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What’s Included in a Short Film Budget Template?

Budgeting for any film is a tall order. Now take that tall order and shrink the investment to a fraction, but attempt to get many of the same resources involved and you’ve got yourself a situation where you’re budgeting for a short film.

A short film budget template will almost mirror that of a feature film, including everything from pre-production, research, production, and post-production but with a fraction of the resources allocated or expenses incurred in each line item. Depending on your budget, your template may include 10 pages, 20 pages, or more but the end result is much the same — you’ve got to find a way to allocate resources without going over the budget and while maintaining the absolute best quality in production possible.

Short film budget template figures are never an exact science. You’ll face situations where you’re budgeting for a film with 10K to spend and situations where you’re budgeting with 100K to spend.

Let’s take a look at what should be included in your short film budget template:

Categories of Spending

First, we dive into the various categories of spending that will be entered in the short film budget template. This is going to include things like rentals, talent fees, and location costs.

Additional categories of spending for a short film budget template include:

  • Art department
  • Set costs
  • Set dressing
  • Props
  • Wardrobe
  • Hair and makeup
  • Camera operation
  • Production staff
  • Electrical operations
  • Sound operations
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Set Teacher
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
  • Graphics
  • Post-production sound
  • Music
  • Insurance
  • Overhead
  • Fees and charges

Budgeting Resources

Next, you’re going to work on budgeting the resources out for your film. This involves focusing some time and effort on how you expect the production to go and what expectations you have of the cast and crew. Will you shoot for 3 days? Will you produce 10 shots per day? Is 10 shots per day realistic? How will you negotiate cast and crew expenses?

Budgeting your resources is a vital element of producing the short film budget template. Now is the time to think about how many actors you need, how many camera crew, how many in sound, and how much time you’ll need from each of these individuals. A great budget begins with great planning and allocation of resources.