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Filming in West Sweden is cost effective thanks to top noch companies, highly scilled and flexible crew, an infrastructure build through the years to make your shoot succesful and your stay smooth.

Find below basic information on budgeting, Union regulations and valuable information on almost every aspect on filming in West Sweden.

A standard feature film

The size and budget of a Swedish feature film can have a total budget of everything from a really low budget with 2-3 M SEK up to e.g. epic dramas with 50-60 M SEK. Around 15-20 M SEK is a more average budget level on a national feature film, supported by Swedish Film Institute (SFI), Swedish Television (SVT), regional film funds, sales agents, distributors and private investors.

Average

How many minutes of filming per shooting day depends on budget, here is an average.


Shooting days
Length of the film
Minutes per day (average)
30 days
90 minutes
3 min
35 days
90 minutes
2,6 min
40 days
90 minutes
2,25 min

Budget Example

Here is a budget example of a 20 M SEK Swedish feature film (1 SEK = 0,111€):


#
DESCRIPTION/ACCOUNT
SEK
1
SCRIPT AND RIGHTS
98 235
885 000
2
PRE-PRODUCTION
96 015
865 000
PRE-PROD TOTAL
194 250
1 750 000
3
DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
202 020
1 820 000
4
CAST
222 000
2 000 000
5
CREW
654 900
5 900 000
6
RAW STOCK & TAPE
44 400
400 000
7
EQUIPMENT
133 200
1 200 000
8
DECORATION & PROPS
27 750
250 000
9
WARDROBE & MAKE-UP
13 320
120 000
10
STUDIO
61 050
550 000
11
LOCATION
22 200
200 000
12
TRANSPORT & TRAVELLING
111 000
1 000 000
13
PRODUCTION OFFICE
22 200
200 000
14
ACCOMMODATION & CATERING
72 150
650 000
15
ADMINISTRATION
66 600
600 000
SHOOTING TOTAL
1 652 790
14 890 000
16
POST PRODUCTION
247 530
2 230 000
17
MUSIC
55 500
500 000
POST PROD TOTAL
303 030
2 730 000
18
INSURANCE
16 650
150 000
19
TV LICENSE
11 100
100 000
20
PR & TRAILERS
14 430
130 000
21
ADDITIONAL
27 750
250 000
DIV TOTAL
69 930
630 000
TOTAL ABOVE THE LINE
194 250
1 750 000
TOTAL BELOW THE LINE
2 025 750
18 250 000
TOTAL ABOVE AND BELOW THE LINE
2 220 000
20 000 000
GRAND TOTAL
€ 2 220 000
20 000 000 SEK

Union regulations

The Swedish union Teaterförbundet för scen och film (http://www.teaterforbundet.se) have the regulations for actors and film workers about schedules, salaries, and working overtime and on inconvenient hours.


Many Swedish feature films have a filming period of +/- 8 weeks (+/- 40 shooting days) where a normal working week is based on 40 hours (=8 hours per day), you can schedule shorter or longer days (minimum 5 hrs, maximum 12 hrs per day). Lunch break is 1 hour (excluded from the 8 hours) and after 5 hours of work there needs to be at least 30 min break. The day starts and ends at the production office, travel to set is included in the scheduled working hours. The crew always need to get informed about working hours and shooting schedule 2 weeks ahead during the production.


The crew get paid on a monthly basis (based on 21 working days/month) – the 25 each month (if nothing else is agreed).
40 hours/week (5 days + 2 days weekend)
8 hours each day (excl 1 hr lunch break) - scheduled a minimum of 5 hours/day, maximum 12 hours/day
For the actual total cost of an employee - multiply with 1,57 (based on the numbers of 2011: 31,42% social cost, 5,3% insurance and 13% holiday pay

Regulations about working overtime, at inconvenient hours and travel time

If an employee has a deal where he or she get paid for overtime, this is the rule: After more than 8 hours of work per day you will get paid for overtime. When ordered working overtime (often by the First AD on set), compensation per hour is given as follows:


Non-holiday Mondays-Fridays between 07.00 – 21.00 1/106 of the monthly salary
Other times 1/82 of the monthly salary
Special overtime, informed less than 2 hours in advance 1/75 of the monthly salary
Overtime may be based on individual agreement replaced with 2 hours off for each overtime hour.

