California Film Commission announces the launch of LOCATION CALIFORNIA magazine

As part of its ongoing effort to promote motion picture, television and commercial production across the state, the California Film Commission today announced the launch of LOCATION CALIFORNIA magazine.

The new publication transforms the Commission’s annual statewide film office directory into a content-rich journal highlighting the very best production talent, infrastructure and locations California has to offer.

Distribution of the 2014 edition began earlier this month at the Sundance Film Festival, and will continue at major industry events including the Berlin International Film Festival (February 6-15), AFCI Locations Show (March 27-29), Cannes International Film Festival (May 14-25) and California Locations Conference (June 28). The hard copy magazine is also available by request via the Film Commission’s website (, which includes a digital version of the full publication.

Source and read more …

California Film Commission State Permits

Online Permit Application

Apply for your permit to shoot on state-owned property and track your permit status.

The California Film Commission (CFC) requires that all state permit applications must be submitted 4 business days / 96 hours (weekends and holidays are not considered business days) prior to the first prep/shoot day. Caltrans ramp and lane closures require a minimum of at least twelve (12) business days in advance of prep/shoot; freeway closures require a minimum of sixteen (16) business days.  Thank you for your cooperation.


Insurance Requirements for Filming

Beginning January 1, 2013, the CFC will require two additional insurance documents for companies applying to film on State owned or controlled property.  Click here for details.

State Permit and Monitor Fees

Information on Filming at Fred C. Nelles Facility

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding State Film Permits

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about applying for state film permits, film monitor costs, insurance, special effects permits and more!

Guide to Filming on State Property

State film permits are easily obtained by following the guidelines in this factsheet.

Filming on California Roadways – Caltrans

The California Film Commission (CFC) facilitates filming on California’s roadways through its close partnership with the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).  Working with Caltrans, the California Film Commission issues film permits for all state highways and freeways.

Film Production Safety in California

Fire Marshal Film Liaison provides hands-on assistance for pyrotechnics [...]

Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship

The Foundation’s Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship Program awards four $10,000 scholarships to graduate students ONLY to support and encourage them to pursue a career in children’s media and further the values and principles of Fred Rogers’ work. The scholarships are project-based and are not to be used for tuition.

Read more here ….

Raindance’s 10 New Commandments Of Low Budget Films

My name is Elliot Grove. I’ve been running Raindance since 1992. Back in those days everyone shot on film – 35mm if you could afford it, we made expensive film prints which showed in cinemas, and to promote the screenings we printed and mailed expensive leaflets and poster and bought ads in newspapers.

We don’t do any of those things any more. And moviemaking has changed direction big time. The only thing that has stayed the same is making a movie is hard work. But it’s not difficult if you follow these 10 basic steps:

Read more here ….

Broadcast Journalism Guest Speakers to Speak at NYFA Battery Park

newest new NPI logo from contestWhat is it like to direct a TV news program? On Monday morning February 10, two veteran directors will share with New York Film Academy students an insider’s perspective on television news.

Jon Keller, a staff director at WCBS-TV in New York, has three decades of directing experience in America’s largest television market.

He’s seen the evolution of TV news into a “tapeless” environment that seamlessly integrates “live feeds” and sophisticated graphics.

He’s also seen robotic control systems begin to replace human camera operators.

Most of all, he knows the pressure of “live” television, where there are no re-takes or second chances to get a story right.

Read more and source …

XYZ Films Picks Up Rights on Maori Action Epic THE DEAD LANDS

XYZ Films Picks Up Rights on Maori Action Epic THE DEAD LANDS

XYZ Films has announced today that they have picked up worldwide sales rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, to the New Zealand-set action-thriller THE DEAD LANDS, which will be directed by Toa Fraser (No. 2, Sundance 2006 World Cinema Audience Award winner, DEAN SPANLEY). The film was written by Glenn Standring (PERFECT CREATURE), and will be produced by Matthew Metcalfe (DEAN SPANLEY, BEYOND THE EDGE), with Tainui Stephens (RIVER QUEEN) and Norman Merry co-producing. Standring is also a producer. Starring in the film will be James Rolleston (BOY), Lawrence Makoare (DIE ANOTHER DAY, LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING), Te Kohe Tuhaka (SIONE’S 2: UNFINISHED BUSINESS), Xavier Horan (No. 2, DEAN SPANLEY), George Henare (ONCE WERE WARRIORS) and Rena Owen (ONCE WERE WARRIORS).

