Film Budget Template – 10+ For Excel Sheet & PDF Format

Shooting films is a very complicated undertaking. This is because of the so many factors of production employed as well as higher levels of technical expertise involved. Because of this, the exercise costs a lot of money. However, this ought not to be the case. That is because some measures may be taken to keep the costs low and manageable. A film budget template may offer the needed help.

For a start, a film budget template is a pattern upon which future film production expenditure may be fashioned. Given that the process of producing a film is quite elaborate, it may not be possible for one template to do the job. This is why several templates may be necessary. The following is a breakdown of some of the relevant templates and their uses:

Short Film Budget Breakdown

Films vary in length. This specific template is for those extremely short films. It merely provides a standard breakdown of the various would-be expenses in the production of such short films. This serves as a basis on which future actual expenses may be based.

Short Film Budget Breakdown 1

Excel is a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are electronic accounting documents in which figures may be input in the forms of rows and columns. These figures may further be manipulated to generate desired end results. This template allows film produces to manipulate data using the Excel spreadsheet.

Film Budget Template for Excel

Film Budget Template for Excel

Once the data concerning the various planned expenditures have been input into a system, they have to be manipulated. The film budget calculator allows this manipulation to be carried out conveniently. It does so by deriving rough estimates of the entire process on the basis of the input data.

Film Budget Calculator

Film Budget Calculator

Even though films vary greatly in their genres and themes, they share some common characteristics in their costs of production. The film budget sample displays a list of these common expenses that are likely to be incurred by the ordinary filmmakers. It provides filmmakers a rough picture of what they are to anticipate.

Film Budget Sample

Film Budget Sample

Documentaries are ordinarily longer, more complicated, detailed, and time-consuming to make. They, therefore, attract certain unique expenses that are not incurred by ordinary filmmakers. The documentary film budget template captures and provides rough estimates of these unique expenses.

Just like documentaries, feature films are also longer, time-consuming to make, and complicated. They, however, carry fewer details compared to documentaries because they narrow down to one specific topic. The sample feature film production budget template provides the list of the standard expenses likely to be incurred in the production of such films. It also provides rough estimates of each expense and the possible total costs.

Documentary Film Budget Template

Documentary Film Budget Template 1

Movie Magic Screenwriter greatly expedites the process of making films. It is basically a word processing program that allows filmmakers to format screenplays, novels, and teleplays. It also comes along with a budget template that gives its users rough estimates of the total costs of their production.

Movie Magic Film Budget Template

Movie Magic Film Budget Template 1

PDF, short for Portable Document Format, provides clear displays of information on a permanent basis. The low budget film budget template for PDF allows users or filmmakers to convert their estimates and end results into the PDF format easily. This allows the information to be read with ease later and on a permanent basis.

Low Budget Film Budget Template for PDF

Low Budget Film Budget Template for PDF 1

Not all films are produced within the major film studio systems. Indeed, much more are produced outside such structures (independent films) owing to the increased awareness of the film production techniques. This sample independent film budget template provides freelance and amateur filmmakers with a rough breakdown of the expenses they are likely to incur.

Sample Independent Film Budget Template

Sample Independent Film Budget Template 1

Film producers are generally sent invoices by the various persons and organizations that were actively involved in the production process. Estimates, on the other hand, are rough approximations of the expenses that are likely to be incurred by film producers. The invoice and estimate template provide basic patterns against which these expenses may be recorded further.

Invoice and Estimate Template

Invoice and Estimate Template

A top sheet is a summary of the ‘above the line’ film production costs. These are the costs of the script to writer, directors, and stars. These costs constitute by far the highest percentage of the total film production costs. The film budget top sheet template provides filmmakers with a breakdown and rough estimates of these costs.

Film Budget Top Sheet Template

Film Budget Top Sheet Template


In order to successfully budget for a film, some tips have to be adhered to. Below is a brief explanation of some of these tips.

Tip #1: Plan Beforehand

The first step is to plan well in advance. This is crucial because people tend to be more composed when they are under no pressure at all. They are thus able to identify any errors, inconsistencies, or issues fairly better. The planning process has to be elaborate and factor in all the possible moves and their corresponding schedules.

Tip #2: Consider Raising Money

In case you are cash-strapped, consider holding a fundraiser. This will relieve you of the financial pressure or burdens and let you focus on your core roles with maximum focus. This should especially be the case if you are planning to produce a community-based film.

Tip #3: Go for Cheaper Props

Props are the pieces of property, furniture, and clothing that are used to set a stage for a film show. If you have limited funding at your disposal, consider opting for cheaper props. You may also consider settling on multipurpose props to reduce your expenses further.

Tip #4: Compress the Script

Scripts are the written texts of plays, films or broadcasts. Longer scripts extend the length of the film shows and their overall costs of production. In order to keep your budget at manageable levels, you may consider compressing your script.

Tip #5: Utilize as Much Natural Lighting as Possible

For higher quality of pictures to be attained, the ambiance has to be well-lit. Artificial lighting costs money due to the fact that they inflate the utility costs. This being the case, you are advised to consider cutting down your reliance on these light sources. Look to natural lighting as much as possible instead.

Tip #6: Shoot the Film in Cheaper or Free Locations

Just like the light source, the precise location of the film also has a great bearing on the overall cost of producing the film. Rented spaces are generally more expensive than free open spaces. Try as much as possible to avoid them and instead opt for the free open spaces.

Tip #7: Utilize Cheaper Production Equipment

It goes without saying that the type of production equipment used also matters. Expensive production equipment pushes the production costs of the films upwards. To keep the costs low, you may have to settle on cheaper cameras, microphones, lighting, speakers, and so on, as opposed to more expensive ones.


As you may see from the discussions above, the process of budgeting for film production may not be that easy. This is because a lot of factors have to be considered. To carry out this procedure successfully, you are strongly advised to consider enlisting the support of an expert in the field of film production.