Creating Film Budgets, Breakdowns & Cash Flows for Films

Nancy Fulton
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Learn how to calculate the numbers you must know before you can produce your projects from Producer John Duffy.

John Duffy has 40+ feature film credits on projects that span genres and budget levels. He has taught budgeting/scheduling at the post graduate level and as part of our session I'll be interviewing him regarding the critical role budgeting, scheduling, and cash flows play in the "development" process. He'll be addressing exactly when and how to engage in development processes (after you've written a screenplay, before you've optioned a script, immediately after you've purchased one, before funding, etc) and how to engage in the kind of development that results in a film that's easier/cheaper to produce, fund, market, monetize.

You can learn more about John Duffy on LinkedIn and on IMDB. His direct contact information can also be found in our slide set. 

About This Quick Guide for New Producers

This 90-minute Audio Recording and Slide Set covers the budgets, shooting schedules, cash flows and forecasts you must have in hand before you start looking for investment, attaching cast, and building your crew.

Bonus Video: Tips for Producing the $2M-$10M Film with Line Producer Christina Jo'Leigh 

It explains exactly why your shooting budget can't be an approximation or a layman's guess. It reviews how why getting the right numbers from the right sources is crucial, and it reviews how you can get them created quickly, accurately and cost effectively. 

You'll learn why...

  • Telling people a budget number that is approximate or wishful identifies you as an amateur. 
  • Underestimating your budget guarantees failure and overestimating it usually ensures it will never get funded. 
  • Your budget must included accurate values for distribution and marketing costs.
  • How rebates and incentives work and why they do not work for every budget level.
  • Using SAG/AFTRA actors absolutely requires you to have accurate budgets, schedules, and breakdowns.
  • How arbitrary choices in your project's distribution can radically effect your costs. 
  • Why you should be thinking about how you'll market the project during the budgeting process.
  • How your choices in talent can radically impact your budget _and_ the amount of money you can raise for your film.
  • Why Actors Agents & Managers, Sales Agents, and Key Crew need accurate budgets. 
  • How investors can tell if your budgets are real and why they won't invest in your project if they are not. 

Your budgets, shooting schedules, and cash flows impact every aspect of your production.

Understanding exactly how the numbers are created, who contributes to them, who records them, and how they are tracked and enforced over the course of a project is key to ensuring you can find investors and good production partners to work with.

Without these documents, trying to produce a film or web series is usually a pipe dream or an expensive  mistake which yields a final product that looks like it was done by amateurs and which, more often than not, can't find distribution.  

Furthermore, getting a project financed by investors without these documents is all but impossible, because without these numbers there's no match between the revenue a project is likely to generate and the costs it is likely to incur. 

Questions? Please reach out to


“ Nancy you are amazing. Thank you for doing all this to benefit all of us newcomers. ” — DP

“ Very relevant and helpful. Nancy, you're doing a great job! Thank you! ”

— Pamela Davis

“ Nancy is amazing and such a gift to the filmmaking community. ”

— Jim Henson

“ Nancy, you amaze me with your giving spirit and ability to bring such great guests on board. Thanks for all you do to help us excel in our careers. ”

— Susan Shearer

“ A very useful, educational resource that is incredibly generous in giving knowledge and expertise to the film making community. ”

— Pippa Hinchley

“ Good information resource. Well organized. ”

— JB

“ Nancy's Film Funding Club is very valuable. Always lots of great information. It's very obvious that she puts a lot of work into these seminars for us (slide shows, audio recordings, coordinating guest speakers, etc.). I am very grateful and appreciative to her and her guests for their time and talent to help further our careers. ”

— Jodi

“ interesting, innovative approach. thank you, Nancy! ”

— Camille Bacos

About the Film Funding Club: “ I'm thoroughly enjoying this club. I wish I had found out about it way earlier, I'd be way ahead of the game. I would recommend this club to anyone who truly wants to learn the business aspect of the film industry. ”

— Reinaldo D'Amico 

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Creating Film Budgets, Breakdowns & Cash Flows for Films

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