About Lights, Camera, Budget!
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and the Georgia Council on Economic Education (GCEE) partnered with the award-winning media developers at FableVision Studios to create Lights, Camera, Budget!, a new personal finance game for students. Aligned to Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE), Lights, Camera, Budget! leverages the excitement around the film industry to teach students key personal finance concepts. Georgia educators and students provided feedback during development process to guide production. Lights, Camera, Budget! was designed to work across web and mobile platforms and is available online and via mobile devices.
In the game, students take on the exciting role of movie producer, making important decisions about everything from actors and directors to shooting locations and marketing strategy. Their job is to analyze the risks and rewards of each choice and its impact on the movie budget, with the goal of creating a blockbuster movie that doesn’t bust the bank.
Luckily, they don’t have to go through it alone—a sage mentor who’s been around the block(buster) gives financial, professional, and personal advice to help students make the best choices for success. Throughout the game, players draw on and enhance their knowledge of key financial literacy concepts including debt, interest, loans and credit, budgeting, and goal setting.
The game is divided into three phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. In each phase, the player is given information to make key decisions that will impact the production process, budget, and success of the film. For example, when choosing the genre of movie they want to produce (suspense/thriller, action/superhero, romantic/comedy), information could include how much each genre costs to make, potential pitfalls, critical awards, and track record of success at the box office.
If the player makes smart movie-making decisions - like choosing an acclaimed director that treats their cast and crew well - and doesn’t go over budget, they have a hit on their hands that makes money for them and their investors—and guarantees them another movie in the future!