Fund Your Film Logo

small-0955014328The global best-selling guide to film finance.

For the last 2007/08 edition of the Film Finance Handbook, over 40 experts from six continents contributed. Now available digitally, in DRM-free ePub, Kindle and PDF versions, it covers:

  • All forms of film finance explained in short accessible articles;
  • In-depth international incentives (tax breaks and public money) for 50 countries (and dozens of states and regions), written in collaboration with the legal experts in each country, in language that makes sense to the rest of us;
  • Details of 1000 funding awards from over 300 bodies;
  • The internet as a film studio - how to use the web for fund-raising, marketing and distribution;
  • Cutting budgets, a guide to microbudget and low-fi digital techniques;
  • Dozens of case studies and interviews, including Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor), crowd-funding pioneer Jim Gilliam (Brave New Films), Susan Buice and Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters), Roy Disney, Gus van Sant, Nik Powell (head of NFTS and legendary producer), Lance Weiler and Paul Haggis (Crash).

In short:

  • New VAT requirements (VATMoss) came into force on January 1st 2015 requiring all digital sales in the UK to charge VAT.
  • FundYourFilm's workaround: if purchasing the book within the European Union you must purchase the Film Finance Handbook Service Bundle for £33, which includes the chance to ask one of the books authors a question. 
  • For buyers in the rest of the world and the UK (ie outside of the EU or in the UK) an £18 download only option is also available. As far as we know this is not discriminatory to the rest of the EU, but this option may need to be stopped at a later point.

One the 1st January 2015, new EU legislation came into force in the UK requiring VAT on digital sales within the EU to be charged at point of purchase rather than at point of sale. This requires a company or individual involved in the sale of any digital goods in the EU (ie Video-on-Demand, Albums, Software plugins, eBooks, training videos, etc) to either register for VAT in every EU country, or register for VAT in the UK and then register for the VATMoss service provided by HMRC and rebuild their online shop to capture new information. This is required even if the company is below the VAT threshold.

While the legislation was designed to prevent companies such as Amazon registering in a low VAT country like Luxembourg and charging 5% on sales across the EU, by not having a threshold on the registration point the reality is it supports central portals over small direct sellers and digital micro-businesses like this website who need to spend a lot of time even for a few hundred pounds of sales a year. 

While HMRC appears too under-funded to advertise the changes very widely to businesses which means many are unaware of the rule changes, the blogosphere has been highly proactive in sharing information, workarounds and calling for modifications to the rules, which seem to have been designed and written in a climate of chaos with no understanding of the reality of selling digital goods on a small, 'sole trader' scale. Other countries have implemented the legislation differently, with more consideration to the new and struggling digital and longtail industries. There are also some promising-looking software solutions appearing, for instance this plugin for Wordpress WooCommerce that links with Taxamo, a new SaaS offering Vatmoss compliance that is free for up to 20 transactions a month.

Netribution Ltd, the legal operator of FundYourFilm.com originally decided to simply stop online sales as so few are made here the income doesn't justify the tech work and bureaucracy time. Netribution Ltd had already de-registered from VAT a few years ago after starting to sell eBooks and realising that unlike printed books these carried a VAT charge, and this required a more complex (and costly) book-keeping regime.

But just in time for Christmas, Netribution's accountants, the Kelvin Partnership, highlighted an article by Rebecca Cave pointing out that the legislation only applies to digital services with 'minimal human intervention'. So provided there is a certain amount of human intervention, for instance myself answering a question relating to the book, then it does not come under the jurisdiction of the legislation.

As a result we have two new levels of sales for the funding book:

  • For the the world excluding the EU, plus the UK - download at £18.
  • For the EU (and anyone who wants it) - download plus any question answered, if possible, with up to 300 words response (in the event of a question being outside of my knowledge up to five alternative questions can be asked) - £33.

To the best of my knowledge (and this article is not legal or financial advice!) this offers a legitimate workaround to the new legislation. A filmmaker offering to sell their film online through their website could avoid the new requirements by including some human interaction, such as answering a question or creating a personal message.

Help update the screen finance handbook & web kit

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Campaign progress

Stage 1 of 5: build website - £{source}{/source} raised out of £{source}{/source} target for this stage. See all 5, £32k stages

 
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What you get for £1

Over £1 - Thanks Over £5 - Acclaim Over £14 - 2007/08 book Over £34 - Early backer Best deal! Over £88 - Consultant Over £250 - Organisation Over £450 - Senior backer

  • Our deepest thanks
  • Your name on our online thanks page
  • A digital copy of the 2007/08 book (as ePub, PDF & Kindle)
  • DRM-free digital copies of all we create in the campaign
  • Exclusive subscriber-only online content and functions
  • If we hit our target: a printed book - with your name/org inside.
  • One hour phone consultation with editor/publisher/designer of this website Nic Wistreich
  • An extra two website accounts
  • If we hit our target: a 2nd printed book.
  • Your logo, 140 characters and link on a part of this site of your choosing for a year.
  • If we hit our target: Your company logo on the back page in the printed book.

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What's the plan?

The 2007/08 Book

small-0955014328Over 40 experts from six continents contributed to the 480-page, 250,000 word how-to, theory text & reference guide.

Learn more

There are hundreds of new funds, tax breaks, platforms and models since our 2007/08 edition, as well as a need for new case studies and data around successful films and approaches. Crowdfunding has brought marketing, PR and audience engagement into the finance process so needs broader coverage, while crowd-investment & micro-lending is still in its infancy, and varies from country to country.

Besides updating the content - following a detailed survey to former buyers earlier this year, it became really clear we needed a better digital strategy.

Tim O'Reilly once said 'a reference book is a user interface to a body of information', and this idea has informed a lot of the thinking. Some data - such as funds - probably work best in a searchable database, while theory of film finance may be better in a form where it's easy to highlight parts and write notes. Our plan is to offer three main 'interfaces' into the funding book:

website

  1. The website (& Twitter/Email). New updates will appear here first - where subscribers can comment, perform detailed filters and searches, and access direct links to guidelines and embeds of maps, videos and related resources. This will be designed to be viewable across desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.
  2. Digital Book (Kindle, PDF & ePub). As we work through the book updating sections we hope to release chapters digitally as shorter eBooks as we go. This has a few advantages - they can be sold as stand-alone much cheaper titles for those are just interested in one topic; and are more manageable to read than a 3,500 page ebook.
  3. Printed completed book. If all goes well with the fundraising and updating, after about a year we should have a finished book ready to be compiled, proofed, typeset and printed. A PDF version, and ePub and Kindle ebooks, will be made, and will be DRM-free so readers are free to print them out as needs be.

Previous supporters include:

cannes marche fkkslogo coe skillset ukfc

I read your book cover to cover… great insights & significant clarity on a very complex subject.

Duncan Cork, CEO Slated.com

An indispensable guide

BBC Film Network

Producers should arm themselves with this comprehensive, well written guide.

Tim Adler, former editor, Screen Finance & Deadline Hollywood London

You can't think about funding without it

Chris Jones, Director, author & head of London Screenwriters Festival