Budgeting 101: B2B Films on a Shoestring
Hello, fellow movie fans and investors who are dumbfounded. Today, we're going to talk about how B2B (Business to Business) films are made on a budget that is so small that it's funny. Sit tight, grab your computers, and get ready to go on a wild ride with me about saving money.
Act 1: Predicting Mishaps
The first obstacle on our way to being good with money is the difficult job of figuring out prices. Most of us feel like Nostradamus telling us what will happen in the future, but with less science and more records.
If it's anything like my last story, the plot will read like a Marvel movie made on a Walmart budget. Even though it would be fun to film a scene in which your CEO beats off aliens in a jet-powered suit, remember that the "V" in "VFX" stands for "Very Expensive." So, be kind to the aliens.
Your second cost estimate, which is a big one, is for people, or your cast and team. People like to eat, which is a fact that is often forgotten. Strangely enough, they also like to be paid for the work they do. Go figure! So, make the right plans. Also, did you know that the guy carrying the boom mic wants to be called a "Boom Operator" instead of a "Boom Guy"? Who would have thought! Anyway, please take those costs into account.
And don't forget tools. Unless you plan to make your B2B hit on a potato or, god forbid, an old smartphone, this will cost you a lot. Even getting gear can be expensive, unless your cousin Vinny runs a shop that rents out film equipment.
Act 2: From a big budget to a small budget
So, you made a budget, and it's as scary as a Stephen King book. Don't worry! There are many ways to make a low-budget horror movie into a feel-good independent thriller.
You can save money on places first. Is it really necessary to shoot in Paris when a croissant and an accordion player in the office break room can give off a similar vibe? Think about how much cheese and baguettes you could buy with the money you save if you are smart and creative.
Casting is another place where you can save money. Is the intern at the office the next Meryl Streep? Does the CFO of your company look a lot like George Clooney? Not only will they work for office perks, but it will also give your business picture a nice 'organic' touch. Just remember that you don't have to give an Oscar-worthy act.
Act 3: Trying to keep the budget from going over
So, you're in the middle of making something, and everything is going well. You get hit with a cost you didn't expect. Your main character might only want to drink foreign sparkling water, or the rented camera might get dropped and decide to quit early. The good news is that price surprises in movies are as regular as story turns in M. Night Shyamalan movies. Getting ready to make the key.
Adding a reserve to your budget is one way to get ready. Think of it as your personal protection against the fact that making movies can be hard to predict. 10–20% of your total spending is a number that is often used. That should cover anything from sudden weather changes (aka the rain machine that nobody ordered but showed up anyway) to an endless desire for gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, keto-friendly cookies from craft services.
The Last Scene: The End
Look at us, we're almost done with this crazy ride through B2B.
film planning. I hope you've learned that planning for B2B pictures isn't a soul-sucking job to be feared, but rather a funny high-wire act of combining artistic dreams with financial facts. Whether you're making a decision about craft services or adding a robot attack to your story, it's important to dream big and count small.
And remember, if nothing else works, you can always think of a way to solve your problem. If you can't pay the rights to that hit song, make your own ad. If you can't rent a tiger for your jungle scene, remember that the office cat is just as mysterious and much less likely to eat the crew.
So here's to accepting the craziness that is B2B film planning. Here's to big dreams, small spending, making something that's worth every bit, and laughing along the way!
So, I'm going to say goodbye. Keep an eye out for our next post, "Casting Call Catastrophes: When Your CEO Thinks He's the Next Tom Cruise." Until then, good luck with your movies (and budgets)!