Read more about XYZ Films Picks Up Rights on Maori Action Epic THE DEAD LANDS – BWWMoviesWorld by


The NPI Entertainment Payroll Difference

So, what really makes NPI different?

At NPI our mission is “100% customer satisfaction with 100% accuracy through ethical and professional  business practices”.

This means getting it right for you the first time, every time. You will receive service that is above and beyond  industry standards for all areas of your payroll.

Our clients remind us that the immediate and ongoing support we provide to them, ultimately reducing their overall cost and liability, is most beneficial to them.

They also state they have peace of mind when NPI is engaged in the process, knowing everything will be handled correctly for them.


Why Choose a Paymaster like NPI?

Are you not certain if a paymaster like NPI is right for you?  Continue reading to understand the benefits of using NPI over a basic check cutting service or handling payroll in-house.

The role NPI takes for productions is a little different.  A production would use an outsourced payroll company for different reasons and it really depends on you, your resources, and what is important to you.  Are you just looking for someone to cut the checks (check cutting service, accountant, or in-house payroll dept) and you yourselves will retain the liability for the labor laws surrounding your payroll processing, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and pension reporting  etc, or are you looking for the removal of your liability and to pass that liability over to a paymaster (like NPI) by way of our “employer of record service” for labor laws surrounding your payroll processing, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and pension reporting?  All of these determine what system your production would choose – whether a paymaster (like NPI), or a pay check cutting service, accountant, or in-house payroll dept.

10 Myths about Making it in the Entertainment Industry

Executive at a studio-based film production company, Jenny Yerrick Martin lists off 10 often heard myths given to those trying to get a career in the Entertainment industry.


It seems like a smart idea. Plotting out every step to your destination is a way of making sure you don’t take any unnecessary detours, right? But it’s like saying, “Wait until you know how you’re going to get your first feature film released wide in theaters before you pick up a camera.” If you do this, you will probably never begin. Instead, go until you hit a roadblock. You will have resources and knowledge that you don’t have now- and you might find you never hit a real roadblock.


You want to be known in the business. So be the guy who tells everyone how it’s done even if they don’t ask, the one who doesn’t back down in an argument, the one who does everyone’s job because he’s just so hungry to make it. That sounds like someone you’d want to hire or work with, right? Wrong. A lot of people would consider that guy a nuisance, not an asset, and it only takes one person vetoing you for you to miss out on a sought-after job. Be the one who offers help, who gets their job done, who everyone thinks is amazing. “I know the perfect person!” they will say if they hear about a position or a project you’d be right for. They will be right.

Studio System News | Read the Full Article

How Many Films Does The Average Low-Budget Filmmaker Make?

Independent filmmaking is the land of the never-ending benchmark. If you’re not heaving a sigh after finally completing your film, you’re praying it’s accepted into a festival, that someone buys it, that it finds its audience, that you reap a modicum of returns, before daring to do it all over again. Or maybe, not.

Read more …

An Entertainment Attorney Answers Filmmakers’ Most Burning Questions

Entertainment attorney Matt Galsor from the firm Greenberg Glusker recently gave an interactive talk to Film Independent Members, including producers, directors, cinematographers and writers. Here are the top take-aways from the Q&A:

Can you please explain the difference between optioning a screenplay and buying the rights to a screenplay? “When somebody buys a screenplay, they own it. When somebody options a screenplay, you own it,” said Galsor. The question is how much they pay you to keep it off the market, he added, when it gets optioned.


SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements Made Simple


SAG-AFTRA Theatrical Business Representatives will walk you through signing SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements from start to finish.

Workshops are held the 2nd Thursday of every month from 6 to 8pm, and are FREE. Workshops fill up quickly so RSVP now! If you sign up for a workshop but can’t attend you must call to cancel your reservation no later than 48 hours before the workshop.

