Why a Professional Movie Budget by a Line Producer is a Film Finance Requirement


Why is a professional movie budget by a line producer a film finance requirement?

For anyone living under a rock the last few years it should be extremely evident that the financial world was rocked, stirred and shaken.  As it begins to recover certain truths have emerged:


1. Scrutiny – Finance sources are under more pressure than ever to engage in more intense scrutiny of investments than ever before.

2. Risk Aversion – Capital markets have adopted a new risk aversion that makes the past laughable and seemingly like wild party days.

3. Return on Investment (ROI) – Investors were smacked over the last four years.  They want, rather need to see a strong return on investment.


For these three main reasons alone the intensity of the importance of a movie budget created by a professional line producer is critical.  Film financing today demands a fresh look at the markets for film distribution and correspondingly the true cost of the film budget associated with the expenditure of their funding.  A movie budget must be created with experience, be detailed, accurate and created by a veteran producer with extensive experience analyzing every aspect of the production.  No formulas, templates, sample film budget or software program can inject the knowledge of a production manager scrutinizing every detail, parameter, contingency and aspect of the movie budget that investors would expect them to have undertaken.

Filmmakers should be prepared, invest in themselves and present their investors and lenders with qualified, professional film budgets for analysis.  Shortcuts most often lead to dead ends.


Jack Binder



Why is a movie budget from a line producer critical for film finance?

Summer 2012 Studio Tentpole Film Budget List

Summer 2012 is shaping up the be the summer of the most expensive blockbuster production film budget expenditure of all time.  With the Major Hollywood Studio’s revenues on decline the ‘Tentpole’ movie with its enormous budget is seen by the bean counters as the certainty in a changing and declining revenue landscape.   As digital proliferation of films, piracy, the economy and falling dvd sales take their toll on the bottom line the studios and larger indie production companies like Lionsgate / Summit are betting big on the VFX / CGI laden popcorn, super-hero action movie like never before, clearly.

With a continually more fragmented audience, growing cable channel line-ups and expanding reality television programming it has likewise become increasingly more difficult to reach the fans to put ‘bums in seats’.  Part of the calculations certainly must include the broad reach of the superhero, sequel, ‘based on the television series…boardgame…’ franchise which aids in the marketing of these productions.  Utilizing the convenience of familiarity the bet is on recognition factor.   Not detailed in the proliferation of newsworthy budget figures are the massive amounts being spent to promote these behemoths and guarantee the return on investment at this massive scale.


Summer 2012 Studio Tentpole Film Budget List:

The Lorax                                  $70,000,000

John Carter                              $250,000,000

Hunger Games                          $80,000,000

The Avengers                          $220,000,000

Battleship                               $200,000,000

The Dark Knight Rises             $250,000,000

Men In Black III                      $215,000,000

Prometheus                            $200,000,000  (rumored)

The Bourne Legacy                 $90,000,000 (unconfirmed)

Total Recall                           $200,000,000


* Film budgets are gathered from available industry trade data, news articles and published reports.  Actual film budgets are intentionally guarded secrets by the studios and released, confirmed or denied for marketing and/or corporate rationale and should always be taken with a good dose of scrutiny as to the actual figures.

By Jack Binder

Cannes Film Festival – Festival de Cannes – Marché du Film – 2012

Update:  Cannes Film Festival Screening Schedule Released

Cannes Screening Schedule | Film Budget.com

Hollywood Reporter Launches Cannes Film Festival App

Cannes Film Festival

The world famous and extremely prestigious Cannes Film Festival is upon us once again as it is each May of the year.  The festival remains the foremost event on the film calendar as the central gathering point for feature films, media, movie stars, filmmakers, entertainment business, fashion and audience participation.   As a champion of both arthouse productions with a low film budget as well as large movie budget Hollywood spectacular productions Cannes brings together the entire international cinema community which is involved in the motion picture business.

Marché du Film

The Film Market or Marche’ du Film has likewise become the most important film market event of the year thereby becoming a determining factor in the finance and production of movies and film for the worldwide markets.  Having a film at Cannes is critical to launch a film into production.

Here are the basic facts of the festival and market:




What:  Cannes Film Festival

When:  May 16 – 27, 2012

Where:  Cannes, France

President of the 65th Jury:  Nanni Moretti

President of Un Certain Regard Jury:   Tim Roth

Official Website:  http://festival-cannes.fr

Opening Film:  The Opening Night film is ‘Moonlight Kingdom’ directed by Wes Anderson


The complete list of films in competition:


Cannes Film Festival – Films in Competition Trailer Videos 

 Great site with listing of all the trailers for the films in competition.


