Budget Line Items

We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but a good budget can make the money you do have go a lot further. There is an infinite number of little things you’ll spend money on while making your film, but below are the key line items (or categories) you should include in your production budget:


(This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list)

Above the Line

  • Script & Story Rights
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Cast


Below the Line

  • Crew
  • Travel
  • Hotels & Lodging
  • Catering & Craft Services
  • Camera
  • Lighting
  • Grip & Electric
  • Sound
  • Locations
  • Art Department
  • Construction
  • Vehicle / Trailer / Misc. Equipment Rental
  • Production Office
  • Petty Cash
  • Film Stock / Lab
  • DIT / Data Storage
  • BTS / Behind the Scenes / Photography
  • Shipping
  • Insurance / Permits
  • Contingencies


Post Production

  • Post Production Team
  • Editing
  • Visual Effects
  • Color Correction
  • Sound / ADR
  • Music
  • Final Mix / Compression
  • DVD Set Up
  • Publicity / Marketing
  • Premiere

Some of these things may not apply to your project, and there may be other things specific to your project that we didn’t include, but the majority of these items should be key categories in your budget.

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