For working at inconvenient hours compensation is given by:


Saturdays between 7:00- 21:00 32,00 SEK/hour
Monday-Saturday between 21.00-24.00 51,50 SEK/hour
Monday to Saturday between 00:00-07:00 103,00 SEK/hour
Sundays
Public holidays
New Years Eve, Easter, Whitsun Eve, Midsummer's Eve and Christmas Eve

Travel time is the time used for travel to or from the location if the time is without normal working hours and if you travel as a passenger. Non-filming days used for company travel may not count as a weekly rest. Travel time is compensated with 87,72 SEK/hour.


Before first day of principal photography the crew will have a crew meeting where they have to choose 1) one representative for union issues and 2) one representative for security issues on set.


Casting, actors & extras

When you are searching for actors or extras for your production, you will usually go either for a casting company or hire a freelance casting director.


In the 20 M SEK budget sample CASTING is budgeted with:


Casting Director 45.000 SEK x 2 months
Assistant for auditions and test filming 18.000 SEK x 1 month
Additional costs: digital camera,
casting room for auditions,
stationary and stamps
10.000 SEK
Ads 5.000-15.000 SEK

Minimum guarantee per day for an actor according to the union:


Day 1 minimum 4 226 SEK
Day 2 minimum 3 885 SEK
Day 3 and cont’d minimum 2 574 SEK
  • If you hire an actor for more than 75 days you can make a deal about monthly payment instead of on daily basis = minimum 24 854 SEK/month.

  • Appearance without stage involvement, post synchronization, repetition and audio recording for playback = 1 981 SEK.

  • Costume test, make-up test and photo shoot for pictures in the film = 970 SEK.

  • Leading actors normally use agents for the deals and may have flat deals.

  • Well-known, experienced actors usually have the same daily rate no difference how many shooting days they have but every deal is individual.

  • In the 20 M SEK budget sample ACTORS is budgeted with:


    Actors (a total of 180 days) 1,8 M SEK

    5.100 SEK – 18.000 SEK/shooting
    day (depending on experience and
    shooting days)

    There are many different ways of what you pay for extras, everything from a marketing t-shirt for the film, free lunch or cinema tickets up to payments of 350 SEK/day including free lunch. There are some organizations for extras (used by casting agencies):

    www.statistföreningen.se

    www.statist.se

    www.filmcafe.se


    Every person hired as an extra fill in a form with his/hers personal data (social security number + bank account), for the payrolls. It is recommended to as well sign an agreement about rights etc before filming.


    In Västra Götaland there is no professional company focusing only on just extras, but several freelance persons have their own registers filled with contact details for all kind of extras and some of the casting companies also have archives of extras that they use on new productions.


    In the 20 M SEK budget sample EXTRAS is budgeted with:


    Extras (1-day) 350 SEK x 133 days
    Background actors 700 - 999 SEK x 40 days *

    * If you as employer just pay one person less than 999 SEK/year you don’t have to pay social fees.


    Location scouting & locations

    There are several freelance location scouts in the region. When it is time to do the location budget, use the figure of a total of 10.000 SEK per location and shooting day (including rentals, permits and misc costs). The location cost depends on the popularity and how easy the access might be. The location scout/ location manager makes all the deals with the locations, takes care of and organizes the technical location recce when locations are visited and checked against each department’s needs and applies for special permissions.


    You don’t need permits for filming in public areas as long as you don’t block the roads. If you need road blocking you need to apply at the police department (www.polisen.se) and if you need special parking permits you apply at Trafikkontoret (www.goteborg.se).


    In the 20 M SEK budget sample LOCATION SCOUTING & LOCATIONS is budgeted with:


    Location scouting 30.000 SEK
    Travel & cars & gas 10.000 SEK
    Location rental >1000 SEK
    Parking permits >500 SEK
    Blocking roads (made by the municipality/
    the police authorities)
    >2000 SEK
    Hired night guards/road blockers <999 SEK/person*
    Locations >120.000 SEK
    Permits 40.000 SEK
    Misc location costs 40.000 SEK

    * If you as employer just pay one person less than 999 SEK/year you don’t have to pay social fees.


    Crew

    The number of people employed on a Swedish feature film varies depending on the size and scale of the film being produced. On several feature films with a budget of approx 20 M SEK (= 2,2 M €) there is a common way to set up the different departments but every project is unique. The union Teaterförbundet för scen och film (http://www.teaterforbundet.se) have required minimum guarantee salaries for freelance film workers, and for well-experienced freelance film workers the salaries are much higher. Sometimes an agreement of a flat rate including overtime and compensation for working evenings and weekends is made.