Meet The Jurors of the Palme D’or Award – Cannes 2012

  The Jury which will decide the winners of the Palme D’or (Best Film) Cannes Film Festival award.


24 A-List Titles Being Sold in Cannes This Year

  A complete listing of the top films being sold by foreign sales agents this year in Cannes at the Marche’ du Film.


List of Titles Screening in Competition:








































Written & Posted by:  FilmBudget.com | The international leader in worldwide film budget production services


Film Budget | European Film Festival in China 2011


Europe is marketing its movies to China and apparently, the Chinese are loving it!


Such is the success of the annual European Union Film Festival in China that the event, which is now its fourth year, could be expecting greater numbers than ever before!  Last year, the event expanded to showcase films in three Chinese cities and according to EU Ambassador Markus Ederer, the number of moviegoers increased from 5,000 attendees in 2008 up to 13,000 in 2010.


What: European Union Film Festival


When: November 1st – 30th 2011


Where: Beijing and two other cities in China (TBA)


The film festival, organized by the Delegation of the European Union to China and supported by the Embassy of Poland,  invited all 27 EU Member States to showcase one recent, popular and successful film.


The organizers of the festival hope that the event will increase the appreciation of European films and culture among the Chinese, hence paving the way for the possibility of importing European movies into China in the future.


The films screened at this year’s festival include a diverse mix of local flavors and a wide-range of genres from comedies and dramas to documentaries. Moviegoers can view their films of choice in commercial theatres as well as in cultural institutions.


Among this year’s selections are some of the following European picks:


France – “The Piano Turner”


Denmark – “Aching Hearts”


Italy – “20 Cigarettes”


Portugal –  “Beauty and the Paparazzo”


Each film is screened in its original language with English and Chinese subtitles.


Meanwhile, the European Film Academy has unveiled its nominations for the 2011 European Film Awards. You can see a full list of the nominees on their official website – www.europeanfilmacademy.org


Winners will be announced in a December 3rd ceremony in Berlin.




Film Budget | The international leader in worldwide film budgeting and scheduling production services for film finance, production incentives and film tax credits.





Film Production in the UK – Jan to Sept 2011


Film Production in the UK – Jan to Sept 2011 – Report from the BFI Research and Statistics Unit – 3 November 2011

Eighty-six films achieving film budgeting levels of £500,000 or more entered into principal photography in the United Kingdom during the first quarter of 2011.  This amount of production starts represented the lowest rate in 9 years.  Of these productions:

-Twenty-three were co-productions

-Forty-seven were domestic UK features

-Sixteen were inward investment films



Undoubtedly these figures have supported and lead to Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent extension of the film tax credits program through 2015.


Read the full report from the British Film Institute



Filmbudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budgeting and scheduling line producer film production services.


Film Budget .com | American Film Market (AFM) 2011 Film Finance and International Sales Roundup

American Film Market (AFM) 2011 Round-Up


The 2011 American Film Market is winding down at the moment and as promised, this year’s event is proving to be quite a success!   Though film financing remains a difficult proposition, projects with the right combination of well known talent, directors and strong marketing prospects funding is on the rise in combination with lenders, equity, gap,  film tax credits, co-productions, government funding and incentives.   The market is indeed hungry for quality films to distribute with solid packages, a film budget with a reasonable recoupment potential and name talent is the constant mantra.


Here are a list of some the deals that were made at this year’s AFM:  (updates forthcoming as we write)


* IM-Global takes rights to ‘The Sister’ for Europe, Latin America


* Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up rights to Content Film’s ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’ for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux and Scandinavia


* Drafthouse Films has picked up crime drama ‘Bullhead’ and raucous comedy ‘Clown’, for distribution in North America


* Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up domestic distribution rights to ‘Bel Ami’, from Protagonist Pictures. The company also picked up comedy ‘Bailout’ starring Jack Black, for multiple territories including North America, South America and Scandinavia.




* FiGa Films has picked up ‘The Last Christeros’ (Los ultimos cristeros) by Matias Meyer, which had its world premiere in Toronto Film Festival (link to blog on Toronto Film Festival), and ‘Machete Language’, directed by Kyzza Terrazas, which had its world premiere in Venice.


* FilmDistrict has acquired ‘Drive’ the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed film adaptation of James Sallis’ suspense-themed novel


* Sierra Pictures announced the acquisition of ‘Rampart’, a crime thriller starring Woody Harrelson. The company also picked up comedy ‘Darling Companion’, which stars Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton.


* Tiberius Film has picked up a trio of horror sequels – ‘Piranha 3D’, ‘Children of the Corn: Genesis’ and ‘Hellraiser: Revelations’ for the German market.


