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Budgeting Video Projects

with Richard Harrington

Video: Welcome

Lays out the nuts and bolts of budgeting for video projects and shows how to create estimates, quotes, and invoices.
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Budgeting Video Projects
Video duration: 0s 2h 18m Appropriate for all


Join Rich Harrington as he explores the world of budgeting by laying out the nuts and bolts of budgets and proposals for video projects. While defining the tools to develop professional budgets, quotes, and proposals, the course also shows video producers and managers how to transform a budget into an invoice. At the end of the course, the author creates a well-versed budget, proposal, and invoice for the sample project, which can serve as templates for future projects.

Topics include:
  • Evaluating outsourcing and partnering options
  • Setting rates for services
  • Incorporating material costs
  • Determining the scope of the project
  • Estimating production time for the budget
  • Creating a quote or proposal
  • Setting payment terms
  • Creating an invoice with Word or Pages
  • Performing billing and collections
Excel Numbers Pages Word


Hi! My name is Rich Harrington and welcome to this class on Video Budgeting, which will also work for other creative type projects like photography or design. In the class today we're going to explore a lot of different techniques that are used when creating accurate budgets. The thing here is kind of interesting: everybody likes getting money, but nobody likes having actually do the budgets that it takes to build the project out. What I'd like you to think about throughout this process is that with a methodical approach you can accurately estimate the time, then assign reasonable cost, and put together a package that the client is actually willing to accept.

Now most of you are familiar with me as a software trainer. You've read books I've produced or watched online video training. What many of you may not realize is that I actually have a pretty extensive background in business. I've run my own company for more than a decade, and prior to that I've worked at television stations, advertising and PR firms, and other video postproduction companies. I've also been a magazine publisher and web publisher along the way. Now to balance this out, years ago I learned that I needed to reprogram my creative brain.

So, I put myself through night school and picked up a Masters in Project Management, which is a type of business degree. And what I found is with a little bit of thought, I could start to think like a business person and run a more successful company. So, let's a look at the goals of these workshops and what we're going to take a look at throughout the class. We have a lot of things to explore today and they are all interconnected. Many people get confused when it comes to budgeting because they're not really sure where the numbers come from. So instead, what happens is they take on a BONSOP approach, which is just a fancy way of saying back of napkin/seat of pants. And they try to come up with some numbers that seem plausible, put on a piece of paper, show it to the client, and hope that the client says okay and then they run the project.

There's no real thought or reason that went into creating those numbers and that's not a secret to long-term success. If you just pick numbers randomly out of the air, chances are you're going to find yourself short on money or resources throughout the project and you really can't grow your company smartly that way. So, it doesn't really have to be this way. Budgeting isn't hard. It's as simple as making a shopping list to go to the grocery store, put together a dinner party. So what I'd like you to think about is this. If you can learn how to break a project into smaller pieces, you could turn it into a budget.

By being able to identify all of the components that you're going to do for a job, you can assign prices to those individual items and then roll that up into a master budget. This means that you have to identify deliverables, what you're actually giving to the end customer or client. And when you do this, you then have to be able to assign estimates for how much time or labor it's going to cost to pull these things off. It may seem a little bit intimidating and I threw out some words that might not sound familiar to you, if you're more creative than you are business.

But just hang in there. We've got a lot to cover and I promise by the end of this course, you will feel much more comfortable about the business side of being a creative.

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