A crucial part of any producer's job is managing the overall production budget. Indie producers need to take in many considerations beyond venue, artists fees, and tech. Insurance, playwright's royalties, accessibility costs, set transport and publicity are just a few considerations that are often overlooked.
Budgets are a tool producers use to lay out a financial plan for a production. Budgets should tell an accurate story of your show in both revenue and expenses. It’s also an important tool for scheduling when you will make expenses and expect revenue. Most budgets should follow the triad rule: Fast, Cheap, and Good; you can only have two of the three.
Before you start building a Budget
Use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to build your budget. Not an expert on Excel? There are free courses held at the Toronto Public Library, use your library card to access Lynda.com or head to YouTube. Also, check out the templates on this site to get started.
It can be difficult to know how much a production will cost before you’ve actually begun the creative work.
Tip: Start with your Expenses. This helps understand how much money you will have to make on things like ticket sales, bar sales, through donations, fundraisers and how much you will need to ask for from any granting bodies that you will be applying to.
What is the production’s priority? Are you focusing on a long rehearsal process, is it about the sound design, or a short but intense physical creation piece with many actors? Have you considered how your production can be accessible to people with disabilities? Organize your Expenses in order of importance as a useful exercise.