The budget (workings out)

Eighty grand sounds a lot but, when I break it down, it isn’t. I’m starting to see why movies cost millions of dollars.

It COULD, theoretically, be cheaper. Friends say things like, ‘You’ve got a good camera so why don’t we just make it?’ It needs more than a good camera.

It could also be a lot more expensive. For example, it doesn’t cover any fee for me. I don’t think it fair to ask for investment if I’m not personally also willing to invest. So my time would be free until the investment has been returned in full (but before the profits are dished out and the yachts and private jets are on order).


Usually, when I write, I keep the cast to an absolute minimum. Because this project is so important to me, I indulged in allowing characters to enter when it seemed right. 

Consequently, over 30 actors are required. That sounds a lot but some are only needed for an hour or two, the leading actors for two or three days. Only Sean is required for around six days.

Of course, the actual pay offered could be bargained (up or down) but I’ve based the fees on a corporate day rate. Not extortionate (no star names) but not embarrassing either.


The web videos are entirely separate from the main film(s) and I can film these, although I may include one other on the lighting.

It’s the main films where a strong crew is required. I’d like this to be very filmic. Well lit, well acted, well shot and with good audio.

So whilst we could get away with less, I’ve based it on having at least two on camera, 2+ on lighting, same on audio, a make-up artist, costume ‘department’ (one or two) an experienced 1st AD and a director.

2-4 runners would also be a good idea as we’ll need catering, coffee, moving equipment, etc.


There are quite a few locations; Sean’s office, his home, Tony’s house (exterior), a cafe (in a way, I wish I’d not written it in a cafe but I think it’s the central scene).

Set & Props

We won’t find a free prison cell or a police interview room so these will need to be created and probably shot in a studio.

Whilst that does give one more freedom and lighting opportunities, it does bump up the cost.

Whilst I am NOT a professional set builder, I can create these things, again saving money.


Again, savings can be made by asking actors to provide their own costumes (they don’t tend to mind that). 

However, there are some costumes that are required; the green dress being the most important. I have always seen this as being a vibrant green, satin dress. Of course, Mandy is murdered in the opening film so the dress will be ruined (blood poured over it).

I also see D.S. Ford as a bit of a wannabe detective and I think he should have a decent leather jacket (decent looking, if not real). There than that, the costume budget shouldn’t be too steep.

Catering & Travel

Easy to forget by saying, ‘Just grab a sandwich,’ but the cost of expenses does tend to stack up when you have a lot of people, albeit over a relatively short space of time.

I’ve allowed something in the region of £15/day for lunches, etc. and a minimal amount for travel expenses.