More details on why you need a budget and schedule
The first information your financiers, sales agents and distributors will need to see is the budget and schedule for your film, so they can see that if they finance your film, you will be able to deliver the finished product to them. Even if you can shoot your film, there are costs to deliver that film to an audience and those providing your finance, will want to see that you have considered and know about all of those costs, by including them in your budget.
Your financiers, sales agents and distributors will want to see that you have properly prepared your film for the marketplace, otherwise, no one will be able to make their money back.
There are costs which need to be in your budget, to pay for all the necessary legal clearances and delivery costs required to release your film.
If you do not care whether your financiers, sales agents or distributors recoup their investment, you will not raise any money to make your film in the first place.
What is a film schedule?
It is a workable plan/list of each day’s filming requirements with the details of the characters, costumes, animals, locations, vehicles, equipment, stunts and special effects etc that you will need, for each day of filming.
How do you create a schedule?
By "breaking down" the screenplay you can attach a cost to each element in the script:
Characters and costumes
The days in which each character/animal/prop/item is needed
Locations and travel
Props, vehicles and hotels
Sound, music or special effects
Stunts and animals
Log line for each scene- summarising what the scene does to help efficient shooting
Timing of screenplay/story to avoid either over long, or shorter than needed films
From the break down you can then sort your elements to create individual lists, according to location, stunts, days needed to work for each of your characters, animals, vehicles etc. in order to plan the most efficient shoot timetable. This can be a complex exercise and experience in how long it takes to do particular scenes is important, as is using an appropriate software which allows for revisions and different production apporaches to deal with changing circumstances eg. less or money to make a film.
Now this information can be used to begin to build your Budget. What can a budget tell you?
The payments due to the Producers, Director, Actors and Crew and detail time spent working on the film
All costs for costume, sets, props, vehicles, camera, sound and post production
All costs for travel, hotels, per diems, mileage and courier
All costs for the office, phone, courier, hire equipment, health and safety requirements
All location, legal, accounting, contingency, completion, delivery and marketing fees
That your film, when shot, will meet your distributors requirements
That your films’ budget is a realistic scale so that you can deliver to the marketplace
Timescale to produce a Budget and Schedule
On average, it will take one – two weeks to prepare a feature film budget and schedule, depending upon the scale and complexity of the film and enter the elements into the industry standard Moviemagic Scheduling software.