Saturday, August 7, 2010

Animation Budgeting - Part 6 "Post Production"

I've been stalling on the last post regarding the animation budget form.

SECTION E: Post Production

It's particularly tricky because post is different on every project.  Sometimes it can be very expensive, sometimes there's virtually no cost.

In the days of film, post was extremely expensive.  Lab fees weren't much on TV/commercial project.  Off the top of my head I recall something in the neighborhood of $350 to develop and print a :30 shoot.  Probably another $250 or so for a one-light video transfer.

The costs started to pile at film to tape color correction and video online.  Those would run about $1000 per hour in the room.  A :30 commercial could take 2 to 3 hours to color correct.

If there was any compositing, even the simplest bit of animation over live action, the costs would go up at bare minimum $5000.  That's for the very simplest composite.  First, you'd need to create all your matte passes, then go into another machine -original a Paintbox, then as the technology progressed a Discreet machine like "Smoke", "Fire", "Flame" or "Inferno" (they never got up to "Holocaust").

Today, most animation doesn't need any of that stuff.  It's all contained in one or two consumer grade computers.

Still, post is in every project.  Now it's just very different in every project.

This is the starting point we use.  But the line items change more than any of the other categories.

In order to keep post costs from ballooning the number one thing is to KNOW YOUR SPECS.

What is the delivery format?  If it's a tape format, how are you outputting?  This may change your whole production pipeline.

Can you rent a deck to output to?  Can you export a quicktime and supervise its run to tape at a facility?  These are questions to be asked before a project begins because they can have major cost implications.

Of course, what's the aspect ratio?  720p, 1080i, NTSC, DV?

Post production also include audio mix, sound effects, ADR (voice over re-dos), close captioning, subtitles, tape duplication, archiving, and delivery costs.

It's also important to budget for shipping.  Film producers sell a product -this is the final delivery whether it's a tape or disk.

This needs to be sent to the client with receipt of delivery.   If work is purchased from out of state, it's critical to keep delivery receipt.  All film work is subject to sales tax (which isn't charged to out of state sales).  If your client is not reselling the product (advertising agencies, for example, re-sell your work to their clients) and they are not a non-profit (like PBS) you will be liable for your state's sales tax.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What happened with D, Art Direction budget form? Thank you for posting and explaining all of this! cheers!