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Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Budgeting and scheduling are easy in principle but hard in practice. The successful producer has a solid plan for juggling dozens of activities and costs while retaining the flexibility to cope with those inevitable last-minute changes and stay on course. Preplanning the budget and schedule of any media project is absolutely essential, and the 2nd edition of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide shows you the intricacies of handling both budgeting and scheduling successfully.

This new and updated edition explains the fundamentals of line producing in an easy-to-understand style, and includes tips and techniques that apply no matter what kind of scheduling or budgeting software you’re using. Author Paula Landry includes detailed examples of breakdown forms, organizing resources, distribution expenses, and hidden costs, and discusses how to set realistic priorities and find industry and state tax incentives. The new edition also includes discussions of transmedia and multi-purpose shooting, special considerations for VR, 4K and 3D shooting, new web platforms and mobile technology, crowd funding, film festivals, and much more.

  • Each chapter is filled with handy checklists, tips, practical advice, and anecdotes, showing how scheduling and budgeting are done in the real world;
  • Principles apply to any type of media project: film, video, music video, projects hosted online, and corporate and educational videos;
  • An accompanying eResources page offers downloadable forms and templates, and other essential resources.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter One—Schedule and Budget Basics
    1. What is Production Management?
      1. The Schedule and Budget Relationship
      2. Who Manages the Schedule and Budget
    2. A Little History
    3. Helpful Tools and Software
      1. A Manual and Computer Approach
      2. Trends to Consider
    4. Basic Steps and Stages
      1. Scheduling
      2. Budgeting
      3. End Uses of the Schedule and Budget
    5. End of Chapter One Review
  9. Chapter Two—Identifying Resources: The Breakdown
    1. Is There One Way to Breakdown a Script?
      1. When is a Breakdown Created?
    2. Relationship of Script and Breakdown
    3. Script Format
      1. Screenplay Software and Online Collaboration Tools
      2. Set Up Your System: Software, Colors, Numbers
      3. Breakdown Forms
    4. The Process of Breaking Down a Script
      1. Read Script Completely
      2. Number Scenes
      3. Eighths of a Page
      4. Identify Resources
      5. Transfer Information to Breakdown Forms
    5. End of Chapter Two Review
  10. Chapter Three—Organizing Resources: The Schedule
    1. What are the chances your team will exactly follow your first version of a schedule down to the minute?
    2. Creating a Schedule
      1. Your System: Workflow and Consistency
    3. The Process: Transfer Breakdown Information Into Schedule
      1. A. Fill Out the Production Information
      2. B. Transfer and Verify Information to a Breakdown Sheet in the Software, One Scene at a Time
      3. C. Assign Cast an ID Number
    4. Grouping Like Things
      1. Sorting by Set
      2. Sorting by Cast
      3. The Most Finite Resource
    5. Arrange Schedule for Maximum Efficiency
      1. One-Liner Schedule
      2. Day Out of Days
    6. Factors Impacting the Schedule
      1. Length of Script and Genre
      2. Format
      3. Shooting Ratio and Experience
      4. Unions and Guilds
      5. Locations
      6. Length of Shooting Week/Day
    7. Sample Schedules
    8. End of Chapter Three Review
  11. Chapter Four—Pricing Resources: The Budget
    1. Budget Components
      1. Construction
      2. Presentation
      3. Calculation
      4. Account Numbers
    2. Backing into a Number
    3. Price Resources
      1. Step 1. Identify and Obtain Prices
      2. Step 2. Negotiate
      3. Step 3. Lock in Your Deals
    4. Factors Impacting the Budget
      1. Type of Project and End Uses
      2. Locations and Incentives
      3. Wages, Unions and Guilds
      4. Project Length and Format
      5. Financing and Crowdfunding
    5. Building a Budget
      1. Setup
      2. Above the Line: Creative and Development Costs
      3. Below the Line: Production
      4. Below the Line: Post Production
      5. Below the Line: Other Expenses
    6. Sample Budgets
    7. End of Chapter Four Review
  12. Chapter Five—Helpful Scheduling and Budgeting Tips
    1. Evolution of the Schedule and Budget
      1. The Team
      2. Priorities, Prices, and Deal Making
      3. Changes During Shooting
    2. Safety, Insurance and Legal
      1. Safety and Insurance
      2. Legal
    3. Publicity, Marketing and Film Festivals
    4. Distribution Expenses
    5. Hidden Expenses
    6. End of Chapter Five Review
  13. Chapter Six—Managing Resources
    1. Relationship Between Script, Schedule and Budget
      1. Lock It Up
    2. Production Accountant, AD, and Line Producer
      1. The First Assistant Director (AKA AD) Runs the Set
      2. The Line Producer Runs the Production Office
    3. Optimize the Shoot
      1. No Unnecessary Movement
      2. Consider the Weather
      3. Days Off, Turnaround, Meal Times
      4. Using a Second Unit
      5. Other Factors
    4. End of Chapter Six Review
  14. Chapter Seven—Special Considerations
    1. Narrative Feature Film
      1. Marathon Mentality
      2. More Money
      3. Don’t Wait to Budget (Time and Cash) for Marketing and Distribution
    2. Documentary Film
    3. Shorts, Web Videos, and Webisodes
    4. Television
      1. Who’s Driving the Bus
      2. The Pilot
    5. Educational and Corporate Film
    6. Working Without a Script
    7. End of Chapter Seven Review
  15. Chapter Eight—Additional Topics You are Bound to Encounter
    1. Scheduling
      1. Contrast and Compare
      2. Questions About Eighths
      3. Script Inconsistency and New Versions
      4. Honing Your Scheduling Skills
      5. Location, Location, Location
    2. Budgeting
      1. Digital Format
      2. Checking Your Numbers
      3. Currency Conversion
    3. End of Chapter Eight Review
  16. Index