Although I’m not a spendthrift, I feel as if I never have enough money in my bank account. Because I’m setting aside cash in order to buy a new home, I’m always searching for ways to decrease my monthly expenses. Fortunately, through my research, I’ve found some great, simple tips that provide substantial savings over time. For instance, I turn off my HVAC unit whenever I’m traveling. I also conserve gasoline by running all of my errands for the week on the same day. On this blog, I hope you will discover some easy, painless ways to lower your regular monthly bills. Enjoy!
Making your first independent film is a big step -- but an exciting one. And while your first priority will usually be translating your vision onto the silver screen, there are also many logistical tasks you'll have to oversee in order to make a successful movie. One of these will be to manage the money and financial aspects of your movie. So, if you're not an experienced accountant, how can you know what to do? Here's a handy checklist to help get you started.
Make a Budget. At the earliest point at which you know how much you have to spend in total, start working on a production budget. There are several reasons for this. One is that if you don't budget for all the necessary categories, it's likely that a few categories will go over budget and eat up all your money. Second, it will be important to have a budget in writing when you approach financing companies, make deals to share profits with participants and submit your movie to unions.
Write a Business Plan. Most creative types -- writers, actors and directors included -- don't relish the business aspects of their craft. But you're more likely to actually complete the picture and make some money if you treat it like a business. This begins with a written business plan that allows you to crystallize your long-term goals into a workable outline. You can find resources online (such as the Small Business Administration) to help guide you through writing a business plan as well as presenting it to others.
Keep Records. It's vital that you keep good records from the earliest stages of film production. This helps you prove to any interested parties that you are using the money for intended purposes. It also helps you determine if your budget is accurate, if you're meeting expectations, or if you need to make adjustments. If one category is going over budget, for example, you can work to find extra room by cutting other areas (such as spending on extras or scaling down sets). Keep every receipt, write down all transactions and use as few different accounts as possible.
Ask for Help. Because you're likely wearing a lot of hats during the production of your first movie, it's a good idea to hire professional help to deal with many accounting aspects. A CPA, accountant or professional bookkeeper, for example, can help you organize your records into useful reports. They can also help with complicated accounting tasks such as reporting and paying payroll taxes or formulating residuals -- things in which you likely have little training or experience. Don't be afraid to spend a little budget money on a finance professional to keep you moving forward.
Even though it's probably not the most fun part of film making, knowing how to handle your new indie film's finances can help you not only have less stress but also end up with a better (and hopefully more profitable) movie.Share
15 July 2016