Where each of the scenes of the script is broken down and analysed followed by a financial assessment of the total cost of each scene. The total financial requirements for the filming become the sum of the budgets of each scene. This No budget Filmmaking is used to attract finance and is scrutinised by investors. During production, it is the yardstick whereby the producer, the crew and the investors can gauge the progress of the production and determine whether the shoot is being shot within or over the amount of money budgeted for the film.

Scheduling is the organisational process where goods, crew, equipment and actors are scheduled in the most cost-efficient way. The elephant may be required for a morning on page one of the script and a morning on page thirty of the script. If the script were shooting in numerical sequence at a rate of five pages per day, the elephant would need to be available on day one and day six of the shoot, incurring extra transportation and storage charges. If however, pages one and thirty can be shot on the same day, the elephant need only be on the set for one day, thus minimising storage and transportation charges.

The schedule is also used to see if a production is being completed in the allocated amount of time or not. During the shoot, the production company uses the information in the budget and schedule to determine whether or not the production is on budget and or on time. It is possible for a film to be on time (on schedule) but over budget. It is also possible for a film to be on budget, but behind schedule.

Choosing a Budget

The first task in filmmaking is choosing a budget. And choosing a budget suitable to your project will predetermine the route you take with your project, and to a large extent, will pre determine the success of your project. There is no point in trying to shoot a huge epic with thousands of cast and dozens of locations on a minimal budget. The result will most likely leave you dissatisfied. Neither should your very first film be 20 rain dance producers’ lab.

Low-to-no budget filmmaking

Structured to require a cast and crew in the dozens. You would run the risk of swamping yourself with technology and a series of organisational dilemmas which could threaten to swamp your creativity. A first feature script would probably be a slice-of-life drama set in an area near where you live that would lend itself to being shot with a small cast, minimal crew and readily available resources.

The Four Budgets

Every film ever made falls into one of the following four budgets. A successful producer understands the different types of budget and what can be achieved with each one. With the demands of the script in mind, the astute producer chooses the budget appropriate to the project.

1 .Hollywood blockbuster budget

Each summer the American film industry releases the most expensive film ever made. The budget is noted as a hyphenate: $185–$215 million. At no time is the precise budget mentioned, nor is the missing $30 million. It is always promoted as the most expensive film in cinematic history. By marketing this fact, the makers of the film hope that large numbers of people will flock to the cinema to see what a quarter of a billion dollars looks like on the screen.

2. The typical Hollywood budget

Each of the major Hollywood studios will make twenty to thirty films each year at budgets of $60 to $80 million. This budget includes the cost of the actors and directors (above-the line) the actual film production (making), and the marketing of the film. This cost has quadrupled over the past ten years because of increased costs for marketing, and the huge rise in actors’ pay.

3. The million dollar film

Until the mid 1980s, there were only three budgets, with the million dollar budget being the most typical entry-level budget for filmmakers. Some examples are Shallow Grave £1.2 million, Blood Simple £1.1 million, Sex Lies and Videotape £1.1 million and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels £800,000. The producers of these films raised the budget through a variety of industry and private financing. It is likely that one in ten people have access to or can rise $/£/€1 million.

4. The low budget

Low budget filmmaking has become a major force in the film industry since the making and international distribution of Robert Rodriguez within Hollywood, a low budget is anything under $10 million. At Rain dance, a hundred thousand pounds would be a huge budget.

Accordingly, low budget has been further broken down:

1. Low budget – a budget of under $/£/€1 million One in ten readers will have access to a budget this size.

2. Micro budget – a budget of under $/£/€500,000 One in five readers will have access to a budget of this size.

3. No budget – a budget of under $/£/€100,000.

We exist to bring a wider range of films to a wider range of audiences ICO’s primary aims are to:

  • Promote diversity in exhibition content, audience and location
  • independent exhibition develop a culturally-led approach to a sustainable sector
  • Provide access to industry leading exhibitor training

Find the Right Budget for Your Script Your immediate task, the first principle of filmmaking, is to take a realistic look at your script and decide which budget will do your script justice. You can pick any budget you want as long as it is a realistic budget for the script you want to shoot. The higher the budget, the longer it will take you to raise the money. There is no right or wrong decision at this point, but you must take a decision.

Remember that there has never been a film made in the history of cinema that has had enough money. If you want to finance the film through your own resources or private investors, then pick a budget that you can realistically raise within three months.