From arranging the perfect location to tackling last-minute equipment challenges, filmmakers deal with a lot in every project—even when they meticulously plan ahead. Sometimes, it’s the weather that doesn’t cooperate, while at other times the film team is uncooperative, or the scenes you shot just aren’t coming together the way you imagined.
Given the chaotic nature of filming projects, it’s not easy for filmmakers to carve out time to deal with administrative tasks, particularly when it comes to drafting invoices. With looming deadlines and deliverables to juggle, invoicing is also not the best use of their time and energy. If ignored, though, there is a greater likelihood that a disputed invoice could result in financial loss.
This is why we recommend using an invoice template designed for the filming industry.
What Is a Film Invoice Template?
By definition, a film invoice template is a predesigned document that outlines the costs associated with a filmmaking project. The term ‘template’ indicates the document is fillable or ready to use.
A film invoice usually provides a breakdown of the expenses relevant to a filmmaking project, including things like crew salaries, equipment costs, and location fees. This invoice is issued by video or film production companies to clients, although some people refer to it as a video production invoice.
Types of Film Invoices
Filmmaking is a broad term that encompasses various jobs, duties, and services. Whether you’re a freelance filmmaker or a video production company, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the types of video production invoices that are available and figure out what you can bill your client for.
Generally, film invoices are issued according to time invested or the job performed. Here are the types of film invoices based on time:
- Standard invoice: This is billed at the end of the project and includes all services, goods, additional costs, and taxes.
- Recurring invoice: This is billed weekly or biweekly for an ongoing project (such as weekly vlogs).
- Hourly invoice: Billed each day (by hours), this type of film invoice is usually used for post-video production tasks, such as video and audio editing.
- Prepayment invoice: This invoice is usually sent to the client in parts. Half of the payment is received prior to the start of the project and the other half is received after completion. It usually comes in handy for large projects, such as those that require expensive venue bookings.
- Mixed invoice: This type of invoice is a combination of a standard invoice with any other type mentioned above. For example, you may charge for filming an event and also include your charges for editing the filmed video.
You can also send your client a debit invoice if you wish to charge an extra fee (such as late payment). On the flip side, you can send a credit memo to your client if they overpay you. You can add this credit to their account and deduct the overpaid amount from the next invoice.
Now, let’s check out the types of film invoices based on the job performed. These include:
- Video editing invoice
- Videographer invoice
- Set and venue invoice
- Video equipment invoice
- Production assistant invoice
- Animation invoice
The name of each invoice explains its purpose. You may use these when billing your client separately for each aspect of a filmmaking project.
Key Components of a Film Invoice Template
Every invoice template should include the following components:
- Title or name of the project
- Short description of the project
- Unique invoice number
- Client’s details (company name, address, and contact)
- Your details (company name, address, and contact)
- Invoice issue date
- Due date
- List of services provided along with quantity and rate of each service
- Payment terms and conditions (including late fees)
- Payment methods
- Discount information
- Applicable taxes
You can add more items to the invoice if needed, but including all the components mentioned above is a must.
How to Create a Film Invoice Template
You can create a film invoice template using a standard tool such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, or Google Docs. However, you’ll have to invest considerable time and effort in structuring and designing the invoice if you take this route.
Plus, despite your best efforts, the template may not appear as professional as you’d like it to be. This, in turn, can ruin your professional image with clients.
Go With the Pro
It’s better to focus on what you do best—filmmaking. When it comes to invoicing for your services, use templates designed by professionals. You can find these on InvoiceNinja, where you can:
- Choose from a wide range of professionally created film invoice templates
- Track invoicing history
- Automatically create and share invoices with clients
- Track and receive payments
This approach can save you time and money and ensure a smooth and professional administrative exchange with your client!