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Old 04-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #1
Asker
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How do I budget my film?

I've saved up money to finance two short films of mine. The first one has a finished script, lead actor and executive producer attached to the project. The executive producer got a hold of one of the major financial supporters to upcoming filmmakers in my country (Denmark), however I want to have a budget ready when that meeting is set and due for potential financial support.

Having done all filmmaking so far on a solo level (two music videos, a handful of shorts, a handful of commercial and event videos), but nothing on a collaborative plan, I've no clue how to budget this and which filmmaking roles I need for a smaller scale project like this, and how much each role costs.

I want to explain the film to you in hope that you could get a feeling of what the project is like, and what I might need:

THE SCRIPT: 9 full pages
EXPECTED LENGTH: 8-10 minutes
BUDGET: $6.000-$10.000 (depending on financial support)
EXPECTED SHOOTING TIME: 2 days of 8-12 hours

The story:
A man is set for 3 tests, set up in 3 different rooms. The first test is a condition test (on a treadmill), second room is a survelliance test, third room is a "torture" scene. The torture scene is the primary focus of the film, and will be around 6-7 minutes long out of the 8-10 minutes. The torture scene itself isn't physical torture, but mentally.
After finishing the 3 tests the protagonist enters a room with 3 "judges" that evaluates him. The twist is that the entire test is a "graduation exam" to an intelligence agency getting grades in condition/surveillance/torture, questioning whether the end justifies the means.

The look:
Melancholy. A bit like the Saw-films with decent production design.

Extra:
The protagonist actor wont be paid (he's collaborating to realise the project), but I will need a decent actor to play the victim in the torture scene (the judges in the last room will be easy roles so I'm not really going to budget that).

Lastly I just want to say that I'm not here to get critic on the story itself - I just want to get some help with budgeting so that I don't waste all my money on stupid stuff.

Please clarify if I have left out any essential information, and please don't bash me for being such a newbie! I'm working really hard to earn my own money and finance my own projects, and this is my first major step in becoming a filmmaker.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:35 AM   #2
directorik
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The minimum crew I would suggest is 14:
DP/operator
1st AC
1st AD
script supervisor
gaffer
key grip
grip/electric
grip/electric
makeup/costumer
set dresser/props
audio recordist
boom op
craft services/caterer

How much you pay is up to you. With the cast you say you aren't
paying everyone so maybe you can do that with crew. Perhaps your
executive producer knows the going rates in your area.

I don't know the expectations in Denmark but here in the states the
production feeds people even when paying.

There are typically 11 “headings” that cover production and 3 that
cover post. Each of these has dozens of line items. For example the
CAMERA DEPARTMENT will include a line item for each rental to
batteries. SET OPERATIONS will include all grip and camera moving
rentals all the way to expendables. A different line item for rentals
and purchases.

Wardrobe and make up and props should each have their own heading
and line items.

Then there's post production...
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:37 AM   #3
gorillaonabike
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...and remember to double it...
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
The minimum crew I would suggest is 14:
DP/operator
1st AC
1st AD
script supervisor
gaffer
key grip
grip/electric
grip/electric
makeup/costumer
set dresser/props
audio recordist
boom op
craft services/caterer

How much you pay is up to you. With the cast you say you aren't
paying everyone so maybe you can do that with crew. Perhaps your
executive producer knows the going rates in your area.

I don't know the expectations in Denmark but here in the states the
production feeds people even when paying.

There are typically 11 “headings” that cover production and 3 that
cover post. Each of these has dozens of line items. For example the
CAMERA DEPARTMENT will include a line item for each rental to
batteries. SET OPERATIONS will include all grip and camera moving
rentals all the way to expendables. A different line item for rentals
and purchases.

Wardrobe and make up and props should each have their own heading
and line items.

Then there's post production...
Are there any books/videos that explain this further into depth? As in the basics of a crew?

How do I go about with my money? Do I contact a producer and say "hey, I got this money and this idea.... wanna help make this film?" or do I contact every crew member myself? What about contracts etc?
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Are there any books/videos that explain this further into depth?
Yep heaps. Put in a search into google and you'll find heaps.

Quote:
I'm working really hard to earn my own money and finance my own projects, and this is my first major step in becoming a filmmaker.
Quote:
How do I go about with my money? Do I contact a producer and say "hey, I got this money and this idea.... wanna help make this film?" or do I contact every crew member myself? What about contracts etc?
What are you trying to achieve? For what purpose? What goals?
What role are you trying to attain? Producer, director, writer?
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:38 PM   #6
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I'm going to direct the project, but I got a hold of the national filmmaking union's official document in regards to filmmaking roles pricing and rules. So I guess I got that sorted now, thanks tho!
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:43 PM   #7
Alcove Audio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Then there's post production...
Right from the beginning, though, you should be thinking about the sound of the film just as much as the look. It also works into your budget.


You can trim a little fat off of production by getting a one-man-band production sound person who will boom and mix at the same time. However, I would get a really good mixer/boom-op. This is important; really solid production sound (boomed and lavs), clean tracks that are consistently and logically labeled, will save you LOTS of time - and therefor MONEY - when it comes time for audio post.

Audio post on your budget will probably be a "one-man-band" operation like myself. The quality you get will depend upon your budget, schedule and numerous other aspects. Audio post involves dialog editing/clean-up, Foley, sound effects (which includes ambient sound), integrating the score and source music, and the final mix. Solid production sound will either a.) make getting the "as is" production sound from the edit cohesive an easy process rather than a rescue effort, or b.) make the dialog edit a creative endeavor rather than turd polishing and numerous variations in between.


A couple of "Nuggets."


At the small-budget indie level every dollar you spend on production sound saves you ten in audio post.


Your project will only look as good as it sounds, because
"Sound is half of the experience"

If your film looks terrible but has great sound, people might just think it's your aesthetic.
If your film looks great and has bad sound, people will think you're an amateur.
Sound is the first indicator to the industry that you know what you're doing.

Last edited by Alcove Audio; 04-30-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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