When creating a feature film budget, often expenses are divided into above the line and below the line costs. But what is the difference between above the line and below the line costs? Typically, above the line costs deal with creatives such as directors (even first assistant directors), producers, writers, and actors, while below the line costs consist of film crew and post-production team members.
- When breaking down a budget for films,…usually feature films, but I suppose this could apply…to short films as well,…it's very common to refer to above the line costs…and below the line costs.…So, let's a take a brief look at what that means.…The line here refers to a line, an actual line,…in the budget.…There are certain groups of people above this line.…These tend to fall into four groups of people…that tend to have the most influence…on the creative aspects of the film.…Writers, producers, directors and actors.…Also, above the line expenses typically don't change…on bigger films because these people have a set amount…of money that they're getting for their work on the film.…
So, if production ran a few days longer than expected,…these people aren't necessarily going to get any more money,…though above the line positions…also often have agreements set up…so that they receive extra money from the film…if the film is profitable.…This is referred to as a back end deal.…Below the line expenses basically refer to everybody else.…
Creating a Short Film is a 13-part training series that features some of the best actors and crew in the Seattle area, sharing their expertise on how to create a brilliant short film. The series is not just conceptual; author Chad Perkins and his team make a short film, The Assurance, and share the actual struggles and challenges that they had to overcome to get the film made. In this installment, Chad covers the basics of producing, the process that kicks off every new film, and sees it through to completion. Learn about the role of the producer, the difference between producing shorts and features, and what you should look for when selecting a producer for your script—or when you're a producer looking for the next great film idea.
Make sure to look for the follow-up episodes to learn more about screenwriting, directing, working with actors, editing and visual effects, and everything else that goes into filmmaking. This is a one-of-a-kind educational experience you won't find anywhere else.
- Starting a film project
- Finding financing
- Dealing with legal issues
- Producing shorts vs. feature films
- Learning from failure