Film Budgeting Workshop In Michigan

In this next weekend workshop (July 25/26) we will create a film budget from scratch, using MMB, and we will estimate the Michigan Refundable Tax Credit –over 90% of the Film Budgets received by the Michigan Film Commission are submitted in the  Movie Magic© software format so it’s important that you, as a film professional, have a hands-on familiarity with it.

For CPA’s – I also have an example of an “Opinion Letter” – both for the Estimated Tax Refundable Tax Credit and for the Audited Film Production Cost Statement that have been used in other places successfully. These templates will be distributed at the workshop. This workshop is CPE qualified.

TRIAL EP Movie Magic Budgeting© trial software can be downloaded at the workshop which gives the users 15 FREE boots. (I am applying for “School Status” with the software sales company which, if accepted by them, will give attendees a 50% savings in the purchase price of EB Budgeting – stay tuned).

We will be working with two budget templates and one mock-up of a shooting schedule – I will supply you with a fully prepared film budget as a reference throughout the workshop, and the other film budget will have only the accounts and account numbers pre-loaded. It is this last one that you will use for the workshop training exercises. Here is the course outline that I will be following:

    1. Familiarize the attendees with the final budget and shooting schedule and how it will be viewed by financiers, executive producers, production accountants,etc. as well as how it relates to the film accounting general ledger and weekly cost report.

    2. Familiarize the attendees with the budgeting software’s overall features and how they are utilized by production managers, accountants, etc. to estimate the refundable tax credits and how it is used during the film’s production.

    3. Familiarize the attendees with the navigation tools, and the main features of Globals and Sub-Groupings and how sub-groups are used to Estimate the MI Tax Credits. Then have the attendees practice entering to their own laptop computer several simple non-labor expenses, utilizing the Globals and Sub-Groupings.

    4. Demonstrate the correct way to prepare a budget for one ATL labor account (Stunts). At the same time, demonstrate how Fringe rates are applied to ATL Stunt labor accounts. Then have the attendees practice entering to their own laptop computer several several cast members, utilizing the Globals, Sub-Groupings and Fringes.

    5. Demonstrate the correct way to prepare a budget for one BTL labor account (Chief Electrician-Gaffer) and then have the attendees practice entering several crew categories to their own laptop computer. Repeat this step for Teamster drivers and again for DGA members (the UPM, Assistant Directors, etc.)

    6. Work with the attendees to copy paste the line-items learned above, using magic buttons and libraries.

    7. Demonstrate how to set-up percentages of the total budget for Contingency, Insurance, etc.

    8. Work with the students to format their printouts in a professional manner.

    9. Work with the students to Estimate the MI Tax Credit utilizing the Sub-Groupings and an Excel template.

    10. Depending on the progress made in the 2 day workshop, work towards polishing the a budget that the attendees can re-format and expand upon in the future for their own projects.

    11. In addition to a copy of my book and any course binder of materials, all attendees will receive a CD containing an example budget including the Detroit local area’s union rules and fringes, Excel examples of calculating SAG and crew OT and rest violations, as well as screen-recordings of the steps learned above for future reference.

    Visit my web site at to learn more.

    TESTIMONIALS from the May/09 workshops

    “I very much enjoyed meeting you and participating in the production accounting workshops this past weekend. It was both educational and confidence building. You are a great teacher – you freely shared your knowledge and really encouraged us at the same time. Let me know when you will offer the Movie Magic Workshop.” KS – Commercial Producer/Director, Grand Rapids, MI

    “It was a real pleasure to meet and talk with you this past weekend. Your Workshop is truly valuable.” GD – Internal Audit Professional, Grosse Ile, MI

    “I made some really good contacts this weekend, and learned a ton. The contacts alone were worth the fee!” MP – CPA, Troy MI

    “I feel I gained a lot from the workshop that will help me be better prepared and able to move up the ranks in the industry. Great job. It was more informative and organized than any other film workshop I’ve been to.” MT – 3rd AD, Flint, MI

    “I liked all the extraneous material; the practical aspects of the business that can’t readily be captured in a book. This seminar/series goes far in de-mystifying what’s required to provide accounting services to the film industry.” VS – CPA, Dearborn MI

    “Thanks for all the ‘invaluable’ information – the extras that are not, and cannot, be put in a book.” TS – General Accountant, Detroit, MI

    “Thanks for the workshop. I learned a ton and had a lot of fun.” GM – Producer, Royal Oak MI


About filmproduction
I have worked in the film production industry since 1985, working on over 50 different productions of every size in 6 different countries. My self-published book, "Walk The Talk" is written in an easy to read manner for film students and working professionals who haven't had the chance to learn how to 'Direct the Money'.

One Response to Film Budgeting Workshop In Michigan

  1. Michigan Film Production is Michigan’s premiere film producer.

    For professional Michigan film budgets visit:

    Producer with 25 years feature film and television producer experience.

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