John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh, Atlanta based CPAs specialize in providing services to the film & entertainment industries both abroad and in the US. Their firm, located in metro Atlanta, provides consulting, accounting, tax and audit services helping production companies navigate the reporting requirements of International and local film tax incentives. They assist clients in all stages of project implementation from investor relations, entity structuring, waterfall projections, budgeting, pre-production and development, production accounting to post-production. John and Kristy excel in assisting clients with planning to ensure they get the most benefit from the film tax credits available. Their clients include those who produce feature films to acclaimed unscripted TV series and all in between. Find out more about John & Kristy's services at: Elementcpas.com Kristy Clabaugh is a Certified Public Accountant and has 15+ years’ experience in providing accounting, tax and advisory services to businesses and high net worth individuals. Kristy is motivated by working with clients to minimize taxes at both the state and federal levels. Kristy also has developed expertise in advising start-ups on structuring, budgeting and implementing and meeting strategic goals. Kristy serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. She is also a member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. John Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Accountancy as well as a Master of Businesses administration, both earned at Mercer University. John has long served closely held corporations and high net worth individuals by providing accounting, tax, advisory and consulting services. John is driven by helping his clients implement strategies that cultivate growth in their businesses as well as building value by opening doors for their further development. John is a member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Full Bio »
As creators we can get swept away in the excitement of having our film or television project greenlit. Imagining "lights, camera, action", the collaborative process and the excitement of having a successful and profitable project is the reason we pursue a life in film and TV. But, before you step on set and get rolling, you'll need remember that this is, in fact, a business. It's a business with a great deal of money at stake for investors who want to make sure their money is protected. In order to do this, you'll need to understand how to set up your project as an entity and the tax implications involved for you and your investors.
It may be the least sexy, but certainly the most crucial component to putting together a film - the accounting process. Someone (or maybe even yourself) has taken a chance on investing in your dream, and that means that investment should be treated with care. Taking the important step of understanding what entity type you should set up and the tax implications that go along with it, will help you avoid major headaches down the road and give you the peace of mind that will allow you to concentrate on making your project the best it can be. Having your project setup correctly from the get go will also help you avoid costly mistakes with investor distributions. And, let's face it, you hope to show that you know the ins and outs and that you can deliver a successful project so your investors will stay with you and invest in your next film or TV project.
John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh are Atlanta based CPAs that specialize in providing services to the film & entertainment industries both abroad and in the US. Kristy also serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. Together they have worked on hundreds of film and television projects assisting clients in all stages of project implementation from investor relations, entity structuring, waterfall projections, budgeting, pre-production and development, production accounting to post-production.
John and Kristy will teach you the differences between an LLC, Corporation, S-Corporation and Foreign Entity and the common strategies that go along with each. You'll understand the tax effects of your selection and how dividends vs. distributions will work. You'll also learn how to work with tax incentives and financing. And, most importantly, you'll understand how to talk with your investors and what you'll need with K1s, Section 181, money flow, loan-outs and more. They will teach you everything you need to know to set up your entity correctly, protect yourself legally, give your investors the comfort and security that they're money is protected, and that you're in the best position to see a return.
"This is the holy grail! John and Kristy are so knowledgeable about so many things with the business side of the film!" They made this part of the process actually fun!"
- Wade N.
"All I can say is wow. I have seen the light and now feel beyond comfortable putting together my next film."
- Jennifer L.
* Kristy and John make you aware of the major considerations you should give to these topics so that you can avoid many of the mistakes that can cause productions so much heartburn. Obviously, this webinar does not replace the talents of an appropriate accounting and legal team. Please consult your own advisors to ensure you are following the rules and navigating the complex world of tax and regulations which govern the industry. We do, however, hope that this will help you avoid many common mistakes that film and television productions make!
