Chapter 12

Controlling the Budget

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty-one pounds, result misery.

W.C. Fields as Mr Micawber in David Copperfield

Mr Micawber's dictum in George Cukor's film of David Copperfield applies to the production manager more than most people on a film because controlling the budget is one of the key jobs for which he or she will be responsible.

Budget control is a function which takes place before, during and after the shoot and is vital if a production is to meet its contract requirements. It is important because the contract will almost certainly allow the financiers or completion guarantors to take over the film if ...

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