This morning Calgary International Film Festival hosted a great industry panel discussion about interim financing for film. I learned a lot, and had many of my instincts re-affirmed, about how important it is to have all documentation in order with all projects. Big or small! Even when you are working with family, or buddies funding your projects. Chain of title, copyrights, dissolution agreements, licensing agreements, actor and writer agreements, crew agreements, etc., all this documentation is so crucial when you start playing with the big dogs, so why not start getting this aspect into your workflow right from the beginning. Sure, documentation & paperwork is the least fun part of movie-making, but it is CRUCIAL. It is there to protect EVERYBODY. Once you have the “boring” stuff out of the way, and the stage is set, you can then play knowing that the set is a safe place to hone your craft and do your thing. I mean, this is an uber practical and un-fun way of thinking about movie-making itself, but protecting yourself and everyone around you is also super fun! And, once you so start playing with the big dogs, with the big money, these mounds of paperwork aren’t even an option – it is a required cost of business. So, what I took from the discussion is have a good lawyer and an accountant, and make friends with bankers. That is if you want to start playing on a higher level; I mean, if you are looking to get tax credits and make a good name for yourself.
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