John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
Throughout every phase of making a film or series, it’s vital to have a vision, but it’s paramount to make sure your books are in order make sure that you are running your project as a business and making money back for your investors. Losing either of these aspects will spell disaster for your project. Vision likely comes more easily to creatives—it’s why you set out on this venture in the first place—but if it’s not accompanied by strong financial records and a wherewithal of what to do, both to spend money and to earn it, you’re going to find yourself in a heap of trouble that no amount of vision can get you out of. In the previous webinar in this series, Introduction to Film & Television Accounting, we discussed the things you need to know in order to responsibly get your project off the ground, including navigating tax incentives, finding and approaching investors, and working with loan-out companies. However your dealings with accounting don’t end here; they continue well through production. You might have wrapped your film, but there are still some serious i’s to dot and t’s to cross. How do you report your earnings and your spending? How do you handle payroll in accordance with the different guilds and unions? How do you prepare your taxes and how do you make sure you actually get those credits and incentives you’re owed? There’s no time to sit on your laurels. It’s more vital now than ever to ensure that your accounting is, well, accounted for. John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh are Atlanta-based CPAs that specialize in providing services to the film & entertainment industries both abroad and in the US. Kristy also serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. Together they have worked on hundreds of film and television projects assisting clients in all stages of project implementation from investor relations, entity structuring, waterfall projections, budgeting, pre-production and development, production accounting to post-production. John and Kristy will continue on from their first accounting webinar to share with you more advanced but equally vital aspects of handling the accounting on your film project. They’ll go over financial reporting requirements for any project, specifically your balance sheet and your income statement and teach you how to reflect your project as an asset, how to report investor obligations, both as loan payable and equity interest, and when and where the revenue hits. Next they’ll delve into the importance of quality production accounting and go over the guild and union rules you need to know while doing payroll. John and Kristy will walk you through cost reports and how they compare with the budget. Then they’ll teach you the nuts and bolts of tax preparation, which includes both federal filings like elections and K1s, and state filings, like resident/non-resident filings tax incentive and credit declarations. Praise for John and Kristy’s Webinar Both presenters really knew their stuff and presented it with clarity. -Clint A. This advanced class was so helpful. John and Kristy got into the nuts and bolts of accounting in a serious way and gave me a lot more confidence in being able to handle accounting on my own project” -Cassie G. Really thorough but also easy to understand -Gerry T. John and Kristy are the best! -Rodolfo B.
Stage 32 is proud to continue our partnership with Raindance Film Festival for the 5th year in a row, and while we may not be able to all come together in London to celebrate so many amazing and talented filmmakers, we're thrilled to partner with Raindance to highlight global talent virtually and from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Even in its virtual format, Raindance continues to showcase and champion the best new films from all over the world, and included in this year's incredible program is a collection of remarkable short films. Stage 32 is bringing together some of the world's top up and coming short filmmakers whose most recent films are playing Raindance. Included in this conversation will be Arjan Brentjes, whose animated short film SAD BEAUTY is playing at Raindance, along with almost 30 other film festivals this year alone. Also featured will be London-based director and cinematographer Molly Manning Walker whose debut short film GOOD THANKS, YOU? will be playing this year's Raindance in addition BFI London, Bilbao, and Palm Springs Film Festivals. Rounding out the panel, is Will Niava, an Ivorian-Ghanaian film director based in Montréal, Canada, whose film ZOO won Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and is currently selected at over 40 international film festivals. In this FREE Stage 32 webinar, Arjan, Molly, and Will will take part in an exclusive Q&A moderated by our very own Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney to discuss the state of short filmmaking today and how they put together their most recent projects.