    For the actual total cost of an employee: multiply the salary with 1,57
    Based on the numbers of 2011:
  • 31,42% social cost
  • 5,3% insurance
  • 13% holiday pay
  • Who is doing what in the crew?

    PRODUCTION

    Line producer - Production manager - Production coordinator - Production assistant - Production trainee – Runner - Accountant.


    It depends on the size of the production if you have both LP’s and PM’s, on smaller projects you might only hire a production manager.


    One or two prod coordinators; one responsible for actors/travel/hotels and one responsible for cars/technical rentals/office. They prepare and draw up the call sheet, under the supervision of the First AD.


    The average is at least one runner for the production office.


    The accountant manages budgets, payrolls, taxes, insurance claims, bookkeeping and at the end of the production, closes the film down financially (one or two persons).


    DIRECTION

    First Assistant Director - Second Assistant Director - Extras casting coordinator - Continuity/Scriptsupervisor - Casting director - Production assistant on set (“Inspelningsassistent”) - Runner.


    The 2nd AD ensures that the principal actors are in make-up, in wardrobe, or standing by on the set at the correct times, and may also be responsible for finding and looking after background artists/extras, assist the FAD in liaising between the set or location and the production office, updating key personnel on the timings and progress of the shoot.


    The production assistant is the one taking care of the coffee table and also responsible for ordering the food for lunch from the caterer and sometimes also work as set runner.


    The runner works close to the production coordinator for the planning of transport on the daily basis.


    ART DEPARTMENT

    Production designer (“Scenograf”) - Props - Props assistant - Stand by props/props on set - Constructor - Painters - Carpenters - Location scout - Location manager - Loc manager assistant.

    The production designer usually also works as Art Director.

    At least 2 props are hired and they work both as props buyer and set dressers.

    Standby Props work on set during the filming of a scene, overseeing the use of props, and monitoring their continuity.

    The constructor usually hires the carpenters and painters needed.

    The location scout might be the same person as the location manager.

    The location manager is first and last on set every day but sometimes works with an assistant so the location manager can be a head in the planning of next shooting day.

    CAMERA/GRIP/GAFFER/ SOUND DEPARTMENT

    Focus puller - Clapper/loader - Video monitor assistant operator - Gaffer - Electrician/Best Boy - Grip - Sound recorder/Sound mixer - Boom Operator.

    The camera crew is sometimes called A-photographer (D.O.P.), B-photographer (focus puller) and Cphotographer (clapper/loader/video monitor assistant). It depends on the size of the production and the format if there are more than 3 persons at the camera department. Sometimes a Data Image Technician (DIT) is hired or it might be the clapper/loader taking care of the memory cards/discs.

    The gaffer is in charge of all the electrical work on a production, leading the team of electricians who install the lighting equipment and arrange the power supply in order to create the designed lighting effects. Assisted by one, two or more electricians and electrician assistants (depending on the size of the production and locations). The electricians operate the generators and cherry pickers on set.

    The key grip may also work as technical assistant to camera dept/light dept. The responsibility of the grip is to build, maintain and operate all the equipment that supports the camera, such as tripods, dollies, tracks, jibs, cranes, and static rigs.

    When there are a lot of actors on the set the sound department may need a helping hand (a extra boomer). You usually try to use someone available in the crew. The sound department sometimes have need for a helping hand (a extra boomer) when there is a lot of actors on set, first you try to use someone available in the crew.

    COSTUME/ MAKE-UP/ HAIR DEPARTMENT

    Costume designer - Costume assistant - Make-up & hair Designer - Makeup & hair assistant.

    On low budget productions with less actors and extras, Costume and Makeup/Hair department have less people hired, it might be combined functions. On bigger productions there can be several costume assistants + seamstress and additional hairdressers for actors and extras.

    The Make-up & Hair Designer is responsible for the overall design and execution of the Make-up & Hair on feature films. They work closely with Costume Designers to ensure that each artist's overall "look" complements every aspect of the script.

    POST PRODUCTION

    Post production manager - Editor - Editors assistant - Sound Designer - Post Production Sound Department

    If it is a smaller production the Production Manager may as well work as Post Production Manger.