  • New York
    • SAG-AFTRA NY Local 360 Madison Ave, 12th Fl New York, NY 10017
    • 6:00 p.m.
  • RSVP
  • Workshop Schedule:
    • December 12
    • January 9
    • February 13
  • Directions:
    • Enter on 45th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. Please check in with reception on the 12th floor.
  • Los Angeles
    • SAG-AFTRA LA Local 5757 Wilshire Blvd, 1st Fl Los Angeles, CA 90036
    • 6:00 p.m.
  • RSVP
  • Workshop Schedule:
    • December 12
    • January 9
    • February 13
  • Directions:
    • 6 blocks East of Fairfax between Curson and Masselin. Parking available just off Curson. Validate your parking ticket at the James Cagney Conference Room on the 1st floor when you check in.

2013 Federal Tax Reporting Changes

Complimentary Webinar – Wednesday, December 11, 1pm CT

The federal government continues to focus on closing the “Tax Gap” with increased penalties and expanded requirements that continue to make the tax reporting process harder to comply with. Now it’s even more important for organizations to be aware of the legislative impact these changes have.

Join us next week along with Ms. Cheryl Riedlinger, an attorney from The Tax Reporting Group, to review the most significant 2013 federal tax changes. In this CPE eligible webinar we will cover:

  • “Tax Gap” proposals
  • Backup withholding
  • Chapters 3 & 4 updates
  • FATCA changes
  • 2013 major form updates
  • And more!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 / 11:00 am PT / 1:00 pm CT / 2:00 pm ET


TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest

Students, submit your film for a chance to walk the Red Carpet at DIFF & more!

We’re excited to announce that the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest is back!

TXU Energy invites Texas high school and college students to answer the question: what does energy mean to you? Electricity is literally the power behind our texts, our calls, our entertainment and our work. Share your vision of how we’ll use electricity in the future, illustrate how electricity inspires us or show the power that electricity has to change a moment or change a life.

Read more …

Join our Kickstarter and help us bring filmmakers to the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival!

The Dallas Film Society brings dozens of independent, short and feature filmmakers from around the world to the 11-day Dallas International Film Festival each year. To date, more than 1,234 filmmakers, representing more than 50 countries have attended the past seven festivals!!  DIFF programs more than 150 films annually and we try to host the director, producer, or actor from many of those films each and every year. Those visiting filmmakers ultimately participate in a variety of programs, including question-and-answer sessions, master classes and industry events. This interaction between the filmmakers, our audience and the community is truly a highlight of our programming and one of the most rewarding aspects of the Festival for both audience member and filmmaker alike.

Now, with your help here, the Dallas Film Society will be able to bring many talented filmmakers to Dallas for the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival occurring April 3 – 13, 2014.


Georgia-filmed productions generate $3.3 billion in 2013

Georgia-filmed productions generate $3.3 billion in 2013

By Michael Hunter, Staff writer

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), announced today that feature films and televisions projects filmed in the state of Georgia generated an economic impact of $3.3 billion during the fiscal year 2013.

“The economic impact goes well beyond the productions themselves,” said GDEcD commissioner Chris Carr, in a statement. Carr noted that film productions spent $933.9 million in Georgia in the last year. “With 11 soundstage facilities locating in Georgia, and more than 70 film-related companies locating or expanding here, this industry is creating jobs for Georgians,” he said.

Read more …

Documentary Lab

What is the Documentary Lab?

Designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films, the Documentary Lab is an intensive seven-week program that runs in Los Angeles in March and April. The Lab’s focus is twofold: (1) provide creative feedback and story notes to the selected filmmakers; and (2) help filmmakers strategize the completion, distribution, and marketing of their film.

Additionally, the program serves to advance the careers of the Lab Fellows by introducing them to film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of documentary filmmaking. Lab Fellows have several guest-speaker sessions with established documentary filmmakers – directors, producers, and editors – and other industry professionals.

Film Independent Fellow Christian Bruno
“A Natural History of Cinema”

Film Independent membership is not required when applying to Film Independent Artist Development Labs.  However, all participants accepted into the Labs are required to be Film Independent members.

