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Sean Clauson

Extraordinary Filmmaking

Filmmaking services, from conception to completion and everything in between.


So you want to make a film:  First, please write down succinct replies to the following...

Step 1: Story

What is your story? What happens? Why does the story need to be told?

What is the central issue or theme?

What is the central conflict or problem?

Films are visual, is your story visual?  What are your story’s visual elements?

Describe the characters. Who are they? What do they do?  Why are they important?

What effect do you want your film to have upon its audience?

Step 2: Length, Audience, Scheduling

What is the film’s estimated length in minutes?

(1-minute promo? 10-minute short? 90-minute feature? A multi-part mini-series?)

Who is your audience?

Where and How will the film be shown?

(Film Festivals? Internet? Television? DVD?)

How many days are required for filming?

How many days are required for editing?

(Keep in mind, editing can require significantly more time than filming).

When is your project’s due date?

Step 3: Budget

Each project requires its own customized budget but the first step is to identify your budget ballpark. What is your budget ballpark?

Budget Factors to Consider:

What size crew and how many days of filming and editing are required? (Do you need a Soundman? 2nd Cameraman? Camera Assistant? Gaffer? Dolly or Jib Operator? Production Assistant? Editing Assistant?). Experienced crew can charge between $200-800+ per day depending on their level of expertise and equipment provided.

Equipment: Do you need to rent extra equipment (jib, dolly, camera, teleprompter, or lighting)? If rentals are required then rental insurance will also be needed. Hard drives (and back-up hard drives) must be purchased. Expendables (such as batteries, gaff-tape, gels, duvetyne, etc) can add up, budget accordingly.

Work Hours & Meals: The length of a workday is typically 10-12 hours. It is customary to stop every 6 hours for a meal (meal durations are excluded from work hours). If a workday goes beyond 10-12 hours, overtime is normally billed at an hourly rate of time and a half. Drinks and snacks are typically kept available for crew.

Travel: For shoots involving travel and overnight stays, crew members are typically provided per diems to cover daily meal and incidental travel expenses.

Post Production: Do you require copyrighted music? Sound Design? Digital FX? Professional title designs and/or color correction? Closed Captioning? Mass produced DVDs? DVD menu and/or DVD packaging design? Will you be paying film festival submission fees and travel costs? Everything should be considered and budgeted in advance.

Contingency: At the bottom of every budget there should be a line item for ‘Contingency’ (unanticipated expenses). This amount should be 12% of the entire budget.

©2014 Clauson Films