9.16.2011

MTV’s 'Jersey Shore' costs taxpayers $420K

I'm no fan of Jersey Shore but this is a silly headline because it is misleading... 
Why?


The tax credit that is "costing" New Jersey $420K was pre-approved by the New Jersey Motion Picture and TV Commission and is based on a percentage of money that was SPENT in New Jersey to pay for equipment, lodging, food, transportation, vendors, etc. IN New Jersey during the production.


New Jersey provides 20% transferable credit on qualified production expenses (however, the tax credit is currently suspended), so if the total refund was only $420,000, that means MTV spent $2.1 Million dollars in New Jersey (20% of 2.1 million = 420 000). $2.1M that went to the New Jersey's government, taxpayers and businesses, mainly. 


Seems like the headline could easily be rewritten to read "Jersey Shore brings $2.1 Million... and Jobs, too!"  But that doesn't stoke the flames as much.

9.15.2011

Another Reason Why You Can't Count on Hollywood Accounting...


How Hollywood Accounting Can Make a $450 Million Movie 'Unprofitable'


Now that you read the short article above... here's a thought...

Studios are just using a convenient and legal way to avoid paying (net) profit participants and residual earners by putting them at the bottom of the list.  If they wanted to they could easily create a "Participation Fee" and a "Residual Fee" (could be 1%-5%) for the profit participants and the residual earners, respectively, that they lop on to the "Defined Gross" section at the top of the accounting sheet like they do with their "Distribution Fee" to make sure the participants and residual earners get something.
I am sure an accountant can figure out how to do that.

The problem is, is that the Hollywood studios don't care to do that and prefer to keep their system of maintaining four accounting books:
One for the government (to show that a studio did not make alot of money)
One for the shareholders (to show that a studio is profitable)
One for the profit participants (to show that a movie a studio made/released did not make money)
One for the studio (which we won't see... but something tells me it shows profit)

9.03.2011

The Legalities: Things to Consider When Pitching a TV Show

Television, Film & Music Law Blog published a great and concise article on some issues related to pitching a TV show.
We routinely have potential clients contact us about handling the legal aspects of a proposed television show. Most of the time, this sort of inquiry involves one of two categories: (a) a reality series or (b) a minor celebrity-sponsored advice show.
These are called “strip shows” (not as interesting as it sounds). A strip show is a television series which involves minimal set design; name actors; and other high cost production aspects. This leads to the most important aspect of pitching such a television series: money. It is critical to make the production cost effective and, if at all possible. bring money to the table.
I cannot emphasize enough how it increases the chance of a series being picked up if the one pitching it has some level of financing. Otherwise, it is just another (hopefully) compelling idea that needs money to be put on the air. Great premises – especially in the reality television arena – are plentiful. People with financing behind them are not.
Another important aspect is to shoot a few episodes so that they can be displayed at syndicated television trade shows. The idea is to set up the pitch meetings before the trade shows, so that one is not attending the show as simply another producer pitching material. It is better to have made contact beforehand and set up an appointment to show one’s wares in private to a potential syndicator.
It is important to keep in mind that shooting the proposed episodes should always be done after all parties sign agreements waiving potential intellectual property ownership rights in the series. This is one of those steps that is frequently skipped because the series appears to have no intrinsic value at the outset. But that is exactly the point: one is trying to build and protect that value. Complete ownership of the rights is critical to doing so.
FYI: The information you obtain in this article or links are not, nor are they intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Power Play: Netflix Setback Not Really A Setback

