Producing a film entails a lot of different things. The film’s producer has a lot of responsibilities to take care of. He needs to do all these throughout the planning and execution of the film.

One important thing the producer needs to do is create the budget for the film. In order to do this, he will need a film production budget template. This will serve as a record of all the expenses needed in order to produce a film.

It will include the expenses of the various aspects included in the making of the movie. A production budget template helps assist the directors, managers, and producers. They can use it to decide the budget they need in the pre-production process.

This helps them avoid excess expenditures. It can also help make the filming process a lot easier. The template would enable the producer to write down all the important tasks and items.

Along with these, he can also include details like how much money he needs for those things. All these are very important to make the filming process successful.

The design of the film budget is usually based on the producer and movie’s necessity. Before you create a template, it’s important to learn more about these documents. You can even download a template from here to make your job easier.

The template should contain the areas which need funding in the filmmaking process. Also, it should contain information on the budget allotted for each of those areas.

Film Budget Templates

Types of film budget template

There are simple and detailed you can create or download. You can make a short film budget template or a template for a longer film. The important thing is that the template should keep you organized and productive.

This is especially true in terms of the finances. It should help you throughout the filmmaking process. You can make a template for:

  1. Animated films
  2. Commercial films
  3. Documentary films
  4. Feature film production
  5. Independent films
  6. Low-budget films
  7. Pre-production of the film
  8. Post-production of the film
  9. Short films

It’s essential to plan the budget for the film ahead of time. It will help ensure that all the tasks involved in the making of the film are on track. A detailed template should contain the following information:

  • the film’s name
  • all the cast and crew involved in it
  • filming schedules and tasks involved at those times
  • post-production activities and the expenses
  • branding and marketing costs

These are some of the basic things to include in a film production budget template. You can also add other information as needed. The template is very important as it can help you avoid overspending. That is if you stick to your budget throughout the whole process.

A well-made production budget template should contain all the pre-defined responsibilities and all tasks which are usually associated with filmmaking. It should also contain information about marketing along with the pre-allocated budget.

With all these in mind, let’s take look at the most important parts to include in your template.

Film Production Budget Templates

Important parts of a film budget template

Film budget templates can be very helpful. However, careful planning is also a huge part of creating the budget. You need to know how many personnel you would need for the making of your film.

This is important so you can include their wages and other incidental costs in your budget. Also, before you create your template, make sure that the script of your film is already finished. This will help you determine other expenses.

Such expenses may include those for the equipment needed and the location.

When it comes to locations for your film, always plan ahead and ask around about which locations you can afford. It’s very helpful to create a draft of your budget to get an initial idea of the costs you need. Here are the important parts of such a template:

  • Equipment
    Part of your budget will go into securing the equipment you need for the making of the film. For instance, you need high-quality microphones and cameras for the production and filming.
    Think about all the equipment you need, list them down, and ask around for prices.
  • Locations
    Usually, films require shooting in different locations. Because of this, you might sustain significant costs while shooting. Some examples would be building a set on a location or even redirecting traffic.
  • Wages
    This is another important part to include in your budget. Making a film requires a lot of cast and crew. As you’re hiring these people, you need to think about their wages. Consider the wages of the actors as well as all the people involved in the process.
  • Post-production expenses
    After you’ve finished filming, the expenses aren’t over yet. You would still need to edit your film before releasing it to the public. This would take time, effort, and other types of equipment.
    You need all these to put your film together successfully.

Short Film Budget Templates

How to make a film budget

Creating a template for the film budget is a huge part of the filmmaking process. Producers need to know how to create such templates before they start filming. You can either create a template for yourself or download one here.

Once you have the template, it will be easier for you to create your film budget. Here are some steps and tips to help you out:

