Create Accurate Budgets with a Free Video Budget Template

For video production, the budget is truly king (especially these days). It is important that you create a detailed, line item budget so you have a clear idea of the work involved and the costs associated with the project. Many clients will expect this level of detail in your pricing. You may also find it helpful to share a line item
budget with your production team members so they know how much time is budgeted for each task.

  1. Open the file Budget_Template.xls. You’ll either need Apple Numbers (part of iWork) or Microsoft Excel. The templates are filled in with several standard labor items for video production tasks.
  2. Add rows for tasks as needed since this document is by no means exhaustive. Be sure to add any items you frequently need and delete any items that you never use from the starter template.
  3. Adjust the rates for your services. It is beyond the scope of this book to tell you how to price your services. You should do a little market analysis and see what your competition charges for items as well as look at your own internal costs.
  4. Once the rates and task items match your internal needs, save the document as a Budget Master for your company.
  5. Locate the file on your computer and press Command+I to access its properties.
  6. Select the Stationary Pad and Locked check boxes. Now your master budget cannot be overwritten, and when you double-click it, a new blank budget opens as a clean slate.
  7. When you’re ready to use the budget, double-click the file to open a new budget. Enter the quantity for all items you expect the project to need.
  8. Instead of deleting unused items, simply right-click on a row and choose Hide Row (Numbers) or Hide (Excel).
  9. If you want to discount items, just adjust the discount amount in Column E.
  10. All items will be subtotaled by category with a budget summary at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  11. Save your budget, and then print or email it as needed. Be sure to save a new version for every change in case you need to compare budgets later in the project.

For more on the fusion of photography and video, check out From Still to Motion.
To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.