Film budget and schedule
Why is the Quality of Your Film Budget Important?
I often will try to put my thoughts into the mind of a potential film financier for my movie and think what would they expect to see in a film budget that I am presenting to them. I consider the accuracy and the veracity of the numbers that I so easily put on paper yet perhaps underestimate the critical nature of their net result on the profitability of the movie I wish to make.
What I realize by doing this is that it really does matter what my film budget looks like. It additionally and more importantly matters a great deal what the numbers included in the budget are. Let's face it, anyone can put numbers into a budget. My mother could, no offense mom, but come on, you don't want your mother creating your film budget.
So the key factor then is knowledge. Experience is the generator of knowledge. Skill is the result of both.
The answer is that if I were a film financier (which I am by the way...) I would be quite certain that the film budget put on my desk, asking me to fund the movie behind it, was a very good film budget created by someone who knows what they are talking about.
This is even more logical because if I am a financier I look at numbers all the time. I am a financier! I understand very well that a blank page can be filled we any numbers anyone would wish to or seek to put on that page.
Therefore, what's the difference. The answer to that is a lot. As an investor or a financier I know that I want numbers that mean something. Figures that have relevance to the actual cost of producing a movie which are based upon reality.
Reality as deducted above means knowledge, coming from experience with the net result being skill. Then it all made sense to me. I would need a film budget created by a producer with years of experience.
This way I would have greater confidence that the movie produced by the team behind the film budget sitting on my desk will actually cost what they said it would. By them having an experienced film producer create a custom film budget for the movie they intended me to invest in, they had respected my money and the funding they presumed that I would hand over to them. It was in this moment that the answer became clear.
The answer was that only an experienced line producer with extensive experience in creating the film budget for major Hollywood studio film productions, with the knowledge of an independent film producer who had spent years on-set making decisions about their movie and the expenditure of the financial capital paying the bills, would have the skills required to create the film budget that I would dare put my hard earned money into their high risk business sector.
That is why I founded FilmBudget.com
I remains as valid today as I said in 1997. A film budget that is accurate, proven and reliable created by an experienced line producer is required to finance your film.
While I was an on the lot producer for Columbia Pictures they made it clear as can be. My film budget better be immensely accurate. I think I created over 50 versions of the movie budget during the course of time it took to greenlight one movie in particular. That was an incredible experience.
If you are seeking film finance and you want a favorable result of having your movie funded, then one would surmise that a quality film budget created by an experienced line producer, manually, thoughtfully and carefully would be the wise way to go.
Methods that I would not suggest that filmmakers put on my desk then? I would not want to see a film budget sample for the first thing. Neither would a film budget template have a chance of more than a cursory look on its way to the bin.
Similarly exactly what I would most not want to see as a financier of film production is a film budget created by an online software company that promises a film budget in less than a minute with a computer program that spits out numbers that may or may not resemble the true cost to produce the movie in question.
The biggest problem with such a number generator is that my money demands a more thorough and professional vetting of the authenticity of the production spend than that which such a digitally created movie budget. The exponential nature of mathematical errors is of such a magnitude that the difference between real film budget numbers and sample or template budgets is astronomical to the point of my losing my money due to the unreliable nature of such calculations.
The conclusion was clear to me. A filmmaker should hire a professional line producer or production manager, with years of experience to create their film budget and schedule for investors.
Producer and CEO
Film Budget Inc.
View my movie credits if you wish
Jack Binder Producer Film Credits