6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Working With Tax Incentives

Hosted by Viviana Zarragoitia

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Viviana Zarragoitia

Webinar hosted by: Viviana Zarragoitia

Vice President at Three Point Capital

Viviana Zarragoitia began her career in the entertainment industry working in production accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films. She then spent 5 years at Lionsgate, where she started working in the accounting department and segued into the finance division, specifically, profit participation. While working in profit participation, she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. She was then promoted to the group's audit division, where she managed film and television royalty audits of producers’ profit participation statements. In 2013, she joined Three Point Capital, a boutique firm that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. While at Three Point Capital, Viviana has been involved in the financing of over 70 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes, Rob Barnum, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Aaron Gilbert, Kimberly Steward, Nicolas Chartier and Kevin Frakes, among others. As Vice President, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in, as well as manage the company's operations in its satellite offices (Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana). Viviana has received over a dozen Executive Producers credits on titles she has financed. She graduated Cum Laude with a double-major in Business and English from Loyola Marymount University. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

As the Vice President of Three Point Capital, Viviana Zarragoitia is one of the most prolific financiers who routinely lend on tax incentives, both domestically and internationally, on independent films. She is aware of the rules and regulations of tax incentives in many jurisdictions, and have spoken on numerous panels about tax credits.

In this exclusive webinar, Viviana will be teaching what producers should be aware of when working with tax incentives. Although there are minor details that change within each state/country, there are some overall issues that come up in each jurisdiction that producers should be aware of when taking advantage of tax incentives for their film/TV project. These include, but are not limited to, things such as: corporate structure of the company applying for the tax incentive, making sure that costs in-state are qualified spend, working with tax incentive offices during pre-production, production and post-production, submitting final costs in a timely fashion, working with production accountants/CPAs on tracking qualified spend, working with lenders and filing tax returns to claim the incentives.

What You'll Learn

  • Introduction – Overview of what topics will be covered and in what order.
  • Pitfall #1 – Financial Factors (minimum spend requirements, financial structure of the project, size of tax incentive, available financing, state caps, Above-The-Line spend, etc.)
  • Pitfall #2 – Incentive Requirements (initial application, production materials, timing of application/approval in regards to starting principal photography, etc.)
  • Pitfall #3 – Corporate Structure (which entity is applying for the tax credit, which entity owns the copyright, suggest 2-entity structure, how is that entity going to be taxed, if there will be tax returns filed later on)
  • Pitfall #4 – Working with Film Offices (keeping them apprised of any changes during pre/prod/post, requirements of status reports, using them as a resource for local help, amending terms of initial approval, etc.)
  • Pitfall #5 – Working with Production Accountants/CPAs (tagging qualified spend properly, hiring CPAs early on in the process to oversee production accountants, having CPAs prepare final audits to submit to the states, using local CPAs, etc.)
  • Pitfall #6 – Working with Lenders (evaluating expected vs. actual tax credit amounts, requirements of lenders, timing of financing and how that impacts cash flow, etc.
  • Conclusion – Wrap-up, final comments, Q&A.

About Your Instructor

Viviana Zarragoitia began her career in the entertainment industry working in production accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films.

She then spent 5 years at Lionsgate, where she started working in the accounting department and segued into the finance division, specifically, profit participation. While working in profit participation, she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. She was then promoted to the group's audit division, where she managed film and television royalty audits of producers’ profit participation statements.

In 2013, she joined Three Point Capital, a boutique firm that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. While at Three Point Capital, Viviana has been involved in the financing of over 70 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes, Rob Barnum, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Aaron Gilbert, Kimberly Steward, Nicolas Chartier and Kevin Frakes, among others. As Vice President, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in, as well as manage the company's operations in its satellite offices (Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana). Viviana has received over a dozen Executive Producers credits on titles she has financed.

She graduated Cum Laude with a double-major in Business and English from Loyola Marymount University.

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

Find More Money For Your Production: Step by Step on How to Work with Tax Incentives

As the Vice President of Three Point Capital, Viviana Zarragoitia is one of the most prolific financiers who routinely lend on tax incentives, both domestically and internationally, on independent films. She is aware of the rules and regulations of tax incentives in many jurisdictions, and have spoken on numerous panels about tax credits. In this webinar she will cover working with transferable vs. non-transferable credits, give an overview of the states and countries that are most popular right now, the reasons why and the incentives that each of them offers. Viviana will also go through the general steps that are required to take advantage of tax incentives from beginning to end, as well as the requirements to qualify for tax incentives. She will highlight the importance of working with CPAs, the roles of production accountants and line producers, as well as how all departments in a production are affected. She will also use 2 states as case studies for how to go through the process of applying for and receiving a tax incentive. You will walk away gaining a deeper understanding of the details involved with tax credits; how to take advantage of them, how to monetize them and how to follow the guidelines to ensure they are in compliance with the rules. 

Tools to Financing a Film Between $5MM-$10MM - 4 Class Intensive with Handouts

Learn from top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements Over recent years, the independent producing model has shown that films budgeted between $5-$10 Million can not only make a considerable return on investment, but also serve as a launch pad for its creators and win critical acclaim. Take some examples: BRUISED was made for $10MM and sold to Netflix after premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival PIECES OF A WOMAN was made in this range and sold to Netflix after premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival GET OUT was made for $5MM, grossed over $250MM worldwide, won the Oscar for best Screenplay and launched Jordan Peele into the elite entertainment stratosphere MOONLIGHT was made for $5MM, grossed over $65MM worldwide and won the Oscar for Best Picture. SPLIT was made for $9MM and grossed over $278MM worldwide and continued to propel James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy into creative roles. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. And, with key star power, you have the ability to garner awards attention. It's these reasons why this budget range is attractive to many investors. Of course, there are many more variables at play, but first, you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing a film with this budget level so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects with budgets between $5MM-$10MM can be your calling card toward taking the next step in elevating your film career. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your grasp, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films in the $5-10MM range can find success. In this advanced level and intensive 4-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own film in the $5-10 million budget range. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. Session 3 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 4 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements

