AVERAGE SHORT FILM BUDGET
Very often, the question arises about the average budget for a short film. What is its cost, if we are talking about indie filmmaking? To answer this question, we used about 1.5 thousand short films from all over the world submitted to our festival as the basis for our calculations. These were only those films that had their budgets listed on the entry form. From this data, we plotted our estimate of the average budget for a short film. The information is presented for the last five years. The variation turned out to be significant. Many of the films had a zero budget. But the most expensive film can be considered a Japanese animation costing 500 thousand USD and a length of 27 minutes.
So the average budget figure for a short film was $14,000. To be precise, 14,007 dollars and 52 cents. Possibly, this rate could be much lower, assuming that a blank line in the ” Film Budget” field means a zero. If so, the average budget would be estimated at no less than $8,300.
Such a high cost is due to high budgets for animated films. But their number is only 8% of the total amount of films. That is why we use the median indicator. The median value is $3,000. This means that the same quantity of films cost less than $3,000 and the same amount cost more.
BUDGET AND GENRE
As it turns out, the cost of a short film depends significantly on the genre. The most expensive genre is animation. It stands at a significant distance from the rest of the genres. The average budget for animation reaches nearly $40,000.
Documentaries and fiction films are approximately equal in cost. They cost almost three times less than animation. The cheapest is the so-called “experimental film”.
AVERAGE BUDGET AND SHORT FILM SELECTION
An interesting question is how the costliness of a film affects its selection by the festival. Here we understand that the average means a rule, which can have many exceptions.
So the cost of animation has proven to be critical to getting into the competition program. The more expensive, the better the chances. Quite the opposite situation with documentaries and experimental films. The cheaper the better! It’s hard to believe, but this is a picture from the past five years. Here the question is rather different. How and on what the funds will be spent.
SHORT FILM BUDGETS
Here we turn to the budget structure. The budget template can be found here. As you can see, the budget has a complex structure. This includes production, post-production, and publicity. I will try to assume the seeming paradox with documentary and experimental works. My hypothesis is based on intuition and experience. I think that in the case of documentaries and experiments, the cost of technical equipment is not critical. Perhaps this is due to the demand for a new sincerity in cinema, to trends toward immediacy of perception, and the crisis of traditional forms in cinematic art.