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DPP Launches Production Budget Guidelines

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has launched a set of Production Budget Guidelines to help producers get the best from their production budgets in the digital age.

The production budget guidance reflects current digital production techniques, helping to ensure that all aspects of a production are fully costed and planned for.  The new guidelines were an outcome of a working group set up after suggestions from Production Managers and Producers attending a DPP Forum.

The checklist is not exhaustive for all genres of programming, but is intended to ensure that no key areas are overlooked.  The most significant areas of change are in data capture and post-production.  For example, the ‘tape stock schedule’ has become ‘shooting/recording media’, including ‘archive storage on drives or LTO tapes’, and the post schedule allows for areas such as ‘ingest’ and ‘transcoding.’

Actual costings for each line are not included in the guidelines and there are no formulas; instead the guidelines aim to capture all activities that are currently undertaken within a digital production so they can be structured to more accurately reflect what is required within a given budget.

The DPP has worked closely with the PMA, UK Screen and representatives of several independent production companies to develop these guidelines.

Hayley Thornton, Head of Production Finance, Channel 4, and DPP board member, said, “Technology has moved on considerably since the indie sector emerged, yet the vast majority of producers do not have a current budget template.  We have updated it to reflect the digital age and to help producers think through the process and make the most of their production budgets.”

Maddy Allen, Head of Production at Keo Films, who led the work stream on this project for the DPP, added, “We worked with hugely experienced production representatives from across the industry who helped to feed their invaluable knowledge of the changing face of digital production into this revised template, which offers a thorough and highly useful foundation for today’s budgets.”