Monday, 21 February 2011

The numbers racket

Today Jake’s nervousness finally lifted.

Regular readers will know by now that while I get all unnecessary with location anxiety, Jake’s darkest fears are all about the money. So, today we worked the numbers through.

Ah, sweet Excel. Where have you been all week?

Right – who are the essential crew? Add in the cast members, location costs, on-site bogs, security, catering, hotels, equipment, etc., and a bloody big van to drive everything around in. Who can we get to defer their wages until after we sell the film? How many pages can we shoot each day? What UK Film Council awards are available for post-production?

And after much Googling, mild butchery of Bruce’s 12 in a Box constituents, and just a little bit of old-fashioned educated guess-work, we came out with a number.

Not the final number, certainly, but a pretty good first estimate. Good enough to take out to investors and stand behind.

£158,000.

Fuck.

It’s a lot of money. More than the wholly un-justified £100k estimate that we had up to now been loosely banding about to each other. And understand that Jake and I are getting paid absolutely nothing from this sum.

But here’s where the choice of genre is going to pay off. Zombies sell. Everywhere. Even the home-page of the low-budget UK undead splatter-fest The Zombie Diaries proudly crows that it has been successfully sold in “every major territory”. More Excel magic, and bang! A hefty 23% return on investment, and that’s before any piecewise DVD / Video on Demand / etc. cash is included.

Now that’s decidedly more handsome. I checked the adding-up twice.

Inspired as we were then by the power of maths to make us happy, we decided to pick a start date. Ladies and gentlemen, principal photography on Resurrection will kick off on September 24th; don’t worry about not remembering this, as we have spared no expense to provide you with an aide mémoire to print out and stick to the fridge.

 
Now we’re just left with the simple task of figuring out how to get the money; potential investors and people with upcoming trips to the dentists should make themselves known now. And has anyone got a tie that I can borrow? Shaven.

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