Documentary Lab Fellows receive:

  • A pass to the Los Angeles Film Festival (City Pass)
  • Inclusion in the FIND Talent Guide
  • Year-round support from Film Independent


Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI) is a nonprofit, member-supported, motion picture theater and film education center. BMFI is dedicated to promoting shared experiences that entertain, engage, and educate audiences through a diverse range of independent-minded films, a full curriculum of courses, and an extensive program of special events. BMFI builds community through film culture, while maintaining strong connections to its historic venue’s cinematic past.

Film Exhibition

BMFI shows the best in independent, international, documentary, art, and repertory films. These fine films form the nucleus around which the community development and educational programs of the Institute revolve. Over 2,000 patrons visit BMFI weekly for films, classes, and special events.

BMFI’s film programming is anchored by two first-run films which are screened approximately 40 times a week. In addition, weekly programming includes between three and five repertory films or cultural presentations such as simulcast opera and theater. In 2009, there were about 100,000 admissions.

The One Night Only films and Film Series often include new and independent films presented with filmmaker discussions; repertory films are often presented with introductions by film scholars or subject matter experts. BMFI provides Going Gaga screenings for parents with babies and a Kids Matinees film series specially geared toward children. On the first Monday of every month, BMFI holds Open Screen Mondays, a chance for area filmmakers to screen their films at our theater on the big screen, free of charge.

BMFI presents filmed performances of operas from prestigious venues, including La Scala and the Salzburg Festival, as well as live simulcasts of operas from around the globe. Opera presentations include talks with staff from the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Patrons may purchase tickets for an entire series or for individual performances. BMFI also presents plays via live-delay simulcast from the National Theatre in London.

Film Education

BMFI educational programs serve approximately 800 adults per year. A robust, in-house film education department, with faculty and guest lecturers, offers seminars and courses on film history, screenwriting, film appreciation, and many other film-related topics. Throughout the year, several month-long educational courses run concurrently; on average, 15 to 20 courses per year are offered. One-day seminars and full semester courses are also offered.

Pennsylvania educators may be able to receive Act 48 credit when they attend BMFI’s course, The Language of Film, thanks to our partnership with the University of the Arts.

In 2005, BMFI launched the Jacob Burns Film Center’s See, Hear, Feel Film program, which brings visual literacy and critical viewing education to third-grade students in the Delaware Valley. The program has grown since its inception and now an average of 800 school children enjoy the program annually. Additionally, BMFI serves junior high, senior high, and college students through a variety of film literacy and appreciation curricula. Screenwriting and filmmaking courses are offered for various age groups.

BMFI is also home to the George Rehrauer Collection, a gift from the Haverford School, in our Film Studies Library. This collection of over 2,000 books is available for loan to Bryn Mawr Film Institute members.

Select films are followed by moderated discussions that take place in the second floor Multimedia Room. A partial list of these interactive programs includes:

  • Friday afternoon discussions run by in-house faculty for particularly inspiring or provocative films currently being screened, e.g., An Inconvenient Truth and Precious
  • Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia’s character-based discussions following the screening of a newly released film one Sunday a month
  • French Chats discussion group that meets in conjunction with French-language movies shown at BMFI.

BMFI also hosts Talk Cinema, a film series which offers its subscribers a unique selection of quality films independently curated by film critic Harlan Jacobson, a 30-year industry veteran. Each series previews independent and foreign films before their release. Screenings are followed by discussions led by scholars, critics, and filmmakers.

BMFI has a more varied program of feature, documentary, and alternative film offerings, than any theater in the region.


BMFI has over 6,000 members, among the largest membership of any such theater in the country. Membership is offered at several levels. Membership benefits include:

  • Discounted admission to all films (free admission at Mogul level and above)
  • Discounts on film education courses
  • Advance ticket sales at the box office
  • Invitations to free sneak previews
  • Access to BMFI Film Studies library
  • Program guide mailings
  • Discounted admission to the Ambler Theater and the County Theater
  • $1 discount on TLA movie rentals
  • Discounts at area businesses and attractions

International Film & TV Finance Summit

December 2 – 3, 2013 – New York, NY

Get the latest information on obtaining finance & tax incentives to get independent and studio films made, distributed and marketed in today’s market place.


