So here at The Nerd Mentality, we often get offers for all sorts of things. Anything film related I try to jump on or find a reviewer that is interested. So when something called Film Budgeteers came across I was instantly intrigued. It’s basically a tool that helps allocate your budget and makes sure you have everything you need to make a film. Now, I don’t know about you, but every time I watch a film of questionable taste, I think “I could do better than that.” So with hubris by my side, I decided to see how much it would cost to make my dream film.
You can create a budget from anywhere between 10k and 300 million dollars. The fine folks over at Film Budgeteers decided to give me two codes, so I decided for review purposes to make a $50,000 film that we are calling TNM The Film starring us here at The Nerd Mentality and a 10 million dollar movie with real people based on my own personal horror thriller screenplay.
The beginning process to make the budget literally takes 5-10 minutes at most. It took me longer to decide which actors I wanted in my big production film than it did to create the budget. There are 10 easy steps, some only taking a few seconds to fill in. There are some spots for customization where it lets you tailor your budget on a 10 point scale. For instance, in our low budget comedy starring myself and the fools who also write here (just kidding), I set our principal cast budget to zero, since they’ll all be doing this film for free. I upped our budget for stunts because why have a film if you don’t have any good ones. I also added more special effects and even gave us an animal budget, because I need Seth to fight a tiger.
With my 10 million dollar horror thriller, I went with the more standard allotment. Since I had a little spending money I actually added some talented film industry folks. My director is Hong-jin Na who you may know from The Wailing. My writer and fellow producer is S. Craig Zahler from the TNM favorite film Brawl in Cell Block 99, not only did I write a review on this but Dustin discussed the film on the Cinema Justice Warriors podcast as well. My main cast includes Elli Harboe from a fantastic film named Thelma. I think she can cross over internationally if given the right chance. Corey Hawkins as her sidekick and I figured I needed one bigger name so I recruited Jeremy Renner to be the officer pursuing our murderous duo.
As you can expect, the differences between the two films are quite staggering. The beautiful thing about this site is the flexibility it provides. They have three different options where you can just get a one-page summary for about $20 a non-editable PDF for $49 or an editable Excel file for $97. You can even purchase additional credits at a discount upon checkout if you like what they did. The editable Excel file lets you change anything you want! As you are going and tweaking your film you can update each section and it will automatically update your totals. If I can do it, then it should be a no-brainer for those in the industry or anyone looking to make their own film.
Film Budgeteers Final Thoughts:
Now I’m a practical person. Even if you have made films before, even if you use a line producer, why wouldn’t you spend a few minutes and for under $100 have a base to work off. you tailor it to your needs and then know where to start. If you are spending ten grand or more on a film this should be one of the first steps. Let me put it to you like this… what if Neil Breen had used Film Budgeteers? Then maybe he would know where to spend his money and actually make a watchable film… then again I forget that some here at The Nerd Mentality actually like how awful his films are.
You can watch a quick tutorial video over at Film Budgeteers and get started very easily.