The Film Commission Budget

There is no standard film commission budget. Small regional one-person offices may have minimal budgets, barely enough to operate, while film commissions in production-heavy jurisdictions may have a staff of 10 or more, with plenty of money for both operating expenses and marketing. Most often, a film commission has little or no control over the budget allotted. What it can control is how it is spent and what is realized in return.

A budget can be very detailed, but most budgets can be separated into just three categories: salaries, operating expense and marketing expense. There are no hard and fast percentages on how to split the budget between these three. As noted, budgets vary greatly from commission to commission.

If you’re putting together a budget for the first time, start with salaries. After all, no salaries mean no staff, and your most important asset is the people working in your office.

Pay levels will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Determine what a reasonable salary in your area is, then determine how many positions your budget will allow. Perhaps there’s enough budget for a director, a marketing person, a locations person and an administrative assistant or only enough for a one-person film commission staff.