  • Access to and information from the most senior players in the industry at the top of their professions
  • Significant networking opportunities amongst the top professionals and financiers in the film business today
  • Expanded session on the U.S. state, federal and international tax credits and incentives for film and TV production
  • The role of banks and specialized finance companies in providing financing for film production
  • How talent agencies can help package films for financing and distribution
  • Ways to generate financial support for films utilizing brand integration and product placement
  • Understand how sales agents and distributors can generate the domestic and foreign distribution you need to make your film a success
  • Understand how to utilize new digital platforms for distributing media content into the home and onto hand held devices
  • Networking opportunities and much more

Conference Co-Chairs: Joe Chianese, Entertainment Partners; Vinca Jarrett, FilmPro Finance; Thomas Glen Leo, Sheppard Mullin; David Zitzerman, Goodmans LLP

All paid attendees will receive the Bloomberg BNA Portfolio:
Film and TV Production: Tax Accounting Considerations and Federal Law#599 2nd
By Michael H. Salama and Brandee A. Tilman
*One Portfolio per paid attendee. Quantities are limited.


There are no prerequisites for attending this program.


If you are unable to attend this event, you may: transfer your registration to another person from your company for the same event; or transfer your registration to a substitute event listed on our web site. In either instance, there will be no charge or penalty for substitution.

To request a transfer, contact with the new attendee or substitute event information more than 5 business days prior to the conference start date. On the first day of the event, absent attendees will be considered “no shows” and will not be eligible for a refund, transfer, or substitute event. Cancellations must be made in writing to more than 5 business days before the event and will be assessed a $350 conference setup fee. Cancellations will not be accepted if notice is received fewer than 5 business days before the event.

For more information regarding administrative policies, complaints and cancellations, please contact us at 800.372.1033, or e-mail

Source …

National Children’s Alliance PSA put together by New Hampshire filmmakers

Today is World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, and a group of New Hampshire filmmakers recently came together to create a PSA, pro bono, for the National Children’s Alliance. That PSA, directed by Kevin
Gendron, a resident of Exeter and a freshman at Syracuse University, will air this evening on Comedy Central during the 11:30 p.m. airing of The Colbert Report. The PSA stars seacoast-based actress Constance Witman and Elle Shaheen (Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s granddaughter).

It is being launched nationally and can be viewed on YouTube here: Be sure to spread the word. Share the link, and tweet it using #standupstepforward, or like it on Facebook at It’s a great project put together by our New Hampshire industry members! Congratulations!


Workshop to focus on location scouting for films

CHARLESTON — A two-day, hands-on workforce training master class hosted by the West Virginia Film Office will take place Dec. 6-7 in Charleston and Dec. 8-9 in Fairmont.

Skills training will be provided by film industry veteran Demian Resnick, a New York-based location manager, who will focus on skill sets needed to become a location scout.

Pam Haynes, director of the West Virginia Film Office, said the master class is a key component for building upon the state’s film industry labor pool.


Buying Film Tax Credits Is The Cool, Underused Way To Lower Your Tax Bill

Advisors can help lower their clients’ state tax bill by buying tax credits from the TV and film industry writes Jini Thornton of Atlanta-based Envision Business Management Group in a new Wall Street Journal column.

“These tax credits are given to people in the film and TV industry as incentives to come into a particular state and make their movie or TV series there. Producers are able to sell these credits to general business owners or individuals who are looking for tax strategies to offset their state taxes. They then use the money from the tax credit sales to fund their projects.”

Staunton, VA – SVPA October 24th Workshop: An Introduction to iMovie ’11

The SVPA is pleased to announce their October 24th Workshop:

A workshop on turning your raw footage into a finished project.
Thursday, October 24th from 6-8pm, Staunton Public Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room.

