In November I am leading (along with James Cotton) a four-month part-time programme around micro-budget feature films. I want to ensure we’re teaching what is actually happening in the industry today, rather than outdated ideas or common misconceptions. So, being the data-driven fiend that I am, I have performed a number of studies into the topic.
Today I’m sharing some of the results from a survey I conducted with 542 film industry business professionals who have attended Cannes, AFM or Berlin in the past five years.
(If you would like to join us on the course then there are still a few tickets available. The early bird discount ends at the end of the week so be quick. The line-up of speakers is really strong (and growing!) and we’re proud of the program the participants will complete. You can find out more at microbudgetmentor.com)
- Across 542 film professionals, $396,000 was deemed the maximum budget for a “micro-budget” film
- The maximum budget for “low budget” films was $2.1million
- Film professionals in Africa feel that a film must be budgeted at least $3.4 million to be commercially viable
- The figure for film professionals in South America was just $1.2 million
What is a “micro-budget” film?
Currently in the UK, many people will regard £150,000 ($245,000) as the cutoff for a film to be classed as ‘micro-budget”. This is in large part down to the fact that £150k is the maximum budget for a film to take advantage of the SEIS tax scheme (which protects ~78% of investors’ money). Film London’s Microwave “micro-budget” scheme caps budgets at £150,000 ($245,000) and Creative England’s iFeatures is a “low budget” scheme at £350,000 ($573,000).
I asked 542 film industry business professionals “In your opinion, what is the maximum budget for a film to still be classified as micro-budget?” The average was $396,000 (£243,000).