Boards and Budgets

Pages of a Film Budget

Film budgets are also referred to as line-item budgets. Like budgets utilized in any business or industry they are structured in detailed singular lines per item to be accounted for along with a prescribed cost. Each line item is part of a topical sub-group or even sub-sub group, which in turn is part of a more comprehensive category. So, like-things are listed together with other like-things under an over-arching descriptive heading. As an example: a category could be “Camera Department,” and a list of sub-groups could be either labor related such as, Director of Photography, or First Assistant Cameraman, or equipment related, such as, Camera Rentals, Expendables Purchases, etc.
Therefore, the more complex with regard to physical production a script may be, the more crew personnel, actors, equipment purchases and rentals and outsourced services are required to complete the project, the more lines there will be in the budget, with a typical budget having anywhere from twenty-five to thirty line items per page. A small $250,000.00 budget will still have approximately twenty-five pages in its budget. A major mega-budget $200,000,000.00 film budget could easily have well in excess of two hundred and fifty pages in its budget.

~ Keith Payson UPM/1st AD Line-Producer