WIFTA Starts Off the New Year With Everyone’s Favorite Discussion Topic – Taxes

Greg Hammonds, Kristy Clabaugh, and John Thomas of Whaley, Hammonds, Tomasello, P.C discuss Georgia Film Credits

 

OK, OK.  Maybe I did go overboard with the title.  I’m sure that taxes are not your favorite topic and just the thought of doing taxes causes you a bit of uneasiness.  I admit that it certainly scares me a bit.  Luckily, we have local professionals in Atlanta who are trained in the art of easing our fears and have the skill to perform a job that gives most of us the heebie-jeebies.

Representatives from Whaley, Hammonds, Tomasello, P.C. – Greg Hammonds, Kristy Clabaugh, and John Thomas – recently hosted an information session with Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) on the topic of taxes.  Scary, right? Well, believe it or not, they made taxes seem like one of the most intriguing topics imaginable.  This is because they paired it with a much more exciting topic – our Georgia film incentive program.  

A small crowd gathered for refreshments and free tax information at the Georgia Public Broadcasting building in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00. Despite Atlanta’s usual traffic, many showed up, eager to learn about Georgia incentives and how their creative work in production can save some money this tax year.  The room was jam-packed with people taking notes and asking questions relevant to their tax situation.  

 Audit manager, John Thomas, took center stage most of the night sharing his expertise.  One of the most significant pointsAudience at Georgia Film Tax Credit forum with WIFTA and Whaley, Hammonds, Tomasello, P.C  that he made was that not every film made in Georgia is going to be big budget like “Fast and the Furious;” however, there are still those who can benefit from the Georgia film incentive.  He also mentioned that Georgia’s film incentive is one of the best film incentives in the nation right now because it has no caps.  This is a great opportunity for many film professionals because the film incentive is very relaxed about what can be included as a deduction for both above the line and below the line production expenses.  

Kristy added to the discussion by informing the audience about the types of deductions that can be included and also provided audience members with a handout of these deductions.  [If you weren’t able to get a copy of the production deductions, click here to contact Kristy for a copy].

The night continued with a question and answer session in which the audience was able to ask a variety of questions related to acquiring a movie certification letter, hiring 1099s for productions and ways to reach the $500,000 limit to qualify for the incentive.  

The meeting ended with breakout sessions in which audience members who wanted more focused assistance could meet with one of the CPAs to attain a little more advice and possibly arrange to work with their accounting firm.  

If you missed out on this year’s tax meeting and still want to get assistance, it’s not too late.  Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C CPA firm will be glad to assist you with your Georgia tax needs.  Click the logo below to obtain more information on how to get tax help for your production, large or small.

 

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Get Your Film Going With Indiegogo

 

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There is a new phenomenon that is sweeping the world of business and it is known as crowdfunding.  Although this is a new form of raising money in the world of business, this concept originated many years ago.  Crowdfunding, which is also known as micro financing, began in the 18th and 19th century as a way to assist Irish rural families who may not have been able to obtain funding through traditional means.  In recent years, it has become a way for artists, writers, entertainers or virtually anyone to obtain funds from peer groups instead of traditional financial institutions.

This week, I want to focus on how crowdfunding can be a good opportunity for film makers to raise the funds necessary to produce their film projects.  I have invited John Trigonis, Film and Creative Campaign Strategist at Indiegogo to provide us insight into their world of crowdfunding.

Thank you so much John for taking time out of your busy schedule to share this information with Reel Focus readers.  For those of us who are not familiar with Indiegogo, explain what it is and how crowdfunding relates to your company.

Indiegogo enables creators (filmmakers, artists, and entrepreneurs) to fund what they’re passionate about by giving them the tools needed to raise small amounts of money from large amounts of people, thus raising not only the funds you need for your film, but an audience with awareness around that film.

How does your company help those who want to raise money for film projects?

Indiegogo provides the necessary tools to help filmmakers excel at not only the art and science behind crowdfunding, but also on how to find and engage a targeted audience for their film. Tactics like secret perks and referral contests help to make Indiegogo campaigns stand out from the rest and fosters conversations between the backers and the campaigning filmmakers. Being a merit-based platform, we enable opportunities for filmmakers to be featured on the site (homepage, newsletter, and social media) so they can reach a wider audience of potential backers who may not have learned about the film campaign otherwise, if not for checking out Indiegogo for cool film campaigns.

Do you have to know something about investing in order to get involved in crowdfunding?