    The Editor Assistant may also be the person doing the logging. As the rushes are delivered to the cutting room, the Editor Assistant syncs them up so that the Editor can begin work on selected sequences. Average numbers of editing weeks are 14 weeks, but it is individual for every single project.

    The Sound Designer on set may as well be one of the Sound Editors. The average numbers of sound editing weeks are 14 weeks, but it is individual for every single project.

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample CREW is budgeted with:

    OCCUPATION
    PAYMENT/MONTH*
    COMMENTS
    Prod manager
    45.000 SEK
    Flat fee incl overtime
    Prod coordinator
    30.000 SEK
    Flat fee incl overtime
    Prod ass
    22.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 3 hrs
    Driver
    17.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 3 hrs
    Accountant
    150.000 SEK
    Flat fee for project (1% of the budget)
    1st AD
    35.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2 hrs
    2nd AD
    25.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2 hrs
    Continuity
    33.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Location manager
    30.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 3 hrs
    Assistant to loc manager
    22.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 3 hrs
    DOP
    480.000 SEK
    12.000 SEK/shooting day
    Camera assistant (“B-foto”)
    35.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2 hrs
    Clapper/loader (“C-foto”)
    26.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Video monitor assistant
    18.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Steadicam
    10.000 SEK/day
    INVOICED
    Stunt coordinator
    5.000 SEK/day
    INVOICED
    Gaffer
    33.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2 hrs
    Electrician 1
    27.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2,5 hrs
    Electrician 2
    27.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2,5 hrs
    Grip
    33.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Sound recordist
    33.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Boomer
    33.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1 hrs
    Production designer
    45.000 SEK
    Flat fee incl overtime
    Production designer
    45.000 SEK
    Flat fee incl overtime
    Art director/assistant prod des
    32.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Props
    32.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Props assistant
    18.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1,5 hrs
    Stand by props/on set
    32.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 1 hrs
    Constructor
    120.000 SEK
    Flat fee for project - INVOICED
    Carpenter
    250-400 SEK/hrs
    INVOICED
    Painter
    280-330 SEK/hrs
    INVOICED
    Costume designer
    45.000 SEK
    Flat fee incl overtime
    Costume assistant
    28.000 SEK
    + OT: 40 days x 2,5 hrs
    Make-up & hair designer
    38.000 SEK
    Flat fee (OT included)
    Make-up assistant
    25.000 SEK
    Flat fee (OT included)
    Additional crew
    999-2.000 SEK/ day
    * If you as employer just pay one
    person less than 999 SEK/year you
    don’t have to pay social fees.
    Editor
    9500 SEK / week
    Logger
    500 SEK / day

    *For the actual total cost of an employee multiply the salary with 1,57 (based on the numbers of 2011: 31,42% social cost, 5,3% insurance, 13% holiday pay).

    Equipment, raw stock &tapes

    There are a some technical suppliers in the region for camera, crane, grip, light and sound but for coproductions the technical equipment may be a part of the work split and shipped from another country.

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample EQUIPMENT is budgeted with:

    Camera (35 mm), zoom, crane,
    walkie-talkies, filters, cherry pickers
    etc.
    500.000 SEK
    Grip equipment 130.000 SEK
    Light equipment 400.000 SEK
    Electricity 30.000 SEK
    Sound equipment (inclusive hard
    drives for post)
    140.000 SEK

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample RAW STOCK & TAPES is budgeted with:

    Raw stock 345.000 SEK(based on 10 SEK/meter for 35 mm)
    Tapes 55.000 SEK

    Wardrobe & make-up

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample RAW STOCK & TAPES is budgeted with:

    Costume 80.000 SEK
    Make-up 40.000 SEK

    Studio and construction

    In Västra Götaland there are two sound stage studios; Gothenburg Film Studios and the studio of Film i Väst. They have a weekly rental prize for the studios and then additional cost for e.g. green room, electricity, telephone, and administration, parking and cleaning.

    After the drawings and budget for the studio construction is made, the constructor hires the construction crew: painters and carpenters. They together with the production designer and props construct and decorate the studio set.

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample STUDIO is budgeted with:

    Studio rental 45.000/week + additional costs (e.g. electricity, cleaning)
    Construction material 180.000 SEK

    Production office

    When you are filming on location you have to find available production office facilities nearby. Due to the regulations of working hours and travel time the working days start and ends at the office. Additional costs: hiring furniture for the office, setting up a landline/telephone, installation of Internet and hiring a Xerox-machine + the installation and support of it during production.

