Film budget for a Mini-Series
July 22, 2008 1 Comment
Yesterday, during a film budgeting meeting in early development, I was forced into a corner to estimate the tax credit refund for a mini-series.
The tax credit rebates have become a source of funding for independent filmmakers – but it’s tricky on two fronts. It’s now vital that all independent film producers know the basics about the various tax incentives available globally.
The first trick is to insist that the tax credit rebate is YOUR OWN contribution to the funding – that gives you some direct ownership. In some cases, the funding is viewed as if it were a 3rd party ‘everybody’ which doesn’t count as part of the back-end participation. You can’t let the majors, or the broadcaster, belittle that investment.
The second trick is to get your hands on the money – lest anyone forget, that tax rebate is not received until AFTER the returns are filed and the levels of government have granted their approvals. So you, and the bank, have to put your necks on the line to borrow against it, getting as much as you can into the production of the film.
Which banks will even talk to you, and how much the bank will lend at what rate, is another blog for tomorrow.
The ability to talk in terms of budgets and tax rebates is a big deal these days. Vist my web site for a series of free articles about film budgeting. My favorite advisor on tax incentives of any kind is Laura Polley. Check out her web site at http://www.globalincentivesinc.com/ .