Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film : A Panic-Free Guide book cover
2nd Edition

Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film
A Panic-Free Guide

ISBN 9781138210615
Published July 5, 2017 by Routledge
340 Pages

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Book Description

Budgeting and scheduling are easy in principle but hard in practice. The successful producer has a solid plan for juggling dozens of activities and costs while retaining the flexibility to cope with those inevitable last-minute changes and stay on course. Preplanning the budget and schedule of any media project is absolutely essential, and the 2nd edition of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic-Free Guide shows you the intricacies of handling both budgeting and scheduling successfully.

This new and updated edition explains the fundamentals of line producing in an easy-to-understand style, and includes tips and techniques that apply no matter what kind of scheduling or budgeting software you’re using. Author Paula Landry includes detailed examples of breakdown forms, organizing resources, distribution expenses, and hidden costs, and discusses how to set realistic priorities and find industry and state tax incentives. The new edition also includes discussions of transmedia and multi-purpose shooting, special considerations for VR, 4K and 3D shooting, new web platforms and mobile technology, crowd funding, film festivals, and much more.

  • Each chapter is filled with handy checklists, tips, practical advice, and anecdotes, showing how scheduling and budgeting are done in the real world;
  • Principles apply to any type of media project: film, video, music video, projects hosted online, and corporate and educational videos;
  • An accompanying eResources page offers downloadable forms and templates, and other essential resources.

Table of Contents

Chapter One – Schedule & Budget Basics

What is Production Management

The Schedule and Budget Relationship

Why Schedule and Budget are the Foundation

Who Manages the Schedule & Budget

A Little History

Helpful Tools and Software

A Manual & Computer Approach

Trends to Consider

Basic Steps



The End Uses of Budget and Schedule

End of Chapter One Review

Chapter Two – Identifying Resources: the Breakdown

Relationship of Script and Breakdown

Script Format

Screenplay Software & Online Collaboration Tools

The Process of Breaking Down a Script

Read Script Completely

Your System: Software, Colors, Numbers

Number Scenes

Eighths of a Page

Identify Resources

Breakdown Forms

Transfer Information to Breakdown Forms

End of Chapter Two Review

Chapter Three – Organizing Resources: The Schedule

Creating A Schedule

Workflow & Consistency

Transfer & Verify Breakdown Information Into Schedule

Grouping Like Things



The Most Finite Resource

Arrange Schedule For Maximum Efficiency

One-Liner Schedule

Day Out Of Days

Factors Impacting The Schedule

Length of Script and Genre

Film Or Digital Format

Shooting Ratio & Experience

Unions & Guilds


Length Of Shooting Week / Day

Sample Schedules
End Of Chapter Three Review

Chapter Four – Pricing Resources: the Budget

Budget Components




Account Numbers

Backing into a Number

Price resources

Factors Impacting the Budget

Type of Project and End Uses

Locations & Incentives

Wages, Union & Guilds

Project Length & Format

Financing and Crowd Funding

Building a Budget


Above the Line: Creative & Development Costs

Below the Line: Production

Below the Line: Post

Below the Line: Other Expenses

Sample Budgets

Blank Budget Forms

End of Chapter Four Review

Chapter Five – Helpful Scheduling & Budgeting Tips

Evolution of the Schedule & Budget

The Team: A.D., Director, Producer, Location Manager

Prices, Rates and Deal Making

Changes During Shooting

Publicity, Marketing & Film Festivals

Safety, Legal & Insurance

Distribution Expenses

Hidden Expenses

End of Chapter Five Review

Chapter Six – Managing Resources

Relationship between Script, Schedule & Budget

Production Accountant, A.D. and Line Producer

Optimize The Shoot

No Unnecessary Movement

Consider the Weather

(between shooting, or down time) Days Off and Turnaround, Rest Time, Meal Times

Using a Second Unit

Other Factors,

End of Chapter Six Review

Chapter Seven – Special Considerations

Narrative Feature Film

Documentary Film

Shorts, Web Video & Webisodes


Educational & Corporate Film

Working Without a Script

End of Chapter Seven Review

Chapter Eight – Additional Topics You Are Bound to Encounter


Questions about Eighths

Script Inconsistency & New Versions

Honing Your Scheduling Skills

The Experience of your Team


Checking Your Numbers

Obscure Budgetary Categories and Terminology

Currency Conversion

Honing Your Budgetary Skills

In Conclusion

End of Chapter Eight Review

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Paula Landry is a producer, film business and media-marketing consultant, crafting business and marketing plans, videos and branded content for Fortune 500 companies, non-profit companies and colleges. Landry is president of IdeaBlizzard Productions, and is the co-author of This Business of Film: A Practical Guide to Achieving Success in the Film Industry. An active member of NYWIFT, IFP, and AFM, Landry speaks at seminars around the world about the businesses of film, music, and media.


"Pre-production is Landry’s middle name. Her work is so precise and detailed, the production team is always confident to stay within budget and on schedule when she is attached to the film."

—Pamela Lubell, Producer

"Paula Landry takes you behind the glamour and glitz of filmmaking to the nuts and bolts of actually getting a film made. This book is essential reading for anyone involved in movie production; a practical and pragmatic step-by-step guide to the why, how and when of turning a script into a finished film—a necessary addition to your tool kit."

—Stephen Greenwald, Partner, Grey Eagle Films LLC

"This book is for anyone who needs to understand the transition from an idea or script to a concrete plan of time and money to make a film. Engagingly written, Landry’s book demystifies this process, empowering filmmakers who are ready to get started with their projects today."

—Jon Reiss, Filmmaker/Author/Media Strategist, Hybrid Cinema

"Paula Landry’s book is an amazing resource for emerging filmmakers or anyone starting out in producing. The book is incredibly user friendly, clearly explained, and offers a step-by-step guide to the topic. When you’re ready to get serious, read this book."

—Ken Aguado, Studio Executive, Producer, The Salton Sea (2002); Co-author of The Hollywood Pitching Bible