While a step-by-step demonstration of the editing process using iMovie ’11 will be featured during this workshop, participants are strongly encouraged to bring the following for a more personal, “hands-on” experience:
*a laptop with the iMovie ’11 application
*raw video footage and/or photos (preferably already loaded onto your laptop) that you would like to edit into a short, one minute project (i.e., vacation footage, footage from a scene that you have filmed, etc.)
*music or sound effects (on CD, mp3 files, etc.) that you would like to incorporate into your iMovie ’11 project

By the end of the workshop, the goal is to have given you the guided practice needed to transform your footage into a short, edited iMovie project (that, perhaps, you would be willing to “premiere” before the rest of the workshop participants)!

Michael Strawderman will be the creative and technical guide. Michael is a 1991 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Theatre Education. For the past 23 years, he has been teaching both theatre and film at Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg, VA. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and producing short videos about his family’s travel adventures across the U.S.

Source ….

ESA Praises Texas Film Commission’s Expansion of Tax Incentives

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a press release this week praising the Texas Film Commission for expanding its economic incentives to include “digital interactive media productions.” Under the new changes the state raised the funding level up from 15 to 20 percent, and lowered the top tier threshold to $3.5 million from $5 million and eliminated the wage-only option. Visual effects projects completed in Texas can now qualify as their own project under the new incentive guidelines. “We applaud Commissioner Page and the Texas Film Commission for their leadership and vision in expanding these important incentives,” said ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher. “This forward-thinking paves the way for exciting new innovations in the entertainment industry. These incentives are not only good for the video game industry, they are a win for Texas as well. These will help keep Texas competitive in the digital media marketplace, attracting and providing 21st century jobs in our growing industry and boosting the state’s economy.” Learn more about the state’s tax incentives here.

Source …

Minimum Wage increase proposed in Massachusetts

MassachusettsA bill has been proposed in Massachusetts that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 per hour by 2015.

Massachusetts has not seen a wage increase in four years and many say an increase is long overdue.  The cost of living in Massachusetts has increased and some people are finding it hard to make ends meet.  Others (including small business owners) are worried that an increase of this type could potentially shut some businesses down as their payroll costs would rise substantially.

Discussions on the topic will continue.


Nevada Enacts New Film Tax Credit, Connecticut Imposes Film Moratorium

Two states have recently taken divergent approaches to film tax credits – Connecticut placed a two-year moratorium on films under its tax credit program, while Nevada enacted a completely new film tax credit program. [Connecticut H.B. 6706, enacted 6/19/13; Nevada S.B. 165, enacted 6/11/13]

These different approaches toward film tax credits add fuel to the debate regarding whether film tax credits are effective in the first place.

Read more …

JPC + SAG-AFTRA Interpretative Disagreements and 2013 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contracts

As you may be aware, SAG-AFTRA recently conducted a webinar directed to 2013 Commercials Contracts signatories, casting directors and payroll companies.  Based upon the JPC’s review of the PowerPoint presented during the webinar as well as feedback received from industry participants, 
there are several areas where the JPC disagrees with the Union’s interpretation of the 2013 Commercials Contracts.  These issues are outlined in the attached Bulletin. The JPC and SAG-AFTRA are working together to resolve these issues and members will be kept informed
as information is available. 





New film leader aims to deliver projects big and small to Hillsborough

TAMPA – Whether it’s a cinema blockbuster or a television commercial, the Tampa-Hillsborough County area has the ingredients to grow a thriving film and digital industry, the county’s new film commissioner said Monday.

Read more …

Senate Bill 165: transferable tax credits for film industry

The film industry is a very exciting business and requires the involvement of many individuals and entities to complete a production. Bringing a commercial or full-feature film to millions of viewers is dependent upon the coordination of locations, support crews, actors and governmental permitting requirements.

Read More …

Improving the Visa Process for Foreign Guest Artists

What Is At Stake

American nonprofit performing arts organizations provide an important public service by presenting foreign guest artists in performances, educational events, and cultural programs in communities across the country. Foreign guest artists that perform in the US are required to obtain an O or P non-immigrant work visa. The O category is used by individual foreign artists and the P category is used by groups of foreign artists, reciprocal exchange programs, and culturally unique artists.

