screenplay breakdown

Once you have a screenplay that you want to produce, you will need to figure out how much your movie will cost.

When faced with this question, many filmmakers just pull a number out of thin air. But doing this is often times inaccurate. Your goal is to complete an initial screenplay breakdown so you can get a ballpark estimate of how much money you will need.

The first phase of the breakdown involves creating a rough schedule. Your goal is to schedule every scene in your movie and determine how much time you will need. Additionally, you will analyze each scene and determine what elements are needed. These elements will eventually get listed in your budget, with a cost.

Once complete, you will have a starting number.

There are several ways to complete a screenplay breakdown, schedule, and budget. You can hire a line producer or you can use professional scheduling and budgeting software. The industry-standard is called Movie Magic.

In addition to desktop based applications, cloud-based production management tools are gaining popularity. You may want to research LightSpeed EPS (they pay me to promote) found at


  1. Theresa says

    Such a great, informative site. I’ve been spending my time editing videos but now inspired to put my screenplays to work. With the help of this site, I am even more inspired. Thanks!

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