We test out Film Budgeteers a new app for indie filmmakers

Film Budgeteers is a new company founded by indie filmmaker and former Roger Corman alumni, Jeff Orgill, who has created an online app which makes the “dark art” of film budgeting, once reserved for the likes of expensive UPM’s and Line Producers, finally accessible to indie filmmakers of all skill levels.

“If you have 5 minutes, have read your own script, and know how to click a mouse, you can create a fully-pro, fully-detailed and fully-customized, 15-page line-item budget, tailored by the filmmaker’s own input, to fit your film,” says Orgill.

It’s easy to get started

Filmmakers fill out an easy 10-page form, which begins by asking the filmmaker what grand total amount they’d like to budget for. Then the form asks the filmmaker to answer questions such as “How many principal actors does your script have?”, “How many locations?” etc.

Next, in order to dial in the costs of the film’s more unique elements, the app asks the filmmaker to give their best estimates as to how “heavy” their film is in categories such as visual effects, stunts, and special effects, on a scale from 1 to 10.

The clever bit

After checkout, the backend “AI” (not really an AI, but a series of proprietary formulas which takes into account current non-union and/or union pay rates, as well as small stuff like production fringes) crunches all the input and immediately emails the budget to the filmmaker.

Finished budgets are fully editable in Excel or the free app OpenOffice, and can range anywhere between $10,000 and $25 million.

“Our budget app will tell you how much to expect to spend in all categories, down to the craft service,” says Orgill. “But to do that, our app has to make a few assumptions. For example, if you’ve entered that you’d like to create a $10,000 budget, our app guesses that you’re not gonna want to budget for any union crew, other than maybe SAG-Indie for your actors. And if you say you want your budget to be $15,000,000, our app will budget a lot more for gear, crew, and catering than on your $10,000 budget.”

What’s the catch?

Sounds too good to be true? Well we asked Chris Reading (www.chrisreading.com) a writer and director from London working in commercial, content and feature length projects to give the app a go.

Chris whose first feature film Somnus was acquired in 2016 and distributed worldwide with Epic Pictures Group, is now developing new film and TV projects with a focus on science fiction and comedy as well as appearing weekly on the Science Fiction Rating System Podcast.

“If you are need a professional looking budget for your film, short film, or series, this is an easy and quick way to get something practical together.” Chris said “You get the excel sheet too which is great because you can just adapt it all later. This is really handy for pitching and getting something off the ground.”

Founder and filmmaker Jeff Orgill produced and edited music videos for acts including Danzig, Machinehead and Marilyn Manson. He has produced feature films including the Slamdance selected 35mm feature film Caged and the horror comedy Audie & The Wolf.
Orgill’s feature directing debut Boppin’ at The Glue Factory won several awards, including Best Feature Seattle True Independent Film Festival and Best Director Los Angeles Downtown Film Festival.
Orgill is also a Promax award winner, a Film Arts Foundation grant recipient and a graduate of San Francisco State University (Film Production), and The Roger Corman Film School.

“Most indie filmmakers I know don’t have $500 to spend on the Movie Magic Budgeting software, let alone the time to learn it,” says Orgill, referring to Entertainment Partners’ 15+ year-old software suite which many consider the de facto standard. “Our app allows indie filmmakers of all skill levels to create a custom film budget, download it, and get on with making their film, or raising money.”

“As a filmmaker, I’ve been in a position where a festival, producer, or a fellowship has asked me to submit a budget along with my script, and I’ve had to stall while I try to throw one together, or worse, I’ve ended up not submitting,” says Orgill. “Speaking as an indie filmmaker, one of the best things about being able to quickly and affordably create a custom film budget is that you prove to potential investors that you know what you’re doing. When meeting with potential investors a budget can make the difference between actually talking about the money or just getting another round of script notes.”

Find out more

Film Budgeteers offers three different pricing options and all services are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee if the filmmaker isn’t happy with their service or their budget.

For more check out https://filmbudgeteers.com.

You can also watch Chris Reading’s The Unreason made for the Sci-fi London 48hr Film Challenge below:


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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