Confession 1: The book that I am about to recommend came free (at my request) from Michel Wiese Productions, my publisher who in turn requests that for each free book I write a five star review on Amazon. I only do this if I feel the book warrants it. And most of my publisher’s books do.
Confession 2: After re-writing my first book, Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video, I plan to create my own movie, so this is mostly why I ordered Film & Video Budgets by Deke Simon. Budgets are anathema to me and I need to start thinking beyond the cutting room, like a producer.
I expected this book to be just a bunch of budget forms with boring explanations. Was I off the mark! It’s a 465-page handbook that educates moviemakers on what happens in each stage of a project, explaining how to anticipate a film so that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Veteran producer Simon details preproduction preparation, production challenges, and postproduction processes so that you can plan your film and its budget. For instance, he goes over the issues and solutions for getting a film print from a digital file, tape, or tape.
Don’t know when or how to market your video, how to choose a camera or deal with unions? This book guides you through each step of your film or video, lavishing specific advice and the type of information that only comes from years of experience and up-to-date knowledge.
Use this book if you are setting out on your first or fifth student film, feature, documentary, corporate video, or music video. It contains budgets for each of these as well as links to free, downloadable budget forms. (Hint: poke around publisher’s site.) The book deciphers what each line item in a budget means. Also, it helps you know what questions to ask when negotiating with facilities, unions, etc, and how to make deals.
I plan to rely on it to make my first film. Combined with previous editions, the book’s sold over 45,000 copies. Have any of you used it? Let us know what you think.
Marketing & budgeting