if it’s a low-budget production. This means that you need to add the expenses related to the location, studio rental and all costs related. Then, add the expenses connected to the necessary constructions, materials and construction workers. The list continues with fees, editorial costs and many more.
As you can see, shooting a film requires a bottomless pit filled with money. A lot depends on the type of production, the location, the actors and the genre. Shooting a drama film is usually less expensive than making an action or spy film (one of the biggest hits of recent years, Casino Royale, with a budget of $150 million). It’s hard to be surprised, as casinos have always been associated with luxury and wealth that needs to be depicted well on screen. After all, the movie needs to be realistic, and people all around the world have now much more chances to get the experience first-hand, win big money and judge the reality of the movie. The audience can visit safe casinos, like the ones from the Casino Reviews, choose reliable games, get a real experience and know a casino inside out. They won’t be easily persuaded, so you need to make sure that your movie is convincing in every manner, and for that, you will need money.