A properly constructed budget is the basis for every practical decision made on a production. Whatever the consideration, activity or item, if it’s important to the movie, it must be accounted for in the budget. Creating an accurate budget requires both considerable research and negotiation. Most film budgets are built on some variation of a standard spreadsheet that organizes anticipated expenditures into accounts, categories and items. There are various accounting practices for numbering sections and subsections, as well as for dealing with empty or unnecessary budget categories and line items. Motion picture accounting has its own terminology and standard practices, so before we start filling in our budget with numbers, we need to become familiar with fringes, per diems, contingencies and other concepts. Once we know our way around the language and structure of a budget, we’re ready to research the costs of the hundreds of items that will populate our accounts. This involves negotiating rates with vendors and determining when to rent or buy props or supplies. The chapter concludes with some explanatory notes regarding the budget template used in this book and provided to readers.