Building Your Block_ DIY Documentary Film Billing Block for Filmmakers

Written By:

Building Your Block: DIY Documentary Film Billing Block for Filmmakers

If you’re new to the film industry there’s a good chance you have no idea what a billing block is. But if you’ve been around the block, you’re probably aware of the typical documentary film billing block. And all of the pertinent details that are included in this sophisticated bit of information contained within virtually every movie trailer ever produced. Part art, part science and a little bit (or maybe a whole lot) of luck. The documentary film billing block is probably more sophisticated than you realize. 


Learning how to build your billing block for a documentary film is actually quite important. These poster credits appear within movie trailers and posters. Announcing TONS of details in a small block of text that is formatted.

In such a way that a quick glance gives some pertinent data. Much more than you probably expect. Let’s take a look.

What is a Documentary Film Billing Block?

A billing block, for a documentary or any other style of film, is a set of poster credits. Which are included in a movie poster or trailer. Providing essential credit to the cast, crew or other members involved in the production of the film.

It’s not just lower level cast or crew that are included in the billing block, though. The billing block credits producers, financers, and distributors that are involved in the production, too. 

What’s Included in a Billing Block?

The billing block includes the names of many different individuals or parties involved in various aspects of the production from pre-production financial investments.

That are essential to getting the film produced to the top talent involved in the film. And the post-production editors as well as the distributors that are involved in displaying the film to the world. 


With so many names included, you can see how a billing block could quickly spiral out of control. In fact, it’s also rather simple to understand various questions.

Regarding the size, location and other details of the documentary film billing block can be challenging to figure out.

Fortunately, most of the negotiations in regards to the placement of names come up before production. And have already long been figured out by the point of distribution.

The documentary film billing block is going to include the following:

  • Key cast member names. 
  • Key crew member names.
  • Producer, director, and editors.
  • Screenwriter or collaborators.
  • Names of the Director of Photography.
  • Names of the Director of Art.
  • Music source.
  • Website.
  • Release date.
  • Company logos.

In Summation

Finally, once you’ve negotiated all of the key names and credits for the documentary film billing block and you’ve determined the appropriate placement based on the agreements made between you, the cast and the crew.

As well as those entered by the various film unions or guilds that your cast or crew may be involved in, the last piece of the billing block are the bugs and rating. This includes the logos for the distribution and production companies as well as the rating. 

Building your documentary film billing block isn’t hard, but it’s going to take you some time! There are some helpful tools that could make the process a bit easier to navigate.

And there are even templates that you can follow. But you’ll still have to play around and get creative in order to fit everything in a neat, and most appealing way. 

“The information contained on this website is for general use only and should not be taken as legal advice. Beverly Boy Productions assumes no responsibility or liability for the use, or misuse, of information contained herein which is provided on an as-is basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. Visitors are encouraged to consult with an attorney before making any legal decisions – Beverly Boy Productions is NOT an attorney and does not provide any such legal advice.” #TEAM BEVERLYBOY