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Sound/Music Budgeting for Feature Films & TV Shows Modular Synthesizers
Old 6th August 2008
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
Originally Posted by jimlongo View Post
Yes it really is true that budgets are shrinking all the time, they just shrank in this thread from 60k to 20k in a matter of days. heh
Well, my experience is that films with a million dollar budget tend to have sound budgets that range in the $15k-$30k range.
Old 6th August 2008
I guess my clients like me better...


ps: only kidding... beats me.. these are the numbers on project we work on.
Old 8th August 2008
Gear Nut
dsteinwedel's Avatar

Hey all,

I'm curious about budgeting percentages for animated films. Since these are a different beast, what % of the budget is usually reserved for audio post? (not including music)

Old 8th August 2008
Lives for gear
starcrash13's Avatar
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
I think an average rule of thumb is that 1% of the total budget goes to sound editing and 1% to sound mixing.
That's true, but I think that the percentage increases for films with budgets less than $1 million. I've even worked on projects where the sound budget was the most expensive part of the entire production!
Old 8th August 2008
Gear Maniac
qubi's Avatar

Ok, this is my take on this whole post by nd33.. you have experience with TV, and want to expand your horizon's into film.. I started out with indi film, and since have moved onto TV.. I love film, but indi just doesn't pay. but if you like the project, then I have to admit, film, especially as a composer, has depth and richness that's hard to get in TV or ads (my field). So sometimes you just want to do it. But i totally agree with Georgia (god bless her for the rates she gets, and long live those clients!!) Back end doesn't cut it with indi. your best bet is that someone will buy the film out, and you should get a gross % of that buy out. A buy out doesn't in any way guarantee successful sales or distribution. Just like there are indi directors's, there are endless indi'ish productions companies that bet on the next big thing and go nowhere. % of net sales, in indi, usually means 99.9% of nothing.

So money isn't the issue, and i can relate, when it comes to a passionate project. BUT.. and it's a big but (IMHO), you may not care about charging for the composing for scoring, after all, it gets your name on the film as the composer. And there's the potential for people to see your name and you can get more jobs. But in this sector (indi) i can't imagine too many people reading your credits for foley/dubbing/adr and getting all excited to give you their next job. My point is, that for the stuff other than scoring, ie. foley, sfx, adr, mixdown, charge a standard/hourly rate (even if it's discounted). A lot of times indi directors bank on other creative individuals to put in their efforts as part of the dream, or even a personal agenda to gain more credit in their field, but for the "technical" aspects such as adr/sfx, these should be treated as productions costs. In the end, it's just a lot of tedious work that ties up your studio. (not to discredit the skill that goes into it). But Most indi films still have to fork out the cash for stuff like film stock and processing, equip rentals etc. Even editing can sometimes be done as a "favour", which is in-itself is an art, just like scoring. But I personally would draw the line between the score and the other aspects of the total sound mix.

I'm not trying to suggest that scoring should be done for free. But if YOU are doing it to break into a new field, then you gotta do what you gotta do! but for all other audio stuff, then treat it as a proffesional, if you don't do it, then the director would have to go to another studio. And guess what, telling them "hey i want you to spend xx hours dubbing, foley'ing and mixing this film for free" just won't cut it. so why should you??

IMHO, just separate the score from the rest of the work.. In the end (bar divine intervention) you'll be doing the score for your own experiential gain and little else (which can still be a great growth experience!). for everything else, charge fairly.

p.s. I guess my comments come from a "been there done that" attitude, and I'm sure it doesn't apply to every one. But I just wanted to share.

Best of luck
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