The thought of making a short film with very little money is appealing. However even “no budget” productions still need a budget, or should we say a plan, for handling miscellaneous costs and unexpected emergencies. Such a plan would, at the very least, allow for daily expenses and short-term film insurance.
Why do I need a filming budget?
A budget will keep you on track during all stages of production. It doesn’t have to be large, but it should take into account the following items.
- Will you be using actors? If so, SAG New Media requires all their actors to be covered by General Liability Insurance and Workers’ Comp.
- Will you be renting equipment? If so, rental houses will require a certificate of insurance before they will issue a contract.
- Who will be shooting the production? You are required to have Workers’ Comp for all crew members, contract or even volunteer, in the state of California.
- Plan for other incidentals such as duct tape, office supplies, garbage bags, etc. Think of what you might need and add just a little more for the things you haven’t considered.
- Depending on where you plan to shoot you may need permit fees or location rental fees. Researching these ahead of time will also give you time to discover a less expensive option if necessary.
- How will you handle costumes and makeup?
- What about transportation fees? Will you need to reimburse your crew for parking or the cost of moving them from one location to another?
- If your actors or production crew are using their vehicles or hired vehicles for film-related errands, then you will need hired auto insurance. Their own insurance may not cover the costs of an accident if they are on the job. Insurance is much less expensive than litigation costs.
Post Production Items
- Allow for editing costs, licensing fees, and Product Liability Insurance. This type of insurance can protect you against unintentional copyright infringement.
Obviously, the budget for a feature film is much more involved than a short documentary or YouTube Video. However, since all productions, big or small, need some form of insurance, we suggest you contact your film insurance agent for budget numbers.
Many times your agent can put together a package tailored specifically to your needs, eliminating unnecessary costs.
For more information on insurance packages, contact Equipment & Production Insurance. The team at Equipment and Production Insurance is made up of film, photographic & entertainment industry insurance specialists. Whether you need short-term, annual, post, documentary, commercial, equipment, rental house, or Workers’ Comp Insurance, you can rely on their quick and knowledgeable assistance to meet all of your production insurance needs.