Stage 32 Finance Workshop: How to Find and Work with Tax Incentives – with a Walkthrough of an Online Application

Work closely with Viviana Zarragoitia, the VP of Three Point Capital, as she explains how exactly to take advantage of tax incentives for your own project With a walkthrough of an online application PLUS! a special guest - Philip Gilpin of the Duluth, MN incentive program   It’s important to understand how various tax incentives work, because a lot goes into deciding where to shoot and how to piece together projects based on these incentives. They’re a big part of funding projects. Understanding the criteria, how to properly fill out applications, working with local film funds and associations, knowing what is due when, and knowing when money flows back to you are just some of the pieces that go into putting together a film or series as it relates to tax incentives. If your head is spinning a little, don’t worry. With the right guidance, this will all make sense to you and you’ll be on your way to making sure you make the most out of the appropriate tax incentives for your next projects. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how to take advantage of domestic and international tax incentives. In this extended class and workshop, Viviana is going to walk you through types of incentives and how to access them, domestic and international tax credits, and how to monetize incentives. She’ll also discuss the effects of tax incentives in the entertainment industry and locally, as well as how to decide on a jurisdiction based on creative and financial elements. Plus! Viviana is going to give a live workshop and go over an online application for a tax credit in real time. Viviana is even bringing in a special guest- Philip Gilpin of the Duluth, MN Incentive Program--to take part in an exclusive Q&A to answer your questions on making tax incentives work for your own project.   Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes:   "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -Patricia C.   "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G.   "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R.    

Tools for Financing Your Independent Feature Film - 6-Class Intensive with Handouts

Mentoring in a private class setting with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements   One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day, no money means no project. For many creatives, the world of financing can seem overwhelming and impenetrable. Collection account management? Waterfalls? Gap financing? It can be hard to understand what these concepts even mean, much less how to navigate them successfully. But it's within your grasp to master these elements, find success for your project and allow financiers to recoup their investments. First you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing an independent film so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your power, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films find success at all budget levels. In this advanced level and intensive 6-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own independent film, whether it's microbudget ($500,000 or less), more than $10 million, or anything in between. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on microbudget films specifically and dig in to how films with these budgets can find success. Session 3 will center on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. In session 4, Viviana will bring in a notable film producer she has worked with in the past and discuss with them the principles of finding and approaching financiers and convincing them to contribute to your project. Session 5 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 6 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements     Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes:   "Viviana inspired me to learn more about the business side of filmmaking. I had an idea of how to finance a movie, but after our first class, I realized I had a lot to learn. I'm learning more to this day! I highly recommend her class to any film creative with little, to no understanding on how to finance an independent film. What she has to say is priceless!" -Steven K.   "As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!" -Patricia C.   "Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls." -Randy G.   "As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level." -Sean R.   "Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions." -Randy V.  

Tools to Financing a Film Between $1MM-$3MM - 4 Class Intensive with Handouts

Mentoring in a private class setting with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32! Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements Over recent years, the independent producing model has shown that films budgeted between $1-$3 Million have become a "sweet spot" for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing a film with this budget level so you can ultimately find success. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects with budgets between $1MM-$3MM can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your grasp, especially with the right guidance and education. Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films in the $1-3MM range can find success. In this advanced level and intensive 4-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own film in the $1-3 million budget range. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. Session 3 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 4 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts. Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including: Sample Budgets and Packages Sales Sheets Sales Agent Contracts Sample Collection Account Statement Example Distribution Agreements WHAT TO EXPECT **Viviana will be available on email during the 4 class sessions to answer any questions you have about your project.** This class is designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced students looking to learn the ins and outs of film financing at the $1-3MM level. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. This class will consist of four sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Viviana will be walking you through various elements of film financing, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session. ***Only 20 Spots Available.** Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process. To see the full budgeting class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

Film Financing Today: How to Finance a Film Between $5MM-$10MM

It's never been more achievable to produce a theatrically-released mid-budget film on your own if you have the right tools and access to the ideal finance, production, and distribution strategy. Learn how to achieve the best $5 to $10 million film for the best revenue and widest audience. Audiences are starved for great original content, but studios are making fewer and fewer original, mid-budget films. Do you dream of producing your own but find yourself overwhelmed by the idea of how to get the funds? Are you ready to start your own production company but worry about a lack of industry access? In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you'll have direct industry access through an expert who will show you the finance, production, and distribution options for your mid-budget film with a distinct strategy that fits your needs. The market has been deprived of these films, and it's on innovative producers like yourself to fill in the void and bring your unique perspective on storytelling to audiences. Providing her premier experience and insight in finance and producing is Jeanette Milio. She has worked on over 45 films and television programs for companies like Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, HBO, Showtime, and many more. Her projects have also starred Academy Award-winning performers, including Halle Berry, Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, and Mickey Rourke. She's also a member of the Producer's Guild of America, Women in Film, and the Cannes Film Festival Producer's Network and structured her own media fund in 2009 that financed theatrical features with a production volume of $60 million. Jeanette's providing her vast experience for your benefit and will answer any questions from those who attend the live webinar. You'll also have access to the recording for future viewings to ensure that you don't miss any information that can benefit your production. You'll also walk away with these exclusive handouts from Jeanette: Excel Finance Plan Template Sample CAMA (revenue/profit) agreement Sample story rights agreement (option) Sample talent offers for director and cast (pay-or-play)     "Jeanette has invaluable knowledge and made me feel like seeing my movie on the big screen was possible." - Phillip F.

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