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5 Things That May Break Your Budget
Creativity is limitless. However, your resources may be limited. If you are on a budget, there are few elements in film & video production that you may want to revise in your creative or that you may need to save more money to accomplish.

I call them my “wallet breakers”

You think of something cool that you want in your production but sometimes it may not be worth the resources.

In this post, I am writing some of the cool things that come with associated costs.

So if you are filming a short film with a few thousand dollars you got from your friends and family, you may want to learn what are going to be your  ‘wallet breakers’ 😉


Any unusual and difficult physical feat or an act requiring a special skill in film, tv, and streaming, are done by professionals called stunt performers.

👉 You mustn’t ask your actor to do dangerous physical activities – as it may risk their safety and your entire project.

When I met a stuntman for the first time I was a PA. I asked what stunt is and he told me “anything other than walking and talking you ask your actors to do.”

💸 Why will you need more money?

→ You will hire a professional stunt performer – in stuntmen’s / stuntwomen’s association (or equivalent in your country’s respected stunt union)
→ The stunt performers bring tools and gear for safety.
→ You will also hire a set medic.
→ And when you are getting your production insured, you will disclose the stunt and your stunt performer hire to your insurance broker. This will make your insurance more expensive.

Child actor

To me, it is incredibly fun to work with kids and work for children’s television.
To create a better environment for child actors, for their safety, and their well-being, there are rules in production rules that we follow. Especially in California and New York, these are very important regulations that every producer should know.

👉 For example, child actors (9 years through 15 years) can stay on the set for only 9 hours.

💸 Why will you need more money?

→ You will hire a studio teacher (a licensed welfare worker) regardless of if school is in session or not.

CA Child Labor Law requires that productions provide CA Studio Teachers/Welfare Workers when employing minors for entertainment or promotional purposes. [8CCR 11755.1]

→ There is no OT for a child actor. You will have to schedule your day accordingly.

Working Hours for CA Minors in Entertainment 


Having a great studio teacher is a big plus since they will be with the child actor at all times and they will know the kids’ energy level. That’s a big support for the Director. 

Water & Sand

“Electronics and Water don’t get along.”
– Captain Obvious

For the obvious reason, water is not a good match for film work. Altho we have great covers for video devices like GoPro’s, it is still a whole different operation to prepare a professional camera for water and dust.

With winds blowing, sand dust is easy to move and small to detect. Some of it may end up in your equipment and you may end up paying for repair or even replacement.

💸 Why will you need more money?

→ Additional rental gear for protecting your equipment
→ Additional measures for crew safety


Fire is tricky.
Unlike water, once you initiate fire, you can hardly control where it will move.
When there is a fire or other special effects like that, it’s not only your equipment that you should worry about. Fire can seriously injure a crew member if used without professional supervision.

💸 Why will you need more money?

→ You will hire at least one pyrotechnician and you may need to hire even more (ie special fx specialist)
→ You will also hire a set medic.
→ You will disclose the special effects and your pyrotechnician hire to your insurance broker and also pyrotechnics will make your insurance more expensive.


Fun to have animals around but it can be very costly in production.

👉 For the safety of the cast and crew, you will need trained animals and animal wranglers.

This is actually for the safety of the animal too! It’s not easy to be surrounded by a bunch of human-people 😉

💸 Why will you need more money?

→ Trained animals may be the most expensive on-camera element.
→ Animal Wranglers charge from their door your set – both for their time and their mileage.
→ Once you disclose that you have animals to your insurance broker, guess what?
→ And of course, there may be, again, additional Insurance costs

What other elements did you discover to be costing you more money and time than you thought?

Let me know!

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