Nolan and Adam Lebovitz aren’t just Web designers who simply saw an opening in an industry that lives and dies by its ability to make magic under tight, specific budgets—they’re both moviemakers in their own right.
They’ve learned inside the classroom—and especially outside of it—how film budgets function, the work that goes into maintaining them and the trials that come even after everything seems to be mapped out just right. As a result, we have QuickFilmBudget.com, their brand new Website designed for every type of moviemaker. This innovative site is the first to offer an automated budget creator that leaves no detail unexamined, right down to possible union dues and fringes.
Nolan Lebovitz answered MM‘s questions on his latest endeavor.
Michael Walsh (MM): How did you guys come up with the concept for QuickFilmBudget.com?
Nolan Lebovitz (NL): Adam and I (we’re brothers and business partners) both graduated from USC School of Cinema-Television. I graduated from the Production Program in 2001 and Adam graduated from the Peter Stark Producing Program in 2005. Afterward, I worked as a writer-director, Adam produced Unrest independently; Lionsgate released it in 2006. Then we worked together on Tortured; Sony released it in 2008. Both films were independently produced and acquired by the studios after production. During all this time, Adam was constantly being approached to create budgets for his peers in the industry. From this experience, we recognized an inefficiency in the film budgeting marketplace and found the solution for it.
Before we launched QuickFilmBudget.com, there existed only two ways to get a film budget. The first option was to buy budgeting software like Movie Magic Budgeting or Gorilla…The second option is to pay a line producer or unit production manager who generally charge at least $1,000 to create a budget and will require about a month to deliver… We developed QuickFilmBudget.com to be the first Website that empowers writers, directors and producers to create their own budgets in a way that is faster and less expensive. QuickFilmBudget.com is the first tool to automate the budgeting process. It asks several specific questions that any filmmaker can answer and the Website instantly (literally, in less than a minute) creates a complete film budget and topsheet, professionally customized to the specific project.
MM: Does the site feature tools designed specifically for novice moviemakers or can it be useful for artists at any level of expertise?
NL: The Website is geared toward any filmmaker who needs a budget and doesn’t have a line producer or UPM on staff. That includes novices and more experienced filmmakers. We have also created the first all-encompassing glossary for every budgeting term and crew position.
MM: Will QuickFilmBudget.com account for the fees that accrue with the screen actors and writers guilds, among other relevant unions?
NL: QuickFilmBudget.com accounts for the following unions: SAG, DGA, WGA, IATSE and Teamsters. It also accounts for any city/state in the United States and all fringes.
MM: What does QuickFilmBudget.com offer moviemakers that other similar services can not?
NL: As discussed above, QuickFilmBudget.com automates the process, whereas all other budgeting options can only create a budget manually. Other software forces the filmmaker to go line-by-line and figure out the right numbers. The technology behind QuickFilmBudget.com creates each budget using tens of thousands of algorithms to reflect any kind of feature length film given any budget (at least $50,000). These algorithms are based off of data taken from hundreds of film budgets to find the trends and relationships, and the application of calculus to create the actual formulas and equations. QuickFilmBudget.com is also equipped with a glossary of every budgeting term and its definition to help the novice understand the budget.
MM: What do you hope the site will become in the near future?
NL: The future of QuickFilmBudget.com is bright. We hope to make it compatible with budgeting software in the near future. That way, a customer can create their budget on QuickFilmBudget.com and then modify it as they negotiate salaries and production items. As filmmakers know, film budgets are dynamic and constantly changing documents, from the first budget based on expected costs to the final budget incorporating the delivery costs to a distributor. QuickFilmBudget.com intends to help filmmakers at each of these stages by saving them time and money.
Visit www.QuickFilmBudget.com for more information.