May 18
PRODUCTION BUDGET by Corie Henson  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, May 18, 2012

So many times I’ve heard that a movie starts with a seed of an idea which later develops into a concept then it becomes a story and later a script. And without that, walang movie.

But as per my observation, a movie project actually starts with the budget. Kung ang script ang body of the movie, ang budget naman ang soul of the movie. There are actually instances where a producer has the budget but no idea on what movie to produce.

To highlight the importance of the budget, take note that everything depends on it. And the script? It can be revised or cannibalized in order to suit the given production budget. In other words, ang budget ang pinakamahalaga sa movie production.

In the local movie industry, ang primary item sa production budget ay ang TF (talent fee). Especially for mainstream movies, the TF is the biggest slice of the pie. For costing purposes, the TF starts from 500 pesos upwards.

Wala naman kasing defined standard or costing brackets pagdating sa artista. For big stars, their managers do the negotiating. In this age of indie movies, malaki ang ibinababa ng mga TF ng artista lalo na ng mga supporting actors.

The newcomers of the movie LARGAAA with Yasmien Kurdi: at left is Apple Delos Santos, Rachelle Araneta Perez, Paolo Diaz, Enrique Tan

Once the TF of the contracted talents are settled, the next in the agenda for the production budget is the technical cost. Noong araw kasi, movie productions use film kaya naka-layout na ang costing simula sa film supplies up to the laboratory fees.

Since we are in the digital age, let us focus on the digital camera. The rental for a digital camera starts at P5,000 per day. This does not include the accessories like filters and gears like dolly track. At hindi rin kasama ang lighting units.

Depending on your connections, a complete camera equipment unit can be rented for a minimum of P20,000 per day of use at depende pa rin sa equipment items na gagamitin. Puwedeng kasama na ang crew o puwede ring mga equipment lang ang hihiramin.

Some camera equipment rental includes audio devices like sound recorder and microphones. But an aspiring producer should take note that the camera equipment rental does not include the truck and the fuel.

The truck bearing the camera equipment

Same with the Production Design, bukod sa fee ng Production Designer ay meron pa siyang staff. And like the camera equipment, the PD group has its own vehicle. “Marami kasing props na dala ang mga PD,” explained an oldtimer.

Speaking of props, lumalaki ang budget kung fantasy dahil sa mga costumes and unusual props. Ang isa pang magastos na production design ay mga period movies – ang setting ay past or future – where the production design team would recreate a setting.

Another important part of the production budget is the salaries of the production staff. Except for the director, which normally is on a project basis, most of the staff like the PM (Production Manager) and AD (Assistant Director) are on a daily basis.

Not to be forgotten is the Utility person. “Dapat merong mauutusan,” said an Assistant Director referring to the dirty job of doing errands, carrying things and assisting in the logistics.

But before doing the production expenses, the producer should mind the pre-production expenses. The writer has to be paid for the story and the script. The location hunt also involves money for transportation and food.

The rented van for the service of the talents

Another item in the pre-production is the story conference or script reading. Minsan meron pang press con. Iba pa yung audition, i.e. normally done if the production wants to take in aspiring talents.

Back to production, maraming producers ang umaangal sa location shooting. Added expense kasi ang transportation. A small production project has about 35 people—that would translate into 3 vans for land travel. Paano kung air travel?

Added expense din ang location permits at location fee. And for the location shoot, hindi maiiwasan ang participation ng locals para sa crowd control o security. Ito ang mga unexpected costs na wala sa budget projection.

Huwag kalilimutan ang overtime expenses. Kadalasan ay humihingi ng dagdag na bayad ang mga rented vehicles lalo na kapag lumagpas sa midnight ang shooting. Sa pagkain ay extra rin dahil dapat may food serving at around midnight.

After the shooting ay post-production expenses naman ang kakaharapin. First in the list is the editing. According to some editors, mas mura ang editing ng video (non-linear) kaysa sa linear editing ng film.

Iba rin ang bayad sa Sound Technician para sa sound editing. Kadalasan ay meron ding charge ang studio dahil gumagamit ito ng licensed editing software. Kung may theme song ay iba pa ang gastos ng recording nito.

Sa mga big productions, the promotion expenses is equivalent to 1/3 of the production budget. That means if the production budget is P9 million then the budget for promotion should be P3 million.

Now that the production budget is clear, aspiring producers can start planning for their movie projects.

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