Budgeting for my Feature Film ★

Hai guys ♥

So I’m super-duper enthusiastic and full of energy today ★

I’m attending a Q/A with documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto this evening followed by a screening of her film Dream Catcher. You’ll hear all about that tomorrow ♥

But for today I’m going to go ahead and talk about the big B word: BUDGETING!

Budgeting for a feature film at first seemed terrifying and unachievable.
Where do I even begin?

I’ve only ever done short films on the cheap.
On the cheap I mean I’d  have a small budget (usually only £100 or so) but I’d have to pull money out of my own wallet as and when I needed it. Mostly for things like train fares, coffee, ‘thank-you-for-helping-me’ pizzas and umbrellas for rainy days.
Often unplanned and on the spot purchases.
But nothing that would break the bank.

Due to my experience and naivety, I thought that feature film budgeting and expenses would be the complete opposite.
That I would have a set fixed budget, figure out all the costs beforehand and that there would be no unplanned expenses.

Oh dear.

So on my bus ride to university this morning, I started thinking about what kind of budget will I need and what would the money be used for?
-Film Insurance
-Location (if required)
-Cast & Crew (if required)
-Make-up & Props
-Food & Drink

But then it dawned on me.
What if there were other things I needed to pay for?
The unplanned expenses.
What if the trains stopped working and I needed to to call a taxi?
What if I need to pay for car parking?
What if one of my crew is allergic to the food I prepared and I have to make a quick trip down to the local take-out?
What if one of the cameras suddenly break?
What if I need a first aid kit? Headache tablets? Plasters?
What if the props don’t look good on the set and I need a whole new lot?
What if the weather is shit and I have to reschedule and lose all the money I spent on hotels/fuel/food/insurance/location/crew/cast?

The word ‘amateur’ had never felt so appropriate.

Feature filmmaking may be on a bigger budget and a bigger set than short filmmaking, but they share principals apply.
There will be a certain ‘budget’, but problems will occur and compromises will have to be made which will often cost money (just on a bigger scale for a feature film!)

And weirdly, I’m okay with that.
I’m used to that.
Most of my feature’s budget is coming out of my own pocket anyway.
So I expect to be bankrupt and in debt.
What’s a few more hundred? or a few more grand?
I don’t mind.
I will have a feature film to call my own.
May not be amazing or the next blockbuster, but it will be mine.
And it will be me ♥

And the most amazing thing about this is that there are people out there who will help me. I’ve lived in Cornwall for five years now, the longest I’ve lived anywhere, and I know the community.
I participate in my local clubs, I drink at my local pubs and I attend my local events.
I’ve met so many people.
Not all filmmakers.
But bakers, shopkeepers, baristas, bartenders, doctors, volunteers, dog walkers, tailors, gardeners, engineers – but most of all friends.
All from different walks of life, who may not have any interest in filmmaking but have interest as me as a person.
Who have put their services, time and money forward to help me with my dream.
And I love them for that ♥

Budgeting for a feature film isn’t as terrifying or unachievable as I originally thought.
I still have a long way to go but there are ways of stretching my money and making the most of my community and people’s generosity that’s not a million miles a way from what I had been original doing with my shorts.


still have to figure out how much I need though.
Oh dear! ★


2 thoughts on “Budgeting for my Feature Film ★

  1. Love hearing about the progress you are making with your film. No budget filming can be easy and liberating, but getting into larger projects is a scary thing, especially when you’re orchestrating the entire thing! Still, push on, you seem to have the drive and passion for it. Would love to talk and pick your brain some time, I myself am based near Bristol, so not to far away for collaborations

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you ever so much 😀 and I would love to have a chat. I’m often on skype if you’d like to drop me a message or have a video call. My skype is HJAZisRikku


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