I just came from an information meeting about the new television tax credit for animation, games and budgets over one million pounds which the UK will be introducing this April.
The consultations are still ongoing until February 6 but the major elements are in place and so producers are expecting there will only be very minor changes.
The tax credit will provide producers with 25% of qualifying expenditure up to 80% of the costs. In effect the tax credit will be about 20% of the UK spend – or the ‘used and consumed in the UK’ portion of the budget.
Producers at the meeting today were very excited about the possible investment and co-productions this new tax credit represents. Surprisingly, the UK has only nine co-production treaties with Australia, Canada, France, India, Israel, Jamaica, New Zealand, Occupied Palestinian Territories and South Africa.
In light of this exciting news, it’s interesting to note what to look for in a co-production partner.
The ideal co-production is just that – an ideal.
With more people involved, there’s bound to be challenges. However, with a bit of thought beforehand, there can at least be clarity and an understanding about what each partner brings to the table.
Sure the lawyers can draw up the paper later but you can make everyone’s job easier by taking some time in the front end.
Relationship is key
As in all parts of the production business, goodwill goes a long way. That might mean making a list of what you want in an ideal partner and conducting interviews with who is your best match – a little like dating.
As in any relationship, a clear understanding of how you are going to resolve conflicts, outside of the legal mechanisms you put in place, is a good idea to understand from the outset.
Research potential partners
With Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and any social media tool, it’s incredibly easy to get a good handle on people.
Do you like the products featured on their site or the tone of their website or has it not been updated for a couple of years? That can give you valuable information about your partner.
As always in our business, word of mouth is crucial. Who in your circle has worked with the people you’re considering? What was their experience? Of course, we always have to take this kind information with a grain of salt.
Clarify what each partner brings to the table
Make sure you’re clear about the assets you’re providing in the relationship. If it’s financing, state the investment expectations. If it’s the idea and the concept, ensure you are protected if the partnership sours. Or perhaps you’re bringing your fan base to the production. Be clear about the value of those thousands of dedicated followers. Or maybe you want distribution transparency if you’re dealing with a company that is international.
I’m currently in London, looking for opportunities. If you have a production that needs additional finance, get in touch.