There is a myth in the television industry right now: more channels mean it’s easier to sell a show, right? WRONG! The diversification of television and the dominance of streaming services over linear cable have made it HARDER to sell unscripted programming. Why? Because there are too many places for the audience to go. In order to get a hit, networks have to become specialized and truly define their brand in order to stand out. You can no longer just pitch IDEAS to networks. IDEAS are not STORIES and they’re not SERIES. There is a lot more work (research, interviews, and writing) that has to go into a pitch before you can take it to a network. Bomb a pitch and a network might not let you in the door again. Angela Molloy is one of the original unscripted executives having been in the game since 2001, when it was just getting started. She’s also one of the only executives who has been a network buyer, a production company development executive (seller), and an Executive Producer in the field. In this webinar you’ll learn get an overall sense of the reality landscape and concrete essential tips for how to develop and pitch into it. Sign up today to make sure you don’t get caught with your pants down during a pitch!
The barrier of entry into filmmaking has never been lower, and the opportunities for distribution have never been higher. While the channels of distribution have never been more diverse and accessible, the education for filmmakers of how to best utilize those channels is often hard to navigate. Is theatrical or VOD your best bet? Will the film festival circuit help you? What can a distributor do for you? And how much money are indie films even making these days? With so many different opportunities and new platforms arising constantly, how do you choose the best path for YOUR film? Content still over-saturates the marketplace and standing out has become particularly difficult. Independent films that find success in this landscape do so by being creative, by approaching distribution in unconventional ways, and by uncovering platforms and strategies that others might not have considered. Creative distribution takes a good amount of work and forethought, but it’s also fully possible for any filmmaker who’s up for thinking outside the box. First, it will be important to have a better understanding of the free and paid opportunities to market your film, connect with distributors, build audiences, and team up with collaborators who will help amplify your efforts. Let us give you the tools you need. Liz Manashil was the manager of Sundance Institute's groundbreaking Creative Distribution Initiative and worked in impact distribution for many content creators during her time at Picture Motion. Prior to Sundance and Picture Motion, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the Hulu series JUST SEEN IT, which she also helped produce and direct. As a filmmaker, her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER, was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere. Her second feature, SPEED OF LIFE, was released by Giant Pictures, can be seen on Showtime. Liz spends her time advocating for filmmakers to have healthy and productive relationships with their distribution partners. Liz will walk you the options you have to creatively distribute your film and strategies you can implement to build your audience and optimize your film’s release. She’ll begin by outlining the state of distribution today, how it’s changed in recent years, what success looks like now and what’s realistic or normal for independent films. She’ll then go into what ‘creative distribution’ means and how it can benefit you as an artist. She’ll teach you about film aggregators as an option for distribution, including how to find good ones, and red flags to watch out for. She’ll then discuss tips for finding traditional distributors. She’ll go over different types of distribution rights you might not have considered before and explain how to determine which distributors could be the right fit for your film. Liz will also talk about how to navigate distribution contracts and the main clauses and sections to look for. She’ll then teach you ways to market your distributed film to build your audience, with both free and paid strategies. Next, she’ll delve into impact distribution as an option for releasing your film. She’ll go over what it is and how to use this method to run a successful screening tour. Finally Liz will talk about how you should be adjusting your distribution goals post-COVID and use this time to your advantage. With the lessons and strategies Liz lays out, you’ll be armed with an large array of ideas and practices you can apply to your own independent film to give it a release and audience you might not have thought possible Distribution is constantly changing. Whether you are a first time filmmaker or a seasoned veteran, the landscape and the market are both constantly in flux. I'm so excited for you to join me in our session about alternative forms of distribution. I'll give you a bird's eye view of how to get your film out, how to build audiences, and how to make a difference with your movies. -Liz Manashil
Stage 32 is committed to bringing you entertainment, education, and community from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our Script Services Coordinator, Nick Assunto, has procured an amazing slate of talented and funny actors and Stage 32 members to read his pilot The Conspiracists, a half-hour sci-fi comedy. During this exciting virtual event, you will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of a professional television table read. Watch as the actors make the script come alive for the very first time. This is a rare opportunity to peel back the curtain go behind the scenes to watch and see a script workshopped directly with professionals. Our fearless leader, Richard "RB" Botto kicked off a night of hanging out virtually. You'll get a chance to laugh along courtesy of some Stage 32 members who are incredible actors from your favorite tv shows and improv theaters including The Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and The Pack. Cindy Chu - playing Helena Francois (New Girl, Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver) Angela Cristantello - playing Beatrix Baker (Agent Carter, 9-1-1) Nican Robinson - playing Greg Shepherd (13 Reasons Why, Thunder Road) Carolyn Deskin - playing Mee Moo and Super Professional Sue (Water's Edge, Sorrow) Rama Vallury - playing Turkey Hemingway, Sweaty Phil, Nervous Intern, Boss Man and Bus Drive (Happy Ending, AOK) Ramona Apthorp - playing Pickle Frost PLUS! after the table read we did a Q&A with the actors, writer Nick Assunto, our fearless leader Richard Botto and our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch moderated by our Managing Director Amanda Toney so you will get the perspective from everyone involved about the table read! What a great way to have fun and learn! Mark your Calendar! LIVE Online Table Read of the Comedy Pilot "The Conspiracists" Friday, March 27th at 7 pm PST Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social. Check out the social media buttons at the top to share on Instagram @stage32online , Twitter @stage32 , Facebook @stage32 , and LinkedIn @stage-32 .
