Research: How Much?

For this research task we were given a the task of theoretically budgeting a short film with a £10,000 allowance.

The only thing we were given was the script, which didn’t cost anything. We had to take everything in to consideration, from actors and crew, to equipment and location.

The first thing I did was read through the script to get an idea of the kind of production the short film would be and after reading through it, I immediately went online to search for prices for crew rental. I decided that I would require a camera operator and assistant for obvious reasons, a director of photography to ensure the film was given a filmic look, along with a sound operator, a lighting technician and an editor for post production. I searched online for companies that hire out film crew, the screenshot below shows what I found:

Capture - crew

I used this information to base the film crew budget on. I added up the cost of the crew for 2 days and it came to a total of £2940.

After assembling a crew, I looked in to the cost of hiring the equipment we would need to film. I read through the script again and tried to visualize the equipment we would need. I think this kind of short film could be shot using DSLR cameras or Black Magic Cinema Cameras so I looked at the rate for day/week hire. I compared the cost of a DSLR and a Black Magic. The Black Magic, with a shoulder rig is £120 per day and a Canon 5D mk iii is £65 per day. After adding lenses, there wasn’t much of a difference in cost so I budgeted a total of £500 for cameras, this would allow enough funding for either, depending on the director’s preference.

Capture - cams bm

Capture - cams

The cost of lighting, sound and grip equipment can be seen below. The total cost of the best lighting equipment and microphones came to £140 for the two days. This brings the total to £640 for equipment.


Capture - lights

After this, I re-read the script to count the characters I would need. I would require three actors in total. One elderly woman and two younger men. The hiring process for actors often depends on the film, and who people know. Actors may sometimes agree to be part of a film for free, just for exposure or in some cases as a favour to directors or producers. However for this task I looked in to the average rate of hiring actors. The standard rate for amateur actors is roughly between £100-£200 per day depending on experience. From this information, I used an average of £150 per actor, per day. So for three actors, for two days the cost came to a total of £900. After once again reading through the script, I began to look for suitable locations to film. Some of the shots would be in a car on a country road surrounded by fields. Due to the relatively small scale of this shot, I thought this didn’t require any booking or hiring. However some of the scenes would be interior shots of a lounge with a ’50’s style’. I searched through pages of companies who offer locations for film shots, this ranged from grand country manors to small flats in central London.  I took a screenshot of prices that provided a rough guide to how much a small house would cost to rent for a couple of days filming.

How much property

Again, using this as a rough guide I budgeted £1000 for the rental of a small house for two days worth of filming. This covers the equipment, crew, actors and location which altogether totals £5480. Taking away a few hundred pounds for props, this still allows thousands of pounds left for miscellaneous and unexpected costs.

After the filming process has ended and the film is past over to the editor for post production. We now need to think about disseminating the film. Obviously if you wish to put the finished film online, it is completely free to show it on YouTube and Vimeo etc, however to show your work to a wider audience it can be very beneficial to enter your film in film festivals. As shown below the cost of entering film festivals varies so I got the cost of entering two well-known film festivals, Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca.

Capture - festival prices sundanceCapture - tribeca

Research – How Filmmakers Show Their Work

For this task we were asked to conduct research into how filmmakers show their work. We were told to look at three examples of filmmakers, one amateur, one professional and one who has access to bigger budgets. I chose to look at a personal favourite director, Adam Powell for both the new and professional example because his story tells how to progress from amateur to professional. I also thought it would be interesting to look at a director who isn’t associated with just films, Adam’s career as a director is an interesting one as he specializes in music videos and now working with top artists around the world. For the big budget example, i looked at arguably the three most well known directors today, James Cameron, Ridley Scott and Michael Bay as I thought this would demonstrate the difference between amateur and professional directors to Hollywood filmmakers.

What is Research?

According to The Oxford Dictionary, research is defined as the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

In layman’s terms, research is the development of new knowledge or the expansion of existing knowledge.

The types of research are qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is by definition exploratory, and it is used when we don’t know what to expect, to define the problem or develop an approach to the problem. It’s also used to go deeper into issues of interest and explore nuances related to the problem at hand. Common data collection methods used in qualitative research are focus groups, triads, dyads,  in-depth interviews, uninterrupted observation, bulletin boards, and ethnographic participation/observation.

Quantitative research is conclusive in its purpose as it tries to quantify the problem and understand how prevalent it is by looking for projectable results to a larger population. Here we collect data through surveys (online, phone, paper), audits, points of purchase (purchase transactions), and click-streams.’

Michaela Mora. (2010). Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research – When to Use Which. Available: Last accessed 04/10/2013.

Key components of writing your research are:

• A description of the research problem.
• An argument as to why that problem is important.
• A review of literature relevant to the research problem.
• A description of the proposed research methodology.
• A description of how the research findings will be used and/or disseminated.

Capture - research hourglass

This picture explains the process of writing research.

In this instance, we began with the question ‘What is Research?’, we then narrowed down this broad question and looked closely in to the types of research and the methods used for each. After reading articles, guides and theories on the topic, we analyzed the information and date we collected to reach a valid conclusion. Finally, we link the conclusion back to the original question. Research is the pursuit of data and information to gain a better understanding of a subject or to reach new conclusions.

William M.K. Trochim. (2006). Structure of Research. Available: Last accessed 04/10/2013.