One of the first big hurdles to filmmaking is getting funding. Once you’ve written a script, next is putting together a budget to share with potential investors. You need to know how much you should be asking for to ensure your script is made into the movie you set out to make.

A fully functional film budget created by an experienced line producer is typically expensive and time consuming to create. But you can learn the basics, and guestimate the budget for any project. It’s one of the most important skillsets you need in filmmaking. And you can learn it!

The distance between an investor and the check coming to you is telling the investor what the check should be made out for. To ensure you’re working in the right ballfield of a budget, you need the basic understanding of budget tiers, schedule, how to guesstimate what your costs might be and how to do a simple display of them for investors.

In this class you’re not going to learn how to do a full budget but you will get the tools you need to feel pretty darned confident you’re asking for the right amount of money. By the end of this webinar, you should be able to create a very basic but fairly accurate budget guesstimate.

What You’ll Learn

  • The Basics of Guesstimating a Budget
    • Understanding Budget Tiers
    • Breaking Down the Script
    • Creating a Schedule
    • Translating Schedule and Breakdowns into Budget Lines
  • Preliminary Scheduling
    • Breaking Down Your Script into a Close Approximation of Shooting Days
    • Understanding Complexity that Extends Shooting Schedules
    • Understanding Why Scheduling is the First Step to Budgeting
  • Breaking Down a Script
    • Understanding How to See Your Script as a Bunch of Production Elements
    • Using Your Script Breakdown in Budgeting
    • Understanding What Increases Cost by Elements
    • Ensuring that the Elements You Focus on Make the Film You Want
  • Understanding Tiers by Union Standards
    • Determine Which Unions are Right for Your Film
    • The Costs Associated with Each Union
    • How to Find Your Tier and the Impact on Your Budget
  • Using Past Films to Compare
    • Going Tier by Tier and Seeing Past Films Through the Eyes of a Line Producer
    • Comparing Your Vision to Past Films
  • Creating a Basic Budget
    • What Should a Budget Look Like?
    • How to Populate a Guesstimate Budget Correctly
    • Tips and Tricks to Estimate Costs
  • Wrapping it Up
    • Sharing Some Helpful Line Producing Tools for Your First Budget
    • Ways to Feel Confident Communicating Your Budget
    • Common Misunderstandings of Non-Budgeters
  • Q&A with Chris

Saturday May 20th LIVE
10amPT on Zoom
Price: $47

To receive your Zoom link for the live class

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is a Producer, Line Producer, Production Manager and Executive in Charge of Production for about 15 years. He’s worked on budgets and productions of every sort from films to commercials, reality television to music videos, documentaries to infomercials and everything in between. From the smallest short film budget to seasons of television shows, Chris has seen enough to even begin teaching budgeting for independent film for Stage 32. His philosophy for working on films is to do as much prep as possible to save as much time and money as possible. When not producing, he enjoys writing, developing a theater community and annoying his fuzzy pals on a ranch.