Although figuring out the budget is not exactly the first thing in mind when you first have the idea that will be developed into the film, it is a necessary step towards making your film a reality. The good news is, to organize your budget you do not need to invest in expensive software. Already free and available tools like Excel, OpenOffice and Google Docs can be just as good when it comes to software to organize your budget. And we already made awesome templates that we are making available to you for free. All you need to do is get your creative juices flowing so you can get to creating budget that will make your film a reality.
Getting start with film budget templates
How to organize a budget is possibly the first question that comes to mind for every producer staring at a blank template. Have no fear: there is no set manual to creating a film budget. You have the freedom to chose how you are going to make this happen with as little or as much money as you like (if you have it!). You can have as much special effects, as much props as you like, but remember that the most important thing is to tell the story. That’s the cake. Everything else (special effects, stunts, exotic locations) is frosting on the cake, the trimmings.
First of all you have to sit with your director and your script and requirements analysis, to see what he wants and to have an idea of what he is asking to be able to tell this story. Once you have your story plan, then you have to have a script break down, where you write down all that you will need. All the film budget planning will be done here. For example: costumes, props, stunts, makeup, special effects, cast members, animal handlers, extras, set dressing, music, vehicles, special equipment, sound, greenery, security, etc.
Once you have all that you need, and you may conduct a budget analysis and use the film budget templates to be able to organize the different departments and needs for you film, you must determine how much each thing costs. For that you have to do your research. Make the calls, use your connections, talk to people and find out where to get the materials and how much will they be. Compare prices. See if you can make some arrangements where some things can come to you free of cost or at a lesser cost. Research, even if you are months away from filming. The more preparation and research the better.
Here are some samples of film budget templates.
Lastly, after the cost of everything is determined, and a number is set for the budget, be prepared to make some adjustments. If, for example, the wardrobe department suddenly must incur in more expenses in the middle of production, then you have to know that in order to stay on the budget, other departments will have less money to spend. The money must come from somewhere else in order to balance the budget.