June 9, 2016

Master Breakdowns

Master Breakdowns focuses on planning and logistics execution.  We provide a variety of services on finished screenplays, including coverage, budget & schedule breakdown, casting reports, kickstarter campaign strategy & supervision, and more.

Can I have a sample Budget and Schedule?

Sure.  Here is a Sample Budget for a non-union $1 million thriller, and a sample Strip-Board Schedule.

Can I use these as templates for my feature?

While it is tempting to use a boiler plate budget and schedule for your film, there is no guarantee that it will be accurate.  An accurate budget comes from a schedule, a schedule comes from a script breakdown, and a script breakdown takes at least a week of reviewing the actual content of your script and making sure you have a budget and schedule that is faithful to your creative vision.  In addition, in order to research bids and costs for the production, it will take at least an additional week to speak to vendors.  If one were to use a boilerplate budget and schedule breakdown for your script, there’s no guarantee that it will be accurate, and you may need more (or less) time or money to complete the project.  

In short, using a boilerplate budget and schedule means that you did not do your due diligence when it comes to investigating the resources necessary for your film, and that leaves you open to a major lawsuit.  However, with Master Breakdown’s help, you can have a budget and schedule that is accurate to your vision, not someone else’s.

Don’t take our word for it, listen to successful producers Ben Nearn (Executive at Crosscreek Pictures), Daniel Martine (Writer/Producer – Cinepac Films), Willie Beardon (Independent Director/Producer), and Bruce Newman (CPA and Attorney) discuss the issue.

What is the standard number of shooting days and budget for an independent film?

There is no standard without reading the script and discussing it in detail with the filmmakers to know for sure.  The answer can range on a number of factors including talent attachments, size of the crew, genre, the number of gags/set pieces and so on.  Any line producer who says they can provide a boiler plate budget is generally providing just that, a boiler plate budget with no guarantee it will be accurate.  That’s why Master Breakdowns performs a full breakdown of a screenplay, tagging the screenplay elements in Movie Magic, importing those elements into a new budgeting and scheduling document, and providing as accurate a production blueprint as possible, to represent the filmmaker’s vision. 

Why should I get a budget and schedule done for the script?

Master Breakdowns is interested in helping you make your film.  Including a budget top sheet and schedule (that meets movie industry standards) as part of your business plan, will help provide a powerful and convincing argument for your project.  We will also walk you through the aspects of the budget and schedule so you have a thorough understanding of the production elements needed. 

Are you available to line produce the project once it receives funding?

Of course.

Are you willing to sign a letter of intent as a line producer to put in my business plan?

We will be happy to sign a letter of intent to all paying clients who request it.

I don’t live in Los Angeles, so I can’t hire you as a line producer.  How do I find a line producer?  What questions do I ask a line producer?

What were some of the toughest challenges you had to overcome, and how did you do it?  What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?  And also ask for references of who they’ve worked with.  When talking with these references, ask what were they like to work with?  Would you work with them again?  Do they think outside the box/creatively or more by-the-book?  Did they show up on time? Did they leave on time or stay late?  Etc.

Can you promise access to financing?

Master Breakdowns does not promise financing or access to financing in return for a services payment.  We are strictly a production services company at this time.  In addition, any company that promises financing or access to financing in return for a service fee (with the possible exception of a bank) is making false promises.  No legitimate financing entity will charge an up front services fee.

What is a line producer?

According to CreativeSkillSet.org, the Line Producer is one of the first people to be employed on a film’s production, by the Producer.  Line Producers are in charge of all the business aspects of the physical production of films.  They play a crucial role in budgeting the production in order to provide investors with the confidence to invest in the project.  Line Producers are usually employed on a freelance basis, and they must expect to work long hours.   

Can I get good actors and production value for a microbudget?

Yes, Master Breakdowns can teach you how to cast quality actors for an affordable price, and how to shoot a movie with as few as 6 shooting days.  We can teach you how to find and hire a crew (director, editor, special effects designer, etc.) for a low budget, and complete your feature film(s).

Why do you do all this?

Because Master Breakdowns cares about helping filmmakers who are starting out, and want to support artists and small businesses.  There are several reasons to support independent films: they stimulate the local economy; they develop talent; they bring forward new ideas; they give small business leaders an opportunity to work in the artistic community with celebrities; and they create more jobs for the local economy than any other investment.  That’s why we care about independent films, and we give you the tools and knowledge you need to make your visions come true.

How long are your reports?

All written reports are generally 10 pages long, and scope out short term recommendations, long term recommendations, and the assets needed to complete them. 

How much will you charge for consultation?

The first consultation (whether by phone or face to face) is always free.  Our price structure for written reports and additional consultation is outlined in our rate card.  We offer discounts for some independent filmmakers depending on the project.  We also offer a special long term service for our clients.

Can I purchase your services for my friends, family, and colleagues?

Yes, Greater And Grander makes it as easy as possible to provide services to our clients, including providing online Gift Certificates.  When you give Greater And Grander Gift Cards and Gift Certificates, the lucky recipients can redeem it at any time for whatever services they want, including script breakdown, creative coverage notes, in-depth consultations & tutorage, online marketing, video production, and more. Greater And Grander Gift Cards are the perfect way to give the gift of expertise and knowledge to benefit friends, family, and colleagues. If you have a son or daughter in film school, or in the midst of getting their first project off the ground, give them the gift of experience and a guiding hand to make their projects a reality.   

How does your long term service work?

We offer a low monthly payment option, during which time, all of our services are available to the client.  We require a minimum of three months in advance, and the monthly payment is dependent upon the type of company/project, and the types of services that will be needed in the long term.  Rather than a pay as you go method, this long term monthly payment allows the flexibility that many growing companies and projects need.

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Keywords: Independent Film; Independent Film Financing; Web Content; Dynamic Web Media