It seemed like a short project and challenge at the time! However most independent film finance becomes somewhat of a journey, and that’s of course an understatement. But the Canadian film tax credit can help you play a huge role in pulling the financing for your project together.
Call it a challenge, call it, as some have, ‘ tricky’ or call it skill, but the monetary part of your film, tv or digital animation project becomes a huge part of the producer and owners direct efforts for successful completion of any project.
We are often amazed at how little it takes, in funding, to complete a professional project in any of our 3 entertainment genres (film, television, and digital animation). Yet even smaller budgets have huge financing challenges when you don’t have the financial backing of a major studio. Therefore your total costs of securing rights, paying actors, and actually producing the project often requires a long timeline.
Enter, at stage left, the Canadian tax credit. This is clearly the savior of many a production that is domiciled in Canada, often paying for 30- 40%, and more of a total production. We certainly not saying the rest of your financing becomes a ‘cake walk ‘, as the expression goes, but our clients routinely maintain that the additional equity, debt, and co production and distribution agreements are much easier to put in place when you utilize the Canadian tax credit.
Naturally the more film funding you can rise via the film tax credit in Canada, as well as debt you can arrange simply means that you are not diluting your ownership position and therefore positioning you well for any financial success on your project.
Its all about partners in business today, and film finance is no exception. By partnering financially, in the right manner, with either co production agreements or Canadian film tax incentives you are able to maintain proper ownership of your project, and that’s of course what it is all about.
Let’s circle back to the Canadian film tax credit. The credits have become increasingly more generous over the years, and apply to all Canadian provinces where you might choose to shoot, film or product your project – depending on your genre again. By properly budgeting your project in a realistic manner an experienced Canadian film financing consultant can assist you in determining the exact amount of dollar eligibility for your tax credit. The tax credit becomes a part of your financial statement filings for the specific legal entity you have created for your project.
You can then finance the credit, which is a non repayable grant/credit from the government. Naturally you can simply wait for the credit, the ‘ cheque is in the mail ‘ so the saying goes, but many of our clients choose to finance the credit as soon as they have it certified. Receiving this funding in advance often creates a huge and positive working capital injection that actually helps finance of course the cost of the film. The tax credit is in essence the collateral for the bridge loan you arrange for the film tax credit itself.
Financing and film funding utilizing your Canadian film tax credit can be accomplished in a manner of weeks, and its all about having a budget, a tax credit calculation, and a firm finance plan that identifies the other parts of your project as complete.