Budgeting for Sound

Hey guys,

I've had a short movie idea stuck in my head for a few days and I figured I might as well try to do it. I'm in the process of writing the script but I'm also thinking about the technical departement. Since I really believe in this one, I'm prepared to throw in all the money I have put aside in the last year which would be a little bit over 1000€. I guess I could find some more money but I'd rather not take other people's money for my first serious thing (as in "I'm actually spending money") and just pull favors.


I think I know enough about Image recording and Image post-production to be relaxed about it. But for sound... Although I learned a lot in the recent times, i'm nowhere near good enough to do anything worth a piss. I'm making Sound my highest budget-priority but I have no idea how much it could/would cost. This is a 3 to 4 minute short, with two major locations, one indoors (company open-space) and one INT/EXT (entrance of subway and subway tunnel).

There will be no music but I'm expecting a honest deal of work for the second part where a woman gets mugged and though she doesn't get raped, she feels like she did. The sound will help build the message I'm going for.

So, can anyone give me some advice ? I'd like to secure a guy as soon as possible so we can engage in a talk and he can give directions on sound production.
 
A professional production sound person/team will charge by the day. They may also charge a rental fee for their gear (which is standard practice, at least here in the US). There are, of course, the ambitious up-and-comers who will work for budget rates, but they will most probably have less experience and budget gear.

Audio post costs can vary widely depending upon the size of the "house". Some will charge by the work-hour, although many offer block rates. Others will charge a flat fee.

With regards to production sound what you really need to do is ask for references from other filmmakers near where you will be shooting. As far as audio post goes you can ask for bids from all over the world. Almost half my business is with people I have never met in person.
 
So how much do you charge for post ?

I won't be able to afford a sound production team and will end up doing it myself ( + probably some guys I know through a friend who's in filmschool). There is a lot I can give to beginners but sound-post is not one of them.
 
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I don't publish my rates; send me a PM.

The biggest issue, however, is that if you capture crappy production sound I'll spend my time polishing a turd rather than enhancing the sparkle of a gem.


The computer dictum I learned when we worked in DOS and C (and eight MEGs of RAM was the freakin' bomb!) still applies:

Garbage In/Garbage Out
 
As Alcove says, rates vary enormously depending on what type of audio post you require and where/who you go to. Go to one of the top theatrical audio post houses, which have the best facilities and best/most experienced professionals and your entire budget will buy you probably less than 1 hour's worth of audio post time. Below that you've got high quality (budget) TV Drama where your entire budget would buy you around half a day of audio post. Mid budget TV, about a day or two and a half and low budget TV, around 3 or so days. BTW, these are very rough figures indeed!

I'll second what Alcove said about production sound.

G
 
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