Tuesday, November 06, 2007

$12K Again


From Bill Martell's blog: "The main thing at market is still that the middle has fallen out - I was talking to a couple of producers who said the only films that can make a profit are extreme low budgets ($10-15k) and movies made for $2 million with stars working below their rate in the cast... or big stars in big budget movies that the studio will buy."

So just how many $12K movies would you have to make a year to live on?

6 comments:

Chance Shirley said...

Holy shit that is depressing.

Andrew Bellware said...

Well, I don't mean to depress. I suspect that when they say that the only ones that can make a profit are extreme low budgets they mean "profit" as in extra money besides what would pay the producer his living expenses and pay off the picture itself. So maybe that means $100K for them. I dunno. It's hard to say.

Chance Shirley said...

I've heard more optimistic numbers recently. I'm under the impression that a well-made genre movie could easily do $100K in sales. The trick, to me, is making a good genre flick for $100K and paying everybody fairly up front. Even paying folks $100 per day, you can burn through $100K pretty quickly.

Andrew Bellware said...

I think that $100K in sales is what they mean. Because of course the rep is going to end up with 35-40% which knocks you down to only getting (as a producer) $60-$65K. And then you're responsible for the deliverables tapes for all the territories so that's upwards of $5K and you're at $55 to $60K.

So even if you're only taking $30K a year as a producer (being responsible for shepherding the script, pre-production, production, post-production, and sales) and you make a picture a year, that's just $30K to make the movie.

Yeah, even at a $100/day you can eat $2K/crew member. And if you do $300/day then you're looking at $6K/crew member on a 20-day shoot.

Personally, my goal is a professional boom op and a professional 1st AC. Adding a grip even at these low-budget ($300/day) rates we're talking $18K on a 20-day shoot.

Bill Cunningham said...

I have a $100K budget on my blog somewhere (I can never find these things when I look for them).

IF (mighty big if) you were to actually make a $15K movie per year, you would need to recoup approximately $60K through the current distribution system as it stands (domestic and international).

Which is why the web is much more attractive to the $15k folk. You control the distribution and marketing costs yourself and end up with a higher return on goods sold.

Andrew Bellware said...

The web is indeed very attractive -- but are people really able to make enough money on web to offset the costs yet? I know a buncha people are trying, that's for sure.

$60K is doable certainly for international and domestic. But I think you'd need to make TWO $15K movies a year really to stay afloat. And that would be very hard on the producer/director.

Out of that $60K would be (I'm guessing) $24K for reps and dupes (heh heh... no jokes please...) So that leaves you with $36K to make the movie and to live on.

No wonder The Asylum (was) make(ing) 10 pictures a year.

But if you made, say, 5 pictures and just one of 'em got picked up by (say) Lion's Gate for After Dark, that'd be pretty good. Or, if you're Jim Mickle you just do that your first time out.