The shoot has wrapped. Your editors have started assembling the cut. Now comes one of the most important duties a producer has: actualizing the final budget.
Assembled as part of the wrap binder, the final finances of your film will be spun into various reports and budgets you’ll show to your investors, clients, and accountants.
Luckily, if you’re running payroll through Wrapbook, the software will automatically generate a wrap report every time you finish a project. A detailed list of your production’s expenditures, you can easily turn this into many different reports, or just hand it off to your production accountant.
In this post, we’re going to cover 5 things you can do with Wrapbook’s wrap reports.
In the world of film accounting, every expense and labor component has its own unique accounting code. These numbers allow productions to track how much was spent on every line item.
Wrapbook makes it easy to assign your production’s accounting numbers.
By clicking on “Reports” on your production company dashboard, you’ll be brought to a page where you can access past payrolls, pay stubs, tax documents. Here, you’ll also find wrap reports.
You’ll be prompted to download a .CSV file that you can open in Excel or GoogleSheets. Each line item of your production is organized by crew member name. To the right, you’ll find every detail about each payment automatically imported from Wrapbook.
To the utmost left, you’ll see a blank space where you can add accounting codes for each item on your budget.
By adding accounting codes, you can actualize your budget and see how your actual costs compare to your estimates.
If you’re working in commercial production, then there’s a good chance you’re already too familiar with the AICP Bid Form.
If not, the AICP Bid Form is simply a standardized template that production houses use to estimate costs when trying to win clients. Before each production, your producer will painstakingly outline the costs of a commercial going department by department.
Using wrap reports, you can easily create a pivot table that matches your AICP Bid Form. Once you’ve loaded your wrap report, select the sheet, and find “Pivot Table” under “Data.”
From there, you’ll be prompted to build a custom table, where you can add rows and columns based on your production’s raw data. In the case of an AICP form, you’ll want to add rows by title and columns by count of days worked and average of day rate.
You’ll see a detailed chart that will break down your costs by department. If you add accounting codes beforehand, based on the AICP Bid Form, you can also sum up totals by each number, saving time and stress when prepping the final budget.
Whether you use budgeting software or have your own tried and true free budgeting template, having a grasp on Excel is a must in the world of budgeting. After all, Excel and film budgets go together like 1st ADs and Red Bull.
Perhaps one of the best tools in Excel (and GoogleSheets) is the pivot table.
Pivot tables are an incredible way to manipulate your project's finances to spin up all types of documents.
Once you select your data, you can use pivot tables to create graphs and tables, using any parameter your accountant calls for. While we’ll go over in depth below, it’s not a bad idea to watch this video to get a sense of how they work.
Like call sheets, pivot tables are fairly easy to use once you make one.
Hot Budget is one of the most popular tools available to (you guessed it) budget film production projects.
While the software doesn’t allow you to run production payroll, it can be a great way to track spending before, during, and after your production ends.
Importing your production’s payroll into Hot Budget is easy.
Once you download your project’s wrap report as a CSV file, it’s ready to import into Hot Budget. That’s it.
For more detailed instructions, you can always reference their user manual. However, it’s just like importing any other spreadsheet into the software.
In many ways, Entertainment Partners’ Movie Magic Budgeting is one of the industry leaders when it comes to budgeting film projects.
Importing your payroll information from Wrapbook could not be easier.
Once you download your wrap report, open it in Excel. Resave the file as “.XLSX,” which is the file type for Excel sheets. From there you’ll be able to import into Movie Magic Budgeting.
When it comes to preparing your wrap binder, a deeply important question is “How much money was spent on labor vs. expenses?” Using a pivot table, you can easily get a breakdown of these costs.
After opening your wrap report in Excel, select the entire spreadsheet, click “Data”, and then “Pivot Tables.”
For this pivot table, you should make your rows by description and title and your columns by sum of the day rate. You’ll then be able to view the breakdown of your production by labor and expenditures.
Every production company is different and will have its own way of doing things. Wrap reports allow you to export all of your production’s data, so you can handle accounting exactly how you want to. With the right software, you can simplify this process.
Scouting production locations? We’re breaking down 10 states with considerable film tax breaks so you can get the most bang for your budget buck.
Wrapbook's newest resource is our podcast, "On Production," which features experts in the field and tips on how to navigate the production world. Check it out!