Can I budget a series or webseries?
You sure can. We offer two routes: Budgeting for a single episode (such as a pilot), or budgeting your entire series as one big budget.
How accurate will the budget be that I receive from Film Budgeteers?
No budget can be 100% accurate, not even a budget created by a paid line producer. What we provide is a budget that’s as close as possible to the real-world costs of making your film, based on the information we ask you to provide.
Labor rates, fuel costs, rentals – you name it, and its price will change over time. Not to mention, talent and crew of all stripes can come and go during the often long-haul of putting a film together. But rest assured. The budget we provide you will be more than enough to get you and your film dialed in. And if you order the Excel version, you can tweak it until your heart’s content.
I’m still raising money for my film. How can I make a budget if I don’t know how much money I’ll have at the end of the fundraising process?
Ah, but you won’t know how much you need to fund-raise until you put together a budget. Our advice is: before any fundraising or pitching or talking to investors begins, you and your team should have an accurate, line-by-line estimate of how much your film will cost to produce. Whether you budget your film yourself, hire a paid line producer to do it, or use Film Budgeteers, having a budget before you start raising funds is essential.
Do I need to upload my script?
No. Just answer the questions our budgeting engine asks of you and we dial in your budget from there.
Can I edit my downloaded budget?
Yes. If you order a budget that includes the Excel version, and not just the PDF, you can edit the downloaded Excel version of your budget using any recent-ish version of Microsoft Excel. (That is, one that opens XLSX files, or any version of Excel after 2007.)
Do you offer custom film budgeting services or line producing?
Yes. Drop us a line at email@example.com for a custom quote.
Can I get my budget in Movie Magic / EP Budgeting format or some other format?
Excel and PDF is all we offer.
Will my editable Excel budget open in Open Office?
Yes. The editable Excel file will open in Open Office 4.1.1 or newer. Make sure you don’t add an filename extension or change the “.xlsx” extension.
Will I be able to import my downloaded Excel budget into EP / Movie Magic Budgeting?
Yes, but be careful. It’s a bit complicated getting anything from Excel to import correctly (and handsomely) into EP / Movie Magic Budgeting.
What assumptions does your budgeting app make?
Our editable Excel film budget is hand-designed by real producers and filmmakers. As a result, it’s capable of making several smart assumptions.
One example of that is that it assumes that when you enter a budget amount of $200,000.00, you’ll likely be using SAG for your actors, but you’re probably not going to be hiring IATSE, DGA, Teamsters, or WGA labor. Or if you do, you’ll be hiring out at negotiated rates.
Other assumptions we make are similar. If you’re making a $7,000,000 film, you can afford more for your camera package than you could if you were making a $700,000 film. That being said, you can only spend so much on a camera package, so we try to build in common-sense maximums as well.
Why are some crew and other line items in my budget blank?
Because the amount you asked to create a budget for is too low to afford certain line items and crew. For example, if you’re shooting a $1 million-dollar film, you probably can’t afford Teamsters, so we zero them out, as well as other cast, crew and line items that you won’t be able to afford at the low budget amount you’re working with. The higher the budget amount you tell us you’re working with, the more line items and crew start to show up in your budget. Remember, you can always manually add or delete crew and line items after you download your budget. (If you’ve purchased the Excel version.)
Why do some crew members appear in my budget, but have no rate or cost?
If you’re shooting a smaller film, we include certain essential crew members on your budget, but don’t list a rate for them. This isn’t an accident. It comes from over 30 years experience working on small films: if your budget is too low, you simply can’t afford to pay most, if not all, of your crew.
When I edit line items in my downloaded budget, will it change the budget total amount?
Yep. Your downloaded Excel file will behave just like a regular spreadsheet. You change a number in column X, column Y will change it’s total, etc. Keep in mind, if you’re tweaking your film in a major way (for example, going from a $20,000 budget to a $10M budget), you could lose a lot of the smart calculations and assumptions we included in your original downloaded budget, so make sure you make a copy before you start editing anything.
Will my budget be calculated using the most recent labor rates?
You bet. We only use the most up-to-date labor rates, based on all the current union contracts. SAG, DGA, WGA, Teamsters, and IATSE.
What are fringes? Does my film budget need to include them?
Fringes are costs you must include in your budget for every cast/crew member. For non-union cast/crew, you must pay FICA, Federal Unemployment Insurance (FUI), and State Unemployment Insurance (SUI). For cast/crew members who are a part of the DGA, WGA, Teamsters, SAG, or IATSE, you also pay unique guild fringes, such as Health & Welfare and Pension costs. And fringes can add up, so they have to be budgeted for correctly.
If you’ve entered a small budget amount, your budget might just show a few hundred or thousand dollars for SAG. But if you’re budgeting for a large, multi-million-dollar picture, you can bet your budget will include full union fringes.
But don’t worry – our budget also makes room for us filmmakers producing films in between as well. For example, our calculations assume that if you’re shooting a $4 million movie, you might not be using Teamsters to run your transportation department. But if you’re making a $7 million movie, you probably need to be.
Can I create a budget in any non-US currency?
Not yet, but we’re working on it.
Can I create a film budget of $0?
Our budget amounts start at $25,000.
I need a film business plan. Can you create one for me?
We can! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote, or just purchase our film business plan template and modify it to fit your film’s needs.
What comes with your Film Business Plan Template?
Our 29-page Film Business Plan template is separate from our budgeting process, and is a separate product you can order. It includes a business plan document that has all the text you need to customize highlighted in red. The entire package also includes our Private Placement Memorandum – a 31-page LLC-focused investment document, our Revenue Projection Spreadsheet for you to customize for your film, and over 50 vital film document templates such as crew deal memos, investor agreements, call sheets, letters of intent (for name talent), finders fee agreement, joint venture agreement, option agreements, release forms, deal memos, composer agreements, day-out-of-day forms, still photo releases, and more. All of which are fully editable Microsoft Word/Excel files.