* Exclusive Media Group picks up international rights for ensemble drama ‘Disconnect’


* Lightning Entertaiment picked up 7 films including ‘Brake’, ‘Columbus Circle’ and ‘Wrath’, making their world premiere debut at the AFM. The other films are ‘Boy Wonder’, ‘Bloodwork’, ‘The Trouble with Bliss’ and ‘Scents sand Sensibility’


* Wild Bunch acquired the international rights to Academy-Award winner Geoffrey Fletcher’s directorial debut ‘Violet & Daisy’


* Los Angeles-based film production, financing and foreign-sales company Unified Pictures has entered into a three-movie deal with Vancouver-headquartered production-finance group Bron Studios




Announcements of major financings include:


* Exclusive will finance Matt Damon’s ‘Yesterday’ with Focus Features handling U.S.


* Endgame Entertainment announced the creation of Endgame Releasing, to provide as much as $500 million in funding for marketing and distribution of four to six wide release movies per year through major studios. One of the first movies to tap into the fund will be the movie ‘Looper’  starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.


* W2 Media has come on to co-finance and distribute ”The Theatre Bizarre 2,” a sequel to Severin Films and Mataluna Prods.’ ”The Theater Bizarre” horror anthology.


* Green Isle Entertainment has entered into an initial $60 million dollar multiple picture financing agreement for film budgets with Allegiance Capital Corp.


* IM Global to finance $20 million action-drama ‘Hummingbird’.


These are just a few of the ‘official’ announcements. With the AFM still underway, many more similar announcements are anticipated in the coming days. With deals being made fast and furious – don’t miss your chance to catch a piece of the  action! For more information on this year’s AFM, check out the blog on filmbudget.com



Filmbudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule line producer film budgeting production services.  Film finance and camera ready movie budget and schedule packages.


American Film Market – AFM – International Distribution, Financing and Sales Market

AMERICAN FILM MARKET 2011 – Be Pro-active, Prepared & ready to Pitch!!


Are you an enterprising filmmaker, producer or writer with a brilliant idea looking to make the right connections in the business, obtain film financing and get your project underway?


Well, now may be the break you’ve been waiting for! If you don’t already know about the American Film Market, then its time to do your research and seriously think about attending this event.


There’s a well-known expression in the film business – its not what you know but who you know, that really counts.  It may be a common cliché but there is plenty of truth to the old saying. The problem most of us in the business encounter, however, is the ‘how’ and ‘where’ aspects of getting to meet these so-called ‘right’ people. This is precisely why forums like the American Film Market  (AFM) present such a golden opportunity.

A quick synopsis of the AFM – it is organized by the global trade association of independent film & television producers and distributors, known as the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA). It is an eight-day event held in Los Angeles (from Nov 2nd -9th ) in which more than 400 films will be screened and more than 400 production/distribution companies will be exhibiting. It is an international event, with 8,000 attendees from more than 70 countries expected to attend. Furthermore organizers estimate that more than $800 million in deals will be closed this year.


What:  American Film Market

When: November 2-9, 2011

Where:  Loews Hotel – 1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401



If that sounds enticing and you’re keen to get a piece of that estimated $800 million pie, then you’ve got be willing to pay the price for the ticket. Passes for the event start at $345 and upward.


Also, a word to the wise – be prepared. Like any opportunity, the AFM will be most lucrative to those who do their research and adopt a professional, business-like approach to the forum. Most importantly – do your research! This really cannot be stressed enough.  It is important to identify your goals – ask yourself, what it is you want to achieve from the AFM? Once you’ve identified what you want to get out of the forum, the next step would be develop a target list of the people you want to meet and then proceeding to scheduling the key meetings.


Finally, you should be aware – the AFM is not a festival. While a number of films are screened at the festival, there are no competitions and subsequently no prizes. It is essentially a coming together of a range of ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’ in the film industry. An opportunity to network with your peers, raise money for projects and possibly even walk away with some signed contracts.


So be pro-active, be prepared and be ready to pitch! Keep these things in mind and you just never know what you may walk away with….




Get ready for the American Film Market with a film budget by Filmbudget.com – the international leader in worldwide film budgeting and scheduling production services.

Film financing, distribution, foreign sales, film tax credits and your investors require an accurate, quality film budget that is reliable and bankable.

Celebrating 25 years experience producing major studio and independent film for the international entertainment industry.



Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com | Worldwide Professional Film Budgeting

Cost cutting in the film world has always been a buzz word.  However, in today’s credit strapped economy reducing the level of a film budget has become a necessity more than ever.

From large scale, tent-pole, enormous film budget productions to mid-level movie productions and of course the lower tier film budget range, the pressure from lenders, studios, production companies, investors and sales executives has increased dramatically.   Salaries have continued their downward plunge at all levels.