New York magazine's Josef Adalian ruminates on Starz recent rejection of Netflix and ties it with Netflix's mishandling of their price increase as part of a larger concern the movie industry is having with streaming content.  
...It's not that Netflix or Starz don't want you to be able to watch video through your Internet connection. Indeed, Netflix's business model is now almost entirely built around streaming video, with DVD mailings increasingly an afterthought. What both companies — and plenty of studios and networks — have a problem with is the idea that Joe Consumer should be able to access their content at rates dramatically lower than what you used to pay back in the dark ages of, say, 2005 — you know, when you subscribed to a couple of premium movie channels, bought full seasons of TV shows at Best Buy, and rented a new release at Blockbuster every other Friday night. While you might like the idea of paying less than $10 bucks a month for an all-you-can-watch video diet, Hollywood saw what happened when the music business lost control of its content. It does not want to go down the same road.
Look at the statement Starz issued yesterday when it pulled out of Netflix: It said it was acting to "protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content." In other words, Starz suits didn't think the money Netflix was offering to renew its deal (perhaps as much as $300 million, per the Los Angeles Times) was enough to offset the potential subscriber loss from cable customers who wised up and realized it made no sense to keep paying up to $15 per month for Starz on cable when they could get virtually the same content, and lots more, via an $8 Netflix Instant subscription. HBO, the dominant pay cable channel, clearly thinks this way. It's never been on Netflix and instead has been sinking serious cash into hyping its HBO Go service, which lets anyone with an HBO subscription stream virtually anything that's ever been on the channel.
Still, Netflix will probably not only survive (the price increase is still cheaper than cable and movie tickets) but will be forced to expand into something larger - producing and acquiring rights to original content
...Netflix boss Reed Hastings doesn't seem concerned. He quickly issued a counter-statement saying hardly anyone was watching Starz content on Netflix (just 8 percent of all streams) and that he couldn't wait to reinvest the money Netflix won't be giving to Starz on new content, à la Netflix's upcoming original Kevin Spacey series House of Cards. We talked to a top talent agent who says showrunners are salivating at the prospect of having Netflix step up to finance pet projects, and predicted Cards would be just the first of many originals funded by the company.
Atul Bagga of ThinkEquity, told [NYmag.com], "Studios are starting to put their foot down. They weren't paying attention to streaming at all, but now they see an opportunity to monetize. And they're going to take it." And you, in turn, are going to have to pay. Hollywood greed? Yes, though considering how much money they used to dependably get from DVD sales and rental chains that they're no longer getting, they're just trying to crawl their way back to preexisting base levels of greed. But it's also clear the movie and TV businesses are trying to learn from the music industry's many, many mistakes.
Pretty much everyone is watching as consumers; hoping that our streaming prices don't go too far up from the sweet affordable spot it's been until now.  But many of us are also watching as filmmakers; hoping that, at the least, the distribution deals weakened by the shrinking DVD market gets a boost from the still uncharted territories of the streaming video market. 

9.02.2011

NYC Focus: Production Guides and Resources

Pulled this off the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Television & Theatre website (always worth visiting):


The following are guides that have come to the attention of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting and may not be representative of every publication on this subject. These guides are not endorsed or published by the City of New York (or by me - DaJi).


Film and Television
Phone: (888) 332-6700
visit website


IFP Online Database
Phone: (212) 465-8200; Fax: (212) 465-8525
visit website


Kemps (kftv.com) Film Television & Commercials Directory
Phone: USA (614) 419-3695 or UK (44) 1342 335666 / UK (44) 7881 918688
visit website


Motion Picture, Television and Theatre Directory
Phone: (212) 245-0969; Fax: (212) 245-0974; info@mpe.net
visit website


New York Feature Film & Video Guide
Phone: (800) 572-9190 or (732) 572-9193; Fax (732) 572-9194; info@nyfilmguide.com
visit website


New York Get it Guide
Phone: (917) 294-0055; NewYorkGig@aol.com


New York Production Guide
Phone: (212) 243-0404; Fax: (212) 243-9779
visit website


NY411
Phone: (646) 746-6891 or (646) 746-6526; Fax: (646) 746-6894
MOFTB has partnered with 411 Publishing to secure a discount for NYC productions. By picking up a coupon at our offices, you will receive a $20 discount on the NY 411 Production Guide.
visit website


The Producer's Masterguide
Phone: (212) 777-4002; Fax: (212) 777-4101
visit website


trevanna.com
Phone: (212) 541-7678; Fax: (212) 397-4165; info@trevanna.com
visit website

Power Play: Starz Picks On Netflix

Netflx CEO Reed Hastings
From TPM:
Starz Entertainment's CEO Chris Albrecht issued a statement saying that Starz has walked out of negotiations with Netflix.
"Starz Entertainment has ended contract renewal negotiations with Netflix. When the agreement expires on February 28, 2012, Starz will cease to distribute its content on the Netflix streaming platform," Albrecht said in a Thursday statement.
Starz, the premium movie cable channel, owns the online rights to movies from two of the biggest Hollywood studios: Disney and Sony.
Michael Pachter, a research analyst at Wedbush Securities, told TPM that he suspects Albrecht is bluffing.

"I think that the truth is Starz is negotiating. All fours sides -- Starz, Netflix, Disney, Sony -- need a deal to happen and all four are counting on a deal to happen," he said. "Here's why: Starz needs money. Disney and Sony want money. And Netflix is willing to pay a lot more."

