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How do you figure out a feature's budget?

Hi, sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but I'm wondering what factors are taken into account when someone reads a script and figures out how much it will cost to make?

I'm a writer, but would really like to be able to have a rough idea of what a script would actually cost before I start sending things out.

I've spoken to two directors about two different films who have both shown interest, and then told me to get a development grant of £20k to pay them to go through the script to work out a budget before they go any further. Is that legit or was it just a scam to get the cash?

Is it just; a full crew would cost X, times that by Y days equals Z total cost?

If there are books about that could answer this in-depth, or instructional vids etc, please feel free to recommend. Again, if this is all very basic stuff I apologise, but the actual technical side of film making is a foreign land to me.

Thank you all in advance,

2 years ago