While our industry is changing rapidly in response to world events, so is the conversation around STORY. As you know, regardless of the setting or the protagonists, the attraction of the most highly regarded films lies in a commonality - how people think, empathize, and react. How will story evolve and adapt to the world as it changes? And how will you write these stories in an authentic way with themes that attract and are relatable to a global audience? This webinar will look at STORY as a cultural phenomenon and ourselves as narrative designers with a goal toward making us all better writers and filmmakers. When we look at the research and analysis of our industry, there is great disparagement in representation, gender parity, and cultural, ethnic and international voices. In other words, we’re telling an inauthentic story about our world. How do we change this? Should we care? The trends in what is being bought, distributed produced and screened by film festivals around the world, the streaming platforms and the international marketplace says YES! You can take a more active role in creating responsible and compelling content for the global audience. Heather Rae is a film and television producer and narrative change activist. As a former programmer for Sundance, she has alos produced such films as Academy Award nominated FROZEN RIVER Netflix Originals TALLULAH with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She was named as one of Variety's top producers to watch and for six years ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in post-production on BULL starring MUDBOUND'S Rob Morgan. She has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including recent film PAULETTE, executive produced by Davis Guggenheim, that tells the story of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American to win a gubernatorial primary in the country’s history. As a speaker and social critic, Rae is working to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas for storytelling in film. Heather will begin by making a very compelling argument the global audience for film, TV and new media is not only growing, but is hungry for more content. She will dive into the disparagement in gender, cultural, ethnic and international representation and how we can create content that levels the playing field. Heather will then dive into a conversation centered around story and narrative design. Are we presenting a singular, authentic voice, or are we simply contributing to the collective narrative impact culture? The difference is extremely important and will help you recognize how to tell your story and not have it influenced by pre-existing material. From here, it's time to discuss how to create responsible and compelling stories for a global audience - so important in today's marketplace where regional buying has been replaced by regional stories for a worldwide audience. And finally, Heather will discuss how to challenge ourselves to make sure that we are finding the true story during the development process. For those who are looking to tell stories of the under-represented or people and worlds unseen, misunderstood or marginalized, Heather will show you how to make those stories universal and attractive to a global audience. Praise for Heather's Stage 32 Webinar "Heather is amazing. Exactly what I needed!" -Sakura R. "Heather is so genuine. It’s exhilarating to know there are people in Hollywood who think and talk about ending neo-colonialism and white privilege in such an honest, loving-of-all, brave, humane way." -Sarah B. "Heather was engaging, relevant, and motivating concerning the topic." -Valerie O. "I love how much Stage 32 thinks outside the box with webinars and opportunities -- Heather is a fine example of that. She is refreshingly different in her approach, her experience and her advice. She is a kindred spirit, and one with whom I would love to connect. Thank you!" -Anna E.