About This Course

The Documentary Budgeting Masterclass is a multi-part video series which takes you through the entire process of professional documentary budgeting.

You will learn:

  • What to include (and not include) in your budget

  • How to format your budget to industry standards

  • Whether or not to pay yourself and if so, how much.

  • What funders are looking for in your budget that gives them the confidence to fund your project

  • The THREE things that will make or break your budget funding proposal

  • Line by Line, what to put in each section (and why it's important)

  • Industry practices for the best ways to negotiate with your crew

  • The key items that separate an amateur budget from a professional budget

By the end of this class you will be able to create professional budgets that will help you win the funding your projects deserve.

What To Expect

This in-depth video course details the complete budgeting process, no matter the size or scope of the project. 

By the end of this class you will be able to create professional industry-standard budgets that will help you WIN grants/funding and support for your projects. 

As soon as you purchase the course, you'll have INSTANT access to the material located inside a professional course platform designed for enhanced learning.

Want Budget Templates included? Get the Budget Bundle!

What Students Are Saying

"Just what I needed!"

by Sally Schaffer

"This was so comprehensive and spoken like one producer to another. I felt like I was on a video chat with Jilann! And coming from the TV commercial world, this being my first documentary budgeting experience I learned so much (especially about Post Production). This was just what I needed!"


by Anita Sugimura/Documentary Filmmaker

"I absolutely love the budgeting package!!!! Sometimes we do not realize we need something until it drops in our lap. Such a time-saver!"

"Concise, To The Point"

Stephen Thomas King/Documentary Filmmaker

"Jilann's explanations were concise, to the point and interesting. Her experience with film budgets is very helpful in understanding the various intricacies of the whole process of putting together a documentary package for investors."

"Huge help"

Sam Phillips

"I'm really grateful for these courses. I feel much more confident in paying myself and that I really do have the basis of beginning my first feature length documentary project."

What's Inside

    1. What This Course Is About

    2. VIDEO: Introduction to Accurate Budget Creation

    1. Video Tutorial - Setting Your Budget Parameters

    2. Video Tutorial - How to Accurately Estimate Costs

    3. Video Tutorial - How to Negotiate for Crew & Gear

    1. Video Tutorial - What to Pay Yourself

    2. A Note about Paying Yourself

    1. Notes on Estimating Your Production Schedule

    2. Video Tutorial - Estimating Your Production Schedule

    1. Notes on Post Production

    2. Video Tutorial - Estimating Your Post Schedule

    1. Video Tutorial - Thinking Ahead to Distribution

    2. Video Tutorial - Budgeting for Contingencies and Fiscal Sponsorship

    3. Video Tutorial - The Grand Total - What Does It Mean?

    4. Video Tutorial - Budget Phases & Cash Flow

About this course

  • $99.00
  • 17 lessons
  • 5.5 hours of video content


We hope you will find the Documentary Budgeting Masterclass extremely useful. As our promise to you, there is a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

The only thing we require is that you honestly apply the lessons taught in the course to your documentary project. And if you still feel your budgeting skills aren't significantly improved, just e-mail us your original receipt and your purchase will be refunded. There is absolutely no risk.

About The Instructor

Documentary Producer-Director Jilann Spitzmiller

Jilann Spitzmiller is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on the BBC, Sundance Channel, Starz/Encore, Aljazeera, PBS, Canal+ and many other channels worldwide.

Spitzmiller is a 3-time recipient of ITVS funding and has twice received Sundance Institute funding. She has been a Sundance Institute fellow and a mentor at NALIP's Producer's Lab, as well as a guest panelist and teacher at many festivals and workshops. Her work has won more than 20 awards and has been shown around the globe.

She is co-founder of DocuMentors and is deeply committed to helping filmmakers world-wide have the most impact that they can by telling their best story possible.

Let's Get Started!

Any film professional will tell you that having a solid budget can mean the difference between zero funding and a $100,000 or even $1-million grant.

Your investment in this class could potentially pay off a hundred or a thousand fold! Don't let an unprofessional budget sabotage all your hard work.

Go ahead and click the red enrollment button and let's help you supercharge your budgeting skills!

Lifetime Access Pass:

Only $99