Monday, December 21, 2009

catching up

Since I've been traveling for a few days and finally settled into the little town of Swan River, here's what has happened with Travel Day.

I met Dane the Canadian producer in Winnipeg along with his partner Jeff and over a great Sechuan meal we discussed Travel Day and Dane's methods of financing. He has a unique way of bringing in funding which includes the tax credits that Manitoba has to offer as well as a TV sale and some other equity.

The way it works is like this; Manitoba has currently a tax credit (which will change shortly to compete more with Ontario and Quebec's systems) which is based on labor and can be as much as 65%. This means a crewmember earning $1000 a week can bring our company $650. As you can imagine this could help our financing to nearly 40% of the budget.

What Dane does is present his estimate of tax credits to a Canadian bank and they discount it and offer us a loan of maybe 3/4 of that total. Then Dane will have the items I need to convince my American investors and that includes:

  • An LOI (Letter of Intent) from Dane and his company to me, and indicates his commitment to make the movie.
  • An LOI from the Canadian bank that also indicates it's commitment.
  • An ROI (Return of Investment) directed at the investors that indicates how and when they will begin receiving revenue.
These are what we would refer to as "first in", in that this is the first real indication that the movie is being financed. The initial tax credits are still an estimate and the money will be paid to the production company after a full audit to ensure the amounts, usually within 60-90 days.

Now, since this is the holiday season nothing much will happen till it's over and since I'm out of LA I will wait until I get the letters before I tell the U.S. investors as they will want to see the forms.

Then I will spend 30-60 days to begin to collect the U.S. funding, which even at this point is not certain as investor interest is up and down in the recession mentality in the U.S.

Miles to go before I sleep.

I was also sad to hear that Rachel will be leaving her position at Eh Channel, due to financial problems of the broadcaster that has caused them to close several of their development offices, including hers.  I will miss her participation in Travel Day as she was important in the Canadian angle and Dane's participation.

But we had a great dinner and she has several great opportunities so I look forward to her future work.

Also had dinner with Nicole, whose blog is listed on the sidebar as a favorite. Nic's had a good year with her blog and her book on Internet Dating, which is a lot deeper than it's title indicates, a terrific read and recommended highly by me.

Nic has found a good Toronto agency that will begin contacting publishers in January and I expect it will sell very well.

So for now, I hang out at my friend Glenn's place to use the internet, go to Tim Horton's for coffee, cut down a tree in the "bush" as they call it, and prepare for Christmas with my 86-year old mom.

I will continue to post blogs now and then for the next week until I'm back to the normal Monday/Wed/Thurs schedule.

Happy holidays to all of you and hopes for a great 2010.


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