Class

Documentary Budgeting

Take a deep dive into creating a documentary film budget by breaking the budget down line by line discussing industry standards and helpful tips along the way.

5–8pm (Virtual Online)Note: This is a 2 part class (6 hours)

**This class will be conducted via Zoom and timing is EST.**

A well-thought-out budget is the groundwork for producing a film. A producer should take the time in the pre-production process to get this right because it helps figure out the scope and logistics of a project. The budget will also demonstrate to potential funders what kind of story you’re going to tell, what your production is going to look like, and what equipment and crew you have chosen.  

In this workshop we will take a deep dive into creating a documentary film budget by breaking the budget down line by line discussing industry standards and helpful tips along the way. You will learn how to make a professional budget with which you can go out there to look for funding and how to keep track of your real budget when your story develops and changes over time. 

Jessica Wolfson has directed and produced many critically acclaimed documentary films and series. Most recently, she directed and produced the SXSW premiere short THE PAINT WIZZARD and produced the series KANSAS EXPERIMENT for Independent Lens. In 2017, she co-directed and produced HOT GREASE a documentary for the Discovery Channel about biodiesel. Jessica has produced many feature documentaries including LIFE CRIME, SACRED, REVENGE OF THE MEKONS, A GIRL AND A GUN, NEXT YEAR JERUSALEM and CRAZY SEXY CANCER.  She has created critically acclaimed media content for PBS, MTV, Wall Street Journal, Conde Nast, CBS All Access, Magnolia and many nonprofit organizations. At IFCtv Original Programming, Jessica developed and produced documentaries with renowned filmmakers including Kirby Dick, Steve James, John Landis, and Jon Favreau. In 2012, Jessica directed and produced the critically acclaimed RADIO UNNAMEABLE, named "Top 10 Films of 2012" by the New York Daily News. Jessica was named “20 Under 40: Film Industry Talent to Watch 2010” by Thom Powers, documentary programmer of Toronto Film Festival and artistic director of DOC NYC. She has acted as a consultant for many documentary projects, as a mentor for the IFP and Tribeca Film Institute, an impact producer, and teaches documentary production at New York Film Academy and Austin Community College.  

What You Will Learn

  • Learn the nuts-and-bolts of how to create a budget.

  • Gain a better understanding of the cost of making a documentary film.

  • Learn what compromises you can make to reduce the budget.

  • Become knowledgeable about managing a budget. 

About the instructor

Jessica Wolfson

Jessica Wolfson

Jessica has directed and produced many critically acclaimed documentary films and series. Most recently, she co-directed and produced HOT GREASE a documentary for the Discovery Channel about biodiesel. She has also produced SACRED, REVENGE OF THE MEKONS, A GIRL AND A GUN, NEXT YEAR JERUSALEM and CRAZY SEXY CANCER. She has created award winning media content for ESPN 9 for IX, MTV, Conde Nast, NYU, Canon and many nonprofit organizations. At IFCtv Original Programming, Jessica developed and produced documentaries including THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED by Kirby Dick; WANDERLUST by Bob Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman; THE BRIDGE by Eric Steele and series GREG THE BUNNY and DINNER FOR FIVE. In 2012, Jessica directed and produced the critically acclaimed RADIO UNNAMEABLE, named “Top 10 Films of 2012” by the New York Daily News.

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