Since crowdfunding with Indiegogo is rewards-based at present, you don’t need to know anything about investing because it’s not an investment. It’s a contribution to make a film happen, and what you get in exchange for that contribution is a cool perk (a T-shirt, copy of the film when it’s released, or even associate or executive producer credit.)

What is the best advice that you can provide for filmmakers who want to raise funds for production using Indiegogo?

The first is to read my book or the Indiegogo Film Handbook, which dives into everythdownloading filmmakers need to know about running a stellar campaign. But if there were two pieces of advice I could give now, the first would be set a proper goal amount, one that you as a filmmaker are certain you can get at least 30% of from your family members and close friends. If you can get that amount within three days of the launch, then you stand a very good chance of hitting your goal long before your deadline, and possibly surpassing your initial crowdfunding goal to raise lots more funding. And lots more funding is always a good thing for filmmakers. The second piece of advice I would give is to get social, and start now. You should have some semblance of an audience for the film you want to crowdfund –– or at the very least an engaged following –– before you launch your Indiegogo campaign. You’ll ultimately build up even more of a following the more evangelists you have spreading the word ardently about your film across their social media accounts, which builds up credibility for you and the film you’re crowdfunding with Indiegogo for.

 


Indiepay on Providing Film Payroll Services in the Film and TV Industry

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Hollywood is big business and with big business comes big budgets and large amounts of people who need to be paid before, during and even well after a production is finished.  This is a very complicated process but luckily one agency understands just how to navigate this complicated process.  Indiepay has provided 10 years of commitment to the film industry, ensuring HR services are handled accurately and adequately.  This week, Reel Focus ventures into the world of payroll management for film by shining light on this very innovative accounting company.

What exactly is Indiepay and how does it relate to the film industry?

Indiepay is the fastest-growing provider of payroll, financial and tax credit services to the film and TV industry. For over a decade, we’ve helped production executives, line producers, and production accountants with payroll, accounting, and tax compliance solutions.

With Indiepay, film and TV executives get exactly what they need to run their production businesses better: the best service, flexible and efficient software solutions and complete transparency. We are highly consultative and when there is money to be saved, we help our clients understand their options for realizing those savings, and customize our solutions to meet their needs.

The market for entertainment payroll and financial services has grown to more than $500MM; we see great opportunities to expand into broader enterprise solutions for producers.

Indiepay is also a leading technology company. Our proprietary software Indieware was designed by an expert team of production accountants to meet the unique needs of film and television cost accounting. Indieware provides an intuitive, easy-to-use solution for production accounting teams that saves time and money.

Do you provide assistance to television and feature film patrons?  Is the process the same?

Indiepay serves a wide range of feature films and scripted and unscripted television productions. For productions with budgets over $2MM, our pricing model can provide significant savings versus our competitors. We are the perfect starting point for both film and TV producers looking for ways to capitalize on potential fringe savings in their budgets.

Tell us some of the big names that you have worked with in the film and entertainment industry.

Our television clients include Gurney Productions (Duck Dynasty), Crazy Legs Productions (Swamp Murders), Left/Right (Mob Wives), Eastern TV (Love & Hip Hop), Bobbcat Films (Mann & Wife) and Jax Media (Inside Amy Schumer). We also have a feature film portfolio that includes Carol, While We’re Young, Top Five, The Family Fang, Miles Ahead, Christine, Hot Summer Nights and more.

For a more complete list, check out our notable projects: http://indiepayroll.com/projects/

Indiepay is also a key sponsor of the National Association of Production Accountants (NAPA). NAPA is an Atlanta-based organization that educates and supports production accountants. Indiepay also supports local initiatives such as the Atlanta Film Festival, Georgia Production Partnership, and the GA Sourcebook.

I saw that you do have an Atlanta location. Tell us what services this local branch provides for clients.

At Indiepay we aim to be where our clients need us. The Georgia film industry is one of the largest in the US, we are proud to be here and to support productions here in every way we can. Our Georgia office is located in the popular Buckhead district. The Indiepay Atlanta team is phenomenal and provides productions with access to the full range of services we offer in our New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans offices, with the added benefit of local support. These services include:

 » Union and Non-Union Payroll

» Workers’ Compensation Insurance

» Unemployment Claims Management

» Production and Post-Production Accounting

» Tax Credit Management and Reporting

» ACA Compliance

» Benefits Packages

» Cutting-Edge Software

 

We’re committed to serving the business needs of the Georgia entertainment industry.