What’s included in Film Budgets? How to Make a Film Budget?

In this post, I will show a film budget for a typical independent film that has a 500 thousand budget. Most Independent films or small budget films have a budget between 500,000 and 7 million. If you are just starting out, you can study this table below to find out what are typical above the line costs and below the line costs. Usually, the director makes the most amount of money, but most A-list Actors would make more than a B-List Director, because he is hungry to get their name on the screen to market the film around that actor.
For the most part, above the line makes less than below the line when you combine it together, only because of the very few above the line and the many below the line technical staff. In a film budget, everything is guestimated and cannot go more than the guestimated amount. Then, the budget is re-written to show on a film distribution memorandum to show actual costs. I cannot stress this enough: The budget is your most important investment and marketing tool to show to a distributor. Here is the budget below :

BUDGET TOP SHEET

Story, Copyrights & Other Rights 0
Direction and Supervision $84,250
Cast, Day Players & Stunts $24,576
Travel & Living $2,000
Legal $1,000
Office Expenses $6,722
TOTAL
ABOVE-THE-LINE
$118,348
Production Staff $33,889
Extra Talent $750
Art Direction $13,036
Set Operations $15,750
Wardrobe $11,018
Set Dress Operations $11,940
Makeup & Hairdressing $5,638
Electrical Riggers $39,301
Camera Operations $27,000
Production Sound Operations $10,364
Transportation $3,398
Locations $7,100
Production/ Lab & Film $30,556
Tests $1,000
Office Expenses $5,238
TOTAL
PRODUCTION
PER.
$216,106
Editing $34,130
Music $5,000
Post Production Sound $11,200
Post Production/ Lab & Film $50,126
Main & End Titles $3,000
Office Expenses $5,238
TOTAL
EDITING PERIOD
$107,000
Publicity $32,000
Festival Expenses $6,400
Insurance $30,000
TOTAL OTHER CHARGES $39,600
TOTAL ABOVE-THE-LINE $118,348
TOTAL BELOW-THE-LINE $363,404
TOTAL OF ABOVE & BELOW-THE-LINE $481,772
GRAND TOTAL $499,922

Please reply to the post for any questions or comments or at moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com

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14 thoughts on “What’s included in Film Budgets? How to Make a Film Budget?

  1. who can i get to invest or pay for a budget to make a film?

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  3. I am in the early stages of making a film, I have written about 20 pages of a biography. I need to have an idea (in sterling not dollars) of what many of the direct costs will amount to. By this I mean a) screenwriter b) producer c) director d) camera crew e) the main actors and actresses and f) hiring of military uniforms-first world war. Other costs I can estimate, as there will be a little bit of filming on location and obtaining of archive film. Pitching and advertising costs we can leave at the present. Office costs will be kept to a minimum, because I am a Chartered Accountant.

  4. I have 3films done and i lookn for funds for new films distribution check my work at
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  5. Im needing to find out how much special effects with cost in a fantasy movie. There will be alot of special effects. Any clue where I can get that info?

  6. sir I wana khow that . . . vicky donor is made in a buget of 5 crore . . . is buget include all(each ane every) the expenses . . .

  7. sir how much money needed for making a good film . . . included all expenses

  8. I would definetly say that this site and another site helped me sell my movie for 2 million to Paramount. bit.ly/sellyourmovie

  9. Pingback: Distribution Expenses Include | Agrialimentaire

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