The basics of film production costs are broken down in two main categories which are the following:
1- Above the line costs
2- Below the line costs
Above the line costs are those that are negotiated or spent before filming begins. these costs include the following:
1- screenplay rights
2- salaries for screen writer, director, producer and actors
3- salaries for assistants to the directors, actors and producer
Below the line costs include the salaries of the non-starring cast members and the technical crew, as well as use of the film studio and its technical equipment, travel, location and catering costs, etc.. The below the line costs are usually fixed.Please note below some of the categories that follow in below the line costs:
1- Director of photography
2- Assistant director
3- Dolly Grip
5- Key Grip
6- Best Boy Electric
7- Best Boy Grip
8- Art Director
The financing structure needed to run a successful project can be major hurtle in getting the film started and completed.
Usually the executive producer raises a significant proportion of funding for the film such has presales, distribution agreements,gap financing, bank financing and a completion bond.Once all these items are in place i.e. the financial structure and the budget then preparation and pre-production can commence once all the personnel have been hired by the producer and executive producer who are ultimately responsible for the costs and budget control.
Producers have overall control on every aspect of a films production, there responsibilities span in all four phases of production such as 1- Development 2- pre-production 3- Production 4- Post production.
Whereas the executive producer is responsible for a- Packaging b- Financing c- Production d- Development. Executive producer hires the producer and works closely with the producer to to ensure that all aspects of the projects development phases are attained and on schedule.
The executive producer ultimately represents the investor and makes sure that their investment is protected or ensures that the production is supervised by him or the producer.
Now the primary means of film financing is pre-sales that is selling the right to distribute the film in different territories before the film is produced based on script and cast.Pre sales fall in the following categories i.e. theatrical,video/dvd, tv, pay tv etc..the presales contracts are used as collateral for the production loans that a banker is providing to cash flow the production by the producer.
In conclusion all the above elements must be in place before any film project can be produced or made.