    There are production office facilities to rent if you are filming in the studio and with almost the same additional cost: hiring furniture for the office, setting up a landline/telephone, hiring a Xerox-machine + the installation and support of it during production.

    Depending of the size of the production you will need to hire storage for props and costume, preferable close to the production office, with easily accessible parking.

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample PRODUCTION OFFICE is budgeted with:

    Production office 15.000 SEK/month
    Storage for props + costumes 10.000 SEK/month
    Facilities for rehearsals 5.000 SEK
    Cleaning 15.000 SEK
    Telephone, copies, computers,
    stationery
    100.000 SEK

    Transport & travelling

    A number of 15-20 cars/vans is the average need of a feature film and of course depends of how many people there are in the crew. Station wagons and minivans are popular in the crew while the lighting and grip department often drive trucks. For all cars, except vans and trucks, the actual cost for the project is the rental price +12,5% VAT (you can only withdraw half of the 25% VAT).

    Gas & mileage rate: The production company normally set up an account at a gas station company so you can both fill up gas there and use the credit card for parking. If you drive your own car at work you will be compensated with 1,85 SEK/kilometre as travelling expense (http://www.skatteverket.se/privat/skatter/beloppprocent).

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample TRANSPORT & TRAVELLING is budgeted with:

    Cars 250.000 SEK
    Gas & parking & mileage 105.000 SEK
    Taxi & travels & courier 645.000 SEK

    Accommodation & catering

    For lunch catering on set you can choose between ordering from a catering company for 85-150 SEK/person inclusive delivery costs, alternatively you hire a chef for the production, rent a fully equipped kitchen and the chef will have a daily budget per person whatever you recommend (from 15- 30 SEK/person). The chef brings the lunch on set and the production runner (“inspelningsassistent”) helps with coordination.

    There is a coffee table set all day and a production runner takes care of it. It is common to serve coffee and sandwiches from the morning and during the first working hours, then after lunch break maybe some fruit, nuts and cookies. If you are working for more than 5 hours after lunch break there need to be a new break, and then it is recommended to serve the crew some simple ready-to-go food (hot dogs, sandwich, soup, pizza slice…).

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample ACCOMMODATION & CATERING is budgeted with:

    Hotels & apartments 360.000 SEK
    Cleaning 10.000 SEK
    Per diems 20.000 SEK
    Representation & kick-off/wrap party 40.000 SEK
    Coffee on set 500-600 SEK/day
    Catering crew + extras 125.000 SEK

    Per diems are tax free payment from the employer to the employee and the money is supposed to cover additional costs while travelling. The employee has to stay overnight, more than 50 kilometres from home and from the production office to get the tax free per diems. For one day you will pay 210 SEK and if the journey starts after 12 o’clock it is a half per diem for that day (105 SEK). Same rules for travelling home, if you arrive home before 19 o’clock it is a half day (105 SEK). If the employer pays for the meals there will be a reduction of the per diems, breakfast -42 SEK, lunch/dinner -74 SEK.
    www.skatteverket.se/

    Post production, lab costs, editing and sound

    There is no laboratory in Västra Götaland, the development has to be done in e.g. Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen or wherever the production company gets a good deal (sometimes an important part of the work split in co-productions). For the transport of the dailies you can choose between hiring a courier driving all way or send it by a shipping company (DHL, JetPak, Posten…).

    14 weeks is the average numbers of editing weeks, but it is individual for every single project.

    14 weeks is also the average numbers of sound editing weeks, but it is individual for every single project.

    The pre-mix and the final mix is usually 2 weeks each.

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample POST PROD/LAB COST/EDITING is budgeted with:

    Post production 1.000.000 SEK
    Delivery 15.000 SEK
    Sound design 700.000 SEK
    Editor 210.000 SEK
    Avid + facilities 160.000 SEK
    Title + end credits 100.000 SEK

    Additional

    In the 20 M SEK budget sample ADDITIONAL is budgeted with:

    Legal 150.000 SEK
    Producers Union (flat fee) 0,25% of the full budget,
    maximum 75.000 SEK
    TROMB
    (Teaterförbundets Rättighetsbolag)
    5,5% of the screening rights
    by Swedish Television

    (union fees, compensation
    rights for actors, DOP’s,
    production designers,
    costume designers,
    directors)