April 12, 2016 Class Notes – Budget

What is a budget estimate?

-Everything you think you need for the production. When making a rough estimate, know that it will change over time. Last minute ideas and new solutions to problems will cause these changes.

When does change occur? – During build, during tech, during anytime; mistakes happen that 10% contingency does not account for.
You have to revise your budget, or improvise accordingly.
10% contingency doesn’t cover big changes.

-Creating the budgeting process should be the hardest part of your whole project. It is your plan that you will always be following and referencing. If you’ve done it correctly, then you can easily execute your plan.

-You should be around 90% confident in your budget before submitting it. Luis was 75% confident on his curved moulding building method before actually building it. He was then 0% confident in it after seeing how it turned out.

-Going under-budget is just as bad as over-budgeting. It means that money is potentially being cut from other departments to tend to your budget. It also means that your planning wasn’t accurate.
“For every show, there is a $500 version, $1000 version, $5000 version, etc.” -McCullough

If you’re over-budget, look at how the money is allocated, and look at all the big numbers first. See how you lower those numbers.

-Director, designers, production manager, department heads, producers will all be present at the budget meeting. The producer wants the bug picture; total budget. The designer wants to know materials used, aesthetics. Director wants to know how the set will help with the storytelling.

How can you tell what the producers want for the show? You can ask them, see how much they mention it, or see how much money they’re willing to spend on it.


The class ended by discussing how each group divided up their materials for their budgets.

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