He added:

"My guess is that Netflix pays a lot more, not the $350 million Starz was asking but closer to the $200 million a-year deal signed with Epix, and, as in that deal, agrees to alter the content in some way that Starz wants, maybe a 90-day delay window. I don't know if that's exactly what they're going to do, but something like that." "By making this announcement on the same day that Netflix's price increases goes into effect, Starz is intending to publicly embarrass Netflix. They have until February 28. Let's say that Starz keeps this up and talks to the press, saying 'We have other alternatives. There are competing services coming up. We're signing up with them and we hope every one of our customers is coming with us.'"
"Now it's on Netflix to make a deal happen quickly."

So what's Netflix going to do?

"[Netflix CEO] Reed Hastings is as smart as they came. He's not just going to roll over and let Starz charge them the full $350 million," Pachter said. "He can't afford to let this set a bad precedent. He's got a hundred other deals to make with content companies. He's going to need to tread very carefully. But I think he'll pull it off."

Unlike the business environment in 2008, when Netflix first struck its deal with Starz, many other large companies like Amazon.com, Apple and even Walmart want to get into the hugely popular business of streaming movies online on-demand.


Labels

11th Circuit (1) 1st Amendment (2) 2015 (2) 2016 (20) 2017 (2) 2nd Circuit (8) 4th Circuit (1) 501(c)(3) (2) 7th Circuit (1) 9th Circuit (2) A-rod (1) accident (1) accounting (11) ACLU (1) acting (5) actor (2) advertising (3) advice (59) Aereo (1) age discrimination (1) agent (6) album release (3) alert (1) AlleyWatch (1) An Actor Inquires (3) analysis (6) Ancillary territories (3) angel pad (1) angels (1) anti-discrimination (1) AP (1) Apple (1) application (1) apps (2) architecture (1) art (5) art fair (1) art law (4) artist (3) asset (2) AT&T (1) athlete (1) athletes (4) Athletic Commission (1) audience metrics (1) avatar (1) bankruptcy (1) baseball (1) basketball (4) Beastie Boys (1) blog (17) Bob Marley (1) bonds (1) bone-head move (6) box office (2) boxing (1) branding (6) breach of fiduciary duty (1) brief bits (1) broadcast radio (2) broadcast TV (6) broker (1) budget (1) business (66) Business Insider (2) business manager (2) C&C Music Factory (1) CA (5) cable television (3) calendar (1) California (2) California law (5) campaign (2) cannabis (1) cases (10) casting (1) celebrities (6) Celebrity Endorsements (1) Center for Art Law (1) CFP (1) charts (1) China (1) China Law Blog (1) Chobani (1) Chubb Rock (1) class action (4) Coca Cola (1) Comcast (1) comedy (8) comic books (2) Commerce (1) Common Law Claims (1) company (14) compliance (1) contract (33) contracts (3) copyright (51) corporations (9) Creative Commons (2) crowdfunding (5) crowdsourcing (1) Cuba (2) cybersecurity (1) damages (1) Darth Vader (1) David Bowie (1) deals (11) Debmar model (1) defamation (4) demonstrations (1) development (6) DGA (2) digital (3) director (1) directors (10) DirecTV (1) disaster (2) discrimination (1) Disney (1) distribution (15) diversity (1) Division I (1) djimlaw.com (3) DMCA (3) DNA (1) DOJ (1) DOL (1) Dominican Republic (1) donor (1) Dov Seidman (1) DPRA (1) drone (1) Drumpf (1) DTSA (1) Duke Ellington (1) DVD (4) EA (1) economic espionage (1) economics (3) EEOC (2) EFF (2) EMI (1) Empire (1) employees (13) employer (13) entertainment industry (10) entrepreneur (9) ESL (1) esports (2) EST (1) ethics (3) events (1) Exclusive Use (1) executives (5) exhibitors (3) exploitation window (2) FAA (1) facebook (4) Fair Labor Standards Act (2) fair use (6) family & friends (1) fantasy sports (2) fashion (5) FBI (1) FCC (3) feature (4) FIFA (1) film (30) filmmaker (9) filmmaking (22) finance (6) finder (1) First Amendment (1) first-look deal (1) FL (2) FLSA (1) football (2) Forbes (2) forms (2) formula (3) foundation (1) FOX (2) FOX News (1) franchise (1) Free Speech (3) free trade agreements (1) funding (7) fundraising (3) gain (1) gambling (1) genetic larceny (1) Ghostface Killah (1) Google (3) Gordon Rees (1) government (28) grants (3) graphic novels (1) gross (3) guides (1) H-1B visa (1) HBR (1) hip hop (3) HOLA (3) Hollywood (9) Huffington Post (1) Hullabaloo (1) IATSE (1) IMDB (1) immigration (1) Inc magazine (1) incentives (5) Indiegogo (1) Indiewire (2) indigenous people (1) infographic (1) Information is Beautiful (3) infringement (20) Instagram (1) insurance (1) intellectual property (39) Intellirights (1) intent to use (1) International (7) internet (2) investment (10) investors (1) IP Watchdog (1) IPO (1) IPRHFF (1) Iron Man (1) IRS (10) ItsArtLaw blog (1) iTunes (1) jdsupra (5) Jersey Shore (1) John Cones (1) journalism (1) jumpstart foundry (1) Justice Dept. (2) Kickstarter (3) Kristin Thompson (1) LA Times (1) labor (10) Lanham Act (3) Las Vegas (1) latino (3) launch (1) law (8) Law 360 (1) Law360 (1) lawsuit (21) lawyer (3) lawyers (16) legal (2) legislation (8) liability (6) libel (2) licensing (6) Likelihood of Confusion (1) litigation (42) LLC (3) madrid protocol (1) maker (1) management (2) manager (3) marketing (8) Marvel (1) media (8) mediation (1) merchandising (2) merger & acquisition (1) MLB (2) MMA (1) mobile devices (4) money (5) moral rights (1) MPAA (1) Mr. Jaar (1) MTV (1) Murdoch (1) music (25) music publishers (1) musician (6) musicians (12) NAB (1) NALIP-NY (2) Name and Likeness (1) NBA (1) NC (1) NCAA (3) negotiation (10) Netflix (3) network (4) New Line Cinema (1) New Media (2) New York (6) New York law (9) news (6) newspaper (1) NFL (3) Nikki Finke (1) NJ (1) NJ Motion Picture and TV Commission (1) NLRA (1) NLRB (1) no budget (3) non-compete (2) Nonprofit Risk Management Center (1) nonprofits (15) NY (8) NY Court of Appeals (1) NY Mag (1) NY Press (1) NY Production Alliance (1) NY Times (4) NY Yankees (1) NYC Focus (1) NYC Mayor's Office (1) NYMag (3) O visa (1) Olympics (1) online rights (2) open-source (1) OSHA (1) P visa (1) partnership (2) patent (7) patents (3) PEDs (1) photography (5) PIPA (1) piracy (2) pitching (4) plan (1) policy (3) politics (3) Power Play (2) pre-1972 (5) privacy (5) producer (2) producers (20) producing (1) production company (12) production journal (1) production resources (2) production tips (1) profit (11) progress (1) projects (8) Promaxbda (1) promotion (5) PTAB (1) public domain (3) publicity (9) publishing (4) radio (2) Rakim (1) record labels (3) recording artist (1) registration (2) regulation (2) rent (1) Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (1) residuals (1) revenues (5) Richard Prince (1) Richard Pryor (1) royalties (1) ruling (3) safety (1) SAG-AFTRA (3) sales (4) satellite (2) SBA (1) SBA loan (2) scandal (2) science (1) SCOTUS (5) Script Reader Pro (1) SDNY (3) SEC (6) securitisation (1) seed capital (2) seed money (1) settlement (1) Sirius (6) small business (15) soccer (2) social media (5) software (3) Sony (3) SOPA (1) SoundCloud (1) Spiderman (1) sports (24) sports agent (3) Sports Agent Blog (1) sports law (2) Star Wars (1) startup (13) Starz (1) statistics (1) stock (1) strategy (28) streaming (10) student-athlete (1) studios (7) Sub Pop (1) successul film (5) summary judgment (2) Supreme Court (11) Supreme Court of NY (1) susan sarandon (1) Tax credit (6) tax foundation (1) tax inversion (1) taxes (10) technology (16) ted hope (2) television (11) The Art Law Report (1) The Atlantic (1) The Baffler (1) The Business of Sports (1) The Guardian (1) The Upshot (1) Theater (1) theatre (3) theatrical exhibition (4) theatrical window (2) THR (9) Time Warner (2) TPM (1) TPP (1) trade secret (11) trademark (31) transmedia (1) Triple Crown (1) Trump (1) TTAB (2) TV (3) Twitter (1) UFC (1) unions (3) US International Trade Commission (1) USPTO (7) Variety (2) VC (2) vendor (2) venture capital (1) video (1) video game (2) Vimeo (1) visualizations (1) VOD (2) Vox (1) Walmart (1) Warner Bros. (2) Washington Post (1) Wattpad (1) web series (2) webcast (1) webinar (1) website (5) WGA (1) What Every Producer Should Know (8) wikipedia (1) WME (1) work for hire (1) workshop (1) write-offs (1) writer (2) writers (4) WSJ (2) YFS magazine (1) youtube (3)