In addition to the financial downturn, the credit crunch and the lack of capital for movie production, the states have compounded the problem by pulling the rug out from under their growing local film industries that were beginning to gain self-sustaining momentum with the aid of film tax incentives programs which got the ball rolling.   Rather than stick with these job creating, and industry generating film tax credits, they have systematically pulled the plug on them, thereby exacerbating the film finance situation.  Fortunately, foreign governments realize the importance of supporting the entertainment (ie. culture) sector and they continue to expand their support mechanisms.

Therefore, filmmakers must do much more with much less, now more than ever before.  It is critical to have an extremely tight film budget and shooting schedule, however one with great production value built into it.  The critical eye of a seasoned line producer is required to make the tough decisions on where to cut the budget and where to enhance it.   Which departments can get by with less and which demand being saved from the axe?   A knowledgable line producer deals with these questions daily and reducing the budget is not new to them.

One such expert in the field of film budgeting is Filmbudget.com – founded by veteran major Hollywood studio and indie film producer Jack Binder (‘Reign Over Me’, ‘The Upside of Anger’, etc.)  Here is a video trailer of Jack’s producer credits:


Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival

In its 36th annual celebration of cinema The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) returns with a flourish of celebrity appearances and film premieres.   TIFF remains one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, focusing the motion picture industry on quality movie productions, both those with an indie film budget and high brow studio motion pictures.

When:  September 8 – September 18, 2011

Where:  Maps and Locations

“Toronto” as it is more commonly referred to in the inner circles of film industry executives, producers, directors, writers and cinema stars has become a critical destination for filmmakers presenting their pictures and likewise promoting new films in development and production.   The festival has become more of a film market in a way as it comes right after Labor Day and kicks off the fall film festival and film market season.

Films playing at Toronto are increasingly seen as important films and the festival provides a high profile to its cast, director and production company.   Many foreign sales deals are executed with acquisitions at Toronto tending to be a bell-weather of the state of the film production and distribution international economy.  Both overseas and domestic rights deals are consistently undertaken at the festival.

Talent planning on attending this year include:  George Clooney, U2, Brad Pitt, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Werner Herzog and Adrian Brody amonst others.    Following the addition of seven world premiers to its billings the festival will present  336 films, 268 features from 65 countries, a substantial increase from the previous year.

This year portends to be a banner year for TIFF with a stellar line-up of film, eager actors and directors and a seemingly hungry market ready for quality film acquisition.   As a North American film festival with an increasingly  more European sensibility, TIFF seems to support those filmmakers whom understand the artistry of  motion pictures with a more modest film budget and a high quality story with an auteur point of view



Festival 2011

What is the difference between an indie film budget and a major studio movie budget?

When creating a film budget and schedule production services package for film producers, writers and directors it is important to know whom your end user is going to be.   General formatting of a film budget varies from studio to studio and between production companies.

While there is some standardization in accounts used by the various production companies, with each having there own chart of accounts, they likewise each have their own way of outlining and detailing the accounts and categories that make up a film budget and shooting schedule.  When it comes to indie film budget and schedule creation the field is much wider as are the options and possibilities for style, standards and formats.

A quality indie film budget and schedule has all of the basic elements of a major Hollywood studio movie budget, yet with somewhat more detail and some elements that are not required by a studio film budget set of documents.  For example, an indie film budget will almost always have a completion bond as part of its bottom line expenses.   A completion bond can be thought of as somewhat like an insurance policy, for the investors.   The bond as it’s known as protects the film financier from overages and the possibility that a film cannot be completed.   The completion bond company charges a fee and will interject itself and its professionals into the production process to ensure a film production is completed according to its indie film budget and schedule as layed out in pre-production film budgeting process.

A major Hollywood studio film budget on the other hand will generally not have a completion bond expense included due to the fact that a deep pocketed film production studio can insure itself against such calamities.   This is done with management control over the production, proper oversight and a realistic approach to studio film budgeting which may be absent in the much larger and far reaching indie film budget universe.   Similarly whereas an indie film budget and schedule may not contain a large overhead charge from the production company, a studio film budget will almost certainly carry a large overhead charge against the overall film budget perhaps as high as 10-15% of the budget.   This charge not only helps offset overages in productions under their supervision, it also helps defray office, facilities, executive travel and other business expenses by recouping them from the movie budgets of their film productions.

Due to the above elements and the very nature of indie film budgeting and scheduling, the common fact is that these film budgets are lower in general.   While not carrying the overhead expense, indie films also can shoot for less, do more with less and obtain more favorable rates across the board because they are not taking on such massive financial expenditures like the majors.



Indie film budget and schedule expert