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Sample Film Production Budgets

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/9/2010

Here is a look on how to follow a sample film production budget and how this will help your film.

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    No matter how low budget you think your film project is, it still has a budget. A budget really includes everything that is going to cost money in the overall creation of your digital video project. This can be things like hiring crew, renting locations, setting up production, paying for equipment, and other conventional film industry items. It can also be the travel costs, the cost of eating when shooting, and the cost of being away from work. A production is difficult and the way that you can plan ahead, solve problems, and actually cut cost is to create a comprehensive production budget. A production budget sets up every single aspect of the production and coordinates how much it will cost and the final overall production cost. Your production budget is going to be determined by your budgets specifically, so you can decide if you want to include the cost of pre-production and post-production. Here is a look at a sample film production budget layout so that you can mimic for your actual production.

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    Start by listing every single thing that is in the production, which is best when you take a look at your overall schedule and what is going to be necessary to achieve your production goals. Begin listing all the items, travel situations, and overall costs that may be associated. Start by dividing them up into different areas such as production materials, set dressings and materials, locations, actors, crew, and other types of staff. Begin placing them into a spreadsheet format where you list the exact amount of cost for each department. This is not going to be complete immediately as many departments will need a final amount. For example, designate props as one of these departments. Then the propmaster, or simply you as the producer, will create a full prop list. In the creation of this prop list you will seek out every prop without purchase and then list the price of that prop, which may be free if you already own it. Once you have the complete price list the total sum and indicate it as the overall cost of props. Make sure that every single aspect of production that you will need is listed in the spreadsheet format. Once you have the final list make sure to create a block for a second price as this is only the first draft and you may be able to cut the budget later on, and you may even have to increase it.

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    Using the Production Budget

    Your film production budget is going to do more than just let you know what the cost is. Instead it will also let you know where the real cost centers are so that you can see where you will want to cut funding and where the cost has become bloated. This is where you really get the freedom to slash the money and reshape your overall vision. The sample form is really just a basic design that allows you to see every aspect of production and list it in order with the according cost.