Delays and inconsistencies by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are making it increasingly difficult for international artists to appear in the United States. Nonprofit performing arts organizations confront uncertainty in gaining approval for visa petitions for foreign guest artists. Delays began in June of 2001 (prior September 11), USCIS adopted a Premium Processing Service, guaranteeing processing within 15 calendar days at an unaffordable cost for most nonprofit arts organizations – $1,225 fee per petition. This is unaffordable to most nonprofit arts organizations.

Prior to creation of the Premium Processing Service, regular O and P visa processing took an average of 45 days.  For those unable to pay the $1,225 premium processing fee, regular processing times have varied between 45 days-six months.  In addition to lengthy processing times, inconsistent policies in processing artist visa petitions result in delays, expense, and unwarranted requests for further evidence.

Current USCIS practice compounds the growing risk that foreign guest artists will be unable to enter the United States in time for their engagements, causing financial burdens on nonprofit arts organizations, and potentially denying the American public the opportunity to experience international artistry due to delays and cancellations.

The PAA is working with Congress, USCIS, and the Department of State to implement common sense administrative reforms to lower the visa processing times for foreign guest artists.
What We Are Asking Right Now

We urge Congress to:

  • Enact the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act, which will require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reduce the total processing times for O and P petitions filed by, or on behalf of, nonprofit arts-related organizations.
  • We further call on Congress and the Administration to persuade USCIS to take ongoing administrative action to improve the artist visa process.

Source ….

Jim Jarmusch’s 5 Golden Rules (or non-rules) of Moviemaking

Written by  - Source

Jim Jarmusch is a major proponent of independent cinema, directing features such as Dead Man, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, and The Limits of Control.

His latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive, premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or. Only Lovers Left Alive stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two vampires in love.

Last week’s Wisdom Wednesday brought you 13 (Lucky) Golden Rules of Moviemaking from Steve Buscemi. The man himself directed readers to “Find the back issue of MovieMaker that lists the rules (or non-rules) of Jim Jarmusch.” Buscemi quickly added his admiration for Jarmusch, saying “He rules. He’s never made a film he didn’t put his complete heart and soul into—and he’s able to make his living at making movies!” So, dear readers, here are Jim Jarmusch’s 5 Golden Rules (or non-rules) of Moviemaking from way back in 2004.

jim jarmusch

Rule #1: There are no rules. There are as many ways to make a film as there are potential filmmakers. It’s an open form. Anyway, I would personally never presume to tell anyone else what to do or how to do anything. To me that’s like telling someone else what their religious beliefs should be. Fuck that. That’s against my personal philosophy—more of a code than a set of “rules.” Therefore, disregard the “rules” you are presently reading, and instead consider them to be merely notes to myself. One should make one’s own “notes” because there is no one way to do anything. If anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far away from them as possible, both physically and philosophically.

Rule #2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya. They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. People who finance films, distribute films, promote films and exhibit films are not filmmakers. They are not interested in letting filmmakers define and dictate the way they do their business, so filmmakers should have no interest in allowing them to dictate the way a film is made. Carry a gun if necessary.

Also, avoid sycophants at all costs. There are always people around who only want to be involved in filmmaking to get rich, get famous, or get laid. Generally, they know as much about filmmaking as George W. Bush knows about hand-to-hand combat.

Rule #3: The production is there to serve the film. The film is not there to serve the production. Unfortunately, in the world of filmmaking this is almost universally backwards. The film is not being made to serve the budget, the schedule, or the resumes of those involved. Filmmakers who don’t understand this should be hung from their ankles and asked why the sky appears to be upside down.

Rule #4: Filmmaking is a collaborative process. You get the chance to work with others whose minds and ideas may be stronger than your own. Make sure they remain focused on their own function and not someone else’s job, or you’ll have a big mess. But treat all collaborators as equals and with respect. A production assistant who is holding back traffic so the crew can get a shot is no less important than the actors in the scene, the director of photography, the production designer or the director. Hierarchy is for those whose egos are inflated or out of control, or for people in the military. Those with whom you choose to collaborate, if you