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I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.

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Donna ZangaroI have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:04:55 am

I have written a script and I am currently formatting it to standard.I have never filmed anything and I am unsure how much my script may cost to film. I was told to go to several websites to raise funds but I am unsure how much to raise.I know people always think they have a great idea and script. I know I do. How do you budget and what do I budget for? I realize that this may be annoying to some of you pros, please help.I think the script could make a great television series, web series, or even a movie. Any advice or guidance is appreciated. I am in Georgia in case location is a factor.


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walter biscardiRe: I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:20:22 am

There are so many variables in budgeting I wouldn't even know where to start. The best thing you can possibly do is connect with an experience production company. One thing I've learned in pitching shows and ideas is that unless you're established or have inside connections at networks, you don't get any traction.

We're in Buford if you ever want to set up a meeting to come by and chat. But budgeting a movie project is a daunting prospect if you've never done it before as is a television series.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Mark SuszkoRe: I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:02:56 pm

If you are the screenwriter, the cost to film your script, in a sense, is not your problem. It's the producer and director's problem. I mean, it helps not to write in superfluous scenes with a lot of extras and expensive effects and stunt work, in exotic locations, for scenes that are only on screen for a minute. But your script will go thru many changes during pre-production, where such things will be tweaked, depending on budget and other factors. The good news is you get paid foreach re-write.

If this is a serious attempt at a commercial motion picture, just worry about making an interesting, coherent script. Don't try to also self-produce it.

Myself, i think he's somewhat of a huckster, but you might want to peruse some of the "5-minute film school" videos by Dov Simens, it might give you some ideas.


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Michael AranyshevRe: I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 10:14:15 pm

Break down your script into scenes. Put all the scenes that happen in the same location together. Write down a list of everybody and everything you need to shoot those scenes, talent, crew, equipment. Find out how much does it cost per day. Multiply by the number of days.

Figure out how long will it take to edit the footage you shot, to edit end mix sound, to create VFX and grade the film. Multiply by the daily rate of these services in your area.

That might give you the rough idea of production and postproduction budget. Pre-production will cost something too.


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Mark SuszkoRe: I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:32:14 am

While not inaccurate, those directions are kind of like the famous Steve Martin joke about how to become a millionaire and never pay a dime in taxes:

"Step one: get a million dollars".

I think taking on producing and directing duties the first time out, is too much, when it's hard enough just to craft a good script for others to work from. Ideally authors want to direct their own scripts, ultimately, but the list of commercially successful people doing that is very short. Now, for a bootstrappy, "indie" production, hey go for it, but if the point is to get your story made and make money in the telling of it, you have to dump the romance of auteurism and find good collaborators.


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Richard HerdRe: I have written a script and need advice on budgeting a film.
by on Aug 12, 2012 at 7:02:40 pm

Good question, actually. There's a book called "Before You Shoot." http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Shoot-Budget-Production/dp/0918828171

And aicp.com has some useful budget forms.


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