It’s happening! Your project in film, animation, or television is moving forward – you’ve got shooting locations, principal photography details lined up, cast set, crew in place… but wait… someone forgot to take care of the film financing though!
Canadian film financing is certainly does not have dissimilar challenges from any other film geography in the world – its all about a great or interesting script, a solid cast, and , oh yes , funding and being cost efficient .
The reality is that your film project (again, we are always talking also about t v and animation in the same breath) has to be run like a business – because that’s what it is. In fact the reality is that 99.9% of all production is in fact set up as SPV’s (special purpose vehicles) that reflect the financial success of just that one project.
So you project is funded just like any other company, with debt and equity , and has all the usual challenges around financing, payroll, accounting, meeting budgets, etc.
We always smile when we hear the phrase – ‘ I’m from the government and I am here to help’. But, guess what, in the case of the Canadian film, TV and televison industry you can make the case the generosity and clarity around the government tax credits for the industry are second to none, in the world, actually.
Your project owners, whoever they might be, want to know that you are fully financed. In Canada, using a broad brush example of 30 – 40% that money can come from our friend in the government, typically a combined federal and provincial formula, depending in which province you choose to shoot, post produce, etc.
When we talk to owners and producers of productions, either those having taken place, or in planning, it’s clear the road is a long hard one, it’s never easy! That’s why we encourage clients in Canadian film financing to monetize their tax credits and ensure they have the proper advice around structuring their budgets and what qualifies.
Many are surprised to hear that your productions can be financed on an accrual base. That is to say by working with film financing banks and private finance firms you can ‘ cash flow ‘ your project as you are in production. Again, the government is offering to help you with cash flow, and your film financing bank or private independent finance firm will cash flow those non repayable tax credits. It’s clearly a win win.
We’ve always felt that the tax credits in Canada for production services credits benefit independent producers, although we are assured major studios utilize them also. So as an owner or executive producer who is challenged with film financing you’re automatically 1/3 of the way there in finding your equity and debt backers, by virtue of tax credit monetization.
As a producer or owner of a production you want to ensure the project is financed properly and responsibly – talk to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian film tax credit consultant to ensure you’re cash flowing your project to your maximum benefit.