Yes. Love. The big “L.” Head over heels, tumbling into the rapture of abandon, the ecstasy of it all…
I’ve fallen in love with TLAU.
Never fear, gentle readers. It is the healthy kind of love; eyes wide open, seeing all for what it is, the good and the bad.
And so, spurred on by this love, I am creating an IndieGoGo campaign. One that will allow us to do things right.
Let’s take a look, shall we? Three episodes, 13 – 15 minutes each, so, say 42 minutes of screen time total. About what you would shoot for the hour long tv/cable format.
What do you think it would cost? $38,000.00
So let’s say we make goal. IndieGoGo and PayPal take 9%. $3420.00
In order to acquire the stellar cast that I have, my arrangement was that all deferred pay would be paid upon completion of funding for new episodes. The ULB agreement with SAG is $100/day. However, that is not what a producer pays, for you must throw in representation fees ($10.00/day) plus FICA and SAG pension and health, currently coming in at 38%:
5 actors @ $100/day * 2 days = $1,000.00 + $100.00 representation fees + FICA/p&h = $380.00 total: $1480.00
10 actors @ $100/day * 1 day = $1,000.00 + $100.00 representation fees + FICA/p&h = $380.00 total $1480.00
– 3420.00 fees
– 2960.00 deferral fees
= $31430.00 total
Now for pre-production costs. We have things known as prep days. You do not want to enter a production unprepared. Prep days are paid for the key crew members: key makeup, wardrobe, props, AD, DP, sound, and continuity.
For a 90 minute feature, the average prep is 21 days. Divide that in half and you have 10.5. So let’s go maverick and pay 5 to the AD, 3 to continuity, 2 to DP, wardrobe and props, and 1 to makeup and sound:
16 prep days total @ $100.00/day = $1600.00
We have a table read. 15 actors @ $50/each = $750.00 plus $100.00 space rental/water and $75.00 printing. $925.00
Office P.A.: This is the right hand person, who will be delivering scripts, helping to assemble copies and simply be there to assist before we launch. $100/ day x 3 days pre-production and 2 post: $500.00
Office expenses: file folders, paper, fax, internet, emergency twinkies: $450.00
Permits. This makes me shudder. As an indie filmmaker working on a microbudget – and anything under 1 million dollars qualifies as a micro or no budget – I have to pay the same as a big blockbuster: $641 per location. 4 locations: $2,564.00. We’ll fudge the interiors.
Insurance. In order to have things such as honey-wagons, I must have a 1 million dollar policy. There are ways to lessen the financial burden, but it still costs an approximate $942.00
Locations. This is LA. There are no cheap locations. LA is the least film-friendly town in the country to shoot in… and yet, TLAU is in its own way a love-letter to LA. Runaway production? Not a discussion. $4,000.00 for 6 – 8 locations.
Crew. I try to make it pretty equitable. Key crew at $200.00/day; support at $150.00. Key: AD, DP, Gaffer, Sound, Scripty. 5 crew @ $200/day x 4 days: $4,000.00
Support: Makeup, Wardrobe, Props, 1st AC, 1st AD. 5 crew @ $150/day x 4 days: $3,000.00
PAs. Underpaid and under-appreciated by all except those who know how hard their job is: 4 PAs @ $100/day x 4 days: $1,600.00
Equipment. Ah, the last-minute of it all. Everything from walkie-talkies to batteries and memory sticks needed at 1 am as well as camera, lens and light. $1200.00
Production design. $1,000.00
Wardrobe: $400.00 This pays for actors to have their own clothes cleaned.
Stunt/Fight Coordinator: 2 days @ $200/day: $400.00
Honey-wagons. Needed for two of the days @ 1k per day (this includes driver) $2,000.00
Still photographer: 4 days @ $400/day: $1,600.00
Cast: 2 actors @ $200/day x 3 days, 8 actors @ $200/day x 2 days, 5 actors @$200 day x 1 days plus 10% representation and 38% FICA/p&h: $7,992.00
Craft service. Averages $7.50/day pp (based on 10 hours) so 25 x 7.50 x 4 = 750.00
Catering. Just pray we don’t go into second meal. $10/pp x 25 x 4 = $1,000.00
Sound design and remix: $3000.00
Color correction: $900.00
After Effects/VO: $2250.00
Petty cash: $500.00
Marketing. This includes social media campaigns, press releases, distribution, etc: $1,000.00
The grand total… drum roll, please: $51,153.00
This is without paying the writer/director.
I am trying to raise $18,000.00
Adjustments will be made, of course. There is no fee for the script, nor the director and producers. We’ll cut back where we can – but cast and crew are humans. They must be able to survive, to pay their bills. They must be fed – and they must be allowed to work in a safe environment. They must feel appreciated, not misused. They must be able to place faith in the production as they all so beautifully have.
Please don’t suggest I replace my existing team with less costly versions. I will not do that. That would be acting without integrity.
Post is always expensive, if you want production values to appear high – and with TLAU, I am raising the bar for U.S. new media. It is a story worth telling – and telling well.
If you haven’t watched episode one yet, please click here, so you may get a feel for what I am talking about. And, if you like what you see, please contribute to our IndieGoGo campaign for episodes 4 – 6. I promise you that once you see episodes 2 & 3, you won’t be able to say no.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe