Budgeting for a Film Crew with Andy Kelemen

December 7, 2023
Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy | On Camera On Brand

Episode Summary

In this insightful episode of On Camera On Brand, host Rob Ruscher engages with Andy Kelemen from Dessert Before Dinner to demystify the often opaque topic of video production costs. They dive into why companies and production teams struggle with budget transparency. Andy shares his expertise on the intricacies of budgeting, emphasizing the need for openness in the industry.

Andy and Rob explore the dynamics between clients and production teams. They discuss how goals and clarity impact budgeting. The conversation highlights the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind budget allocations. Rob stresses the benefits of transparency in day rates and budgets, advocating for a unified approach to prevent undercutting in the industry.

The episode gets practical as Andy breaks down a typical budget scenario. He outlines the necessary crew and equipment for a mid-sized project, providing real-world insights into the decision-making process. From directorial needs to sound and lighting considerations, Rob offers a comprehensive view of what goes into a production budget.

Featured Guest

Name: Andy Kelemen
What he does: Director and Producer
Company: Dessert Before Dinner
Noteworthy: Andy Kelemen is the founder of Dessert Before Dinner, a production company known for its quirky work. He is an open book on budgeting and actively engages with inquiries about video production costs.

Key Insights

Transparency in Video Production Budgeting

Andy Kelemen emphasizes the importance of transparency in video production budgeting. He discusses the challenges and misconceptions surrounding budget allocations in the industry. Andy highlights the need for clear communication between clients and production teams. He believes that understanding the ‘why’ behind each budget item can lead to more effective and efficient production processes. This insight sheds light on the often-misunderstood aspects of video production costs and the value of openness in financial discussions.

The Impact of Client-Producer Dynamics on Budgeting

The episode dives into the dynamics between clients and production teams, particularly how these relationships affect budgeting. Andy points out that clarity in goals and expectations plays a crucial role in determining the budget. He discusses scenarios where misunderstandings about costs, such as talent fees or equipment expenses, can lead to complications. This insight is crucial for both clients and producers, as it underscores the importance of clear communication and setting realistic expectations from the outset.

Practical Considerations in Budgeting for Video Production

Andy provides practical insights into the budgeting process for video production. He breaks down a typical budget scenario, explaining the roles of various crew members and the costs associated with equipment and other production needs. This part of the conversation is particularly valuable for those new to video production, offering a real-world perspective on how budgets are allocated and the factors that influence these decisions. Andy’s expertise provides listeners with a comprehensive understanding of the financial aspects of video production.

Episode Highlights

The Role of Director and Producer in Budgeting

In this segment, Andy Kelemen discusses the overlapping roles of a director and producer in budgeting for video production. He explains how these roles often intertwine, especially in smaller budget projects. Andy shares his approach to budgeting, emphasizing the importance of being versatile in both roles.

“For this example, we’re using, we’ll call a smaller budget template. So let’s just start filling stuff out. So on the first portion here, I have creative services, which are kind of some of those pre pro items.”

Importance of Detailed Bid Sheets

Andy highlights the significance of detailed bid sheets in maintaining transparency with clients. He believes that clearly outlining what clients are paying for, including crew, hours, and pre-production meetings, is crucial. This approach helps in avoiding misunderstandings and ensures clients know exactly what they’re getting.

“I always put, I guess what I would call a bid sheet. So it tells the client exactly what they’re getting. You’re getting one day of production. You’re going to get these crew people who are going to show up on set.”

Client Expectations and Budgeting

In this part of the episode, Andy talks about the different ways clients approach budgeting. He explains how client expectations and their understanding of what they want can significantly impact how a project is budgeted and scaled.

“Some clients come to us, and they say, ‘I have 50,000. What is that going to buy me?’ Some clients come and say, ‘I know I need two 30-second videos featuring three interviews with the CEO included, and we want some B roll.”‘

The Practicality of Budgeting for Different Scenarios

Andy discusses the practical aspects of budgeting for various scenarios, including how to adjust for different client budgets and project scales. He shares insights into how he would approach a project with a specific budget, considering factors like location, crew, and post-production.

“Here’s what that’s going to buy you. It’s going to buy you one day of production. It’s going to buy you this many crew. It’s going to buy you this many outputs. Um, sometimes they know the outputs. And they know they have 100, 000. So that way I’m going to fit into that box.”

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