  • Begin by creating your film budget accounts
    The way you would structure your film budget accounts would depend on your film’s genre and type. These factors would also affect the accounts during the production and post-production areas.
    For instance, if you’re making a horror film you would need a bigger budget for makeup. For an animated film, you would need a bigger budget for the animators and the visual artists.
    You have to prepare for anything and everything that might possibly go wrong with your movie. Keep in mind that your cast and crew are all people. They may get hurt, sick or injured.
    Also, you might not be able to shoot in locations according to schedule. This would happen for different reasons. You need to consider all these things while in the planning and budgeting process.
  • Consider the “prep days” while planning your budget
    Prep days refer to the days not included in the shooting schedule. During these days, the crew works on the locations, making them ready for shooting.
  • Also, consider any kit fees which you may need to pay for
    Some departments and companies might bring their own equipment when they work. In such cases, they will charge “kit fees.” You can calculate these kit fees daily or weekly. They would depend on the project and on the equipment and gear they use.
    You may not plan to hire companies or departments which will charge kit fees. However, you need to include them in your budget anyway. As time goes by, you’ll eventually learn which positions usually require kit fees.
  • Include in your budget overtime expenses
    Overtime is another relevant thing you should include in your budget. If you don’t do this, it might cause huge overages. It’s a huge inconvenience to run out of money during production.
    So it’s smart to include an overtime allowance in your budget. Continue doing these even if you don’t think you’ll need. If you don’t end up using it, you can simply re-allocate the budget.
  • Also, include pick-up days
    Pick-up days refer to the days when you shoot scenes which you’ve missed. Any scenes you weren’t able to shoot during the scheduled shootings. No matter how careful you are at planning, you might forget to shoot a particular scene.
    In such cases, having a budget for pick-up days will be very handy. Remember, it’s always better to prepare yourself for anything.
  • Always have a contingency plan
    Along with your contingency plan, you should also have a budget for it. You need to allocate a financial padding which is specifically meant to deal with unexpected issues.
    Think of your contingency amount at the beginning. Do this to make sure you’re covered for anything.
  • Part of your budget should also be damages and losses
    When it comes to budgeting, damages and losses are very important too. The budget should cover any damages and losses of equipment used during production. Make use of a deductible amount from the insurance policy in your production budget.
  • Production insurance is also very important
    This is crucial as it would cover the project in case there are any damages or losses. You need to secure permits, rent gear, and also make deals with your desired locations. You should also include your cast and crew to ensure that they’re covered for anything too.
  • Keep an eye out for omissions and errors
    Doing this will help you protect your production from claims of liability. These are especially common from projects which screen in theaters, air on TV, and more. However, this isn’t really a requirement for all filmmaking projects.
  • Use the numbers in your budget template as a guide
    You may need to give the breakdown of the budget to the departments or the crew. When you do, you don’t have to disclose the actual numbers. Hold back part of the totals so you can hire people for less than what you’ve written in your budget.
    That way, you can save up in different areas. In doing this, you’ll be able to guarantee to pay everyone in a timely manner.
  • You can also use software for film budgets
    If you don’t want to create or download a film production budget template, you can also use the software. Such software is very useful in certain situations. Use them when you’re working on a union project.
    In such projects, you may need to deal with caps, penalties, and fringes. These are quite complicated so maybe using software would be much easier.
    You can also consider such software when you need to group the accounts or generate the budget. Also, you have to calculate fees which are percentage-based. Such software is also very useful if you’re dealing with a number of different currencies.
  • Be very realistic
    When you’re planning your budget, make sure that you’re very realistic. As much as possible, you need to come up with accurate numbers. Do this so your production doesn’t suffer the consequences.
    Film budgeting isn’t for everyone. You need to do a lot of research in order to pull it off successfully. You need to consider a lot of things from start to end. You may have effectively created a production budget template in the past.
    That’s great but it doesn’t mean that you’re done learning. Different projects would entail different things and you have to learn all of them each time.

Production Budget Templates

Some tips for preparing a film budget template

Filmmaking is a huge part of the entertainment industry. People enjoy going to theaters to watch movies starring their favorite celebrities. If you’re a producer, you should know how to create a production budget template.

This is a vital part of the whole filmmaking process. Here are some tips for you to consider when making a template:

  • Along with your budget, you should also create a shooting schedule proposal. Having such a schedule can help you stay organized. It will also help you save a lot of expenses in the long-run.
  • Keep on modifying and refining your budget as needed. Just because you’ve finished your budget, that doesn’t mean it’s done. Keep going back to it in case you find new ways to reduce your costs.
    Do this so you’ll be able to acquire more funding for your project.
  • When creating your budget, propose more funding than what you need. This is important so you don’t have to delay the project in case you spend more than you expected.
  • Also, while making your budget, have the script on-hand. While referring to it, make sure to break down the scenes in the script. This will help you plan the budget better and more accurately.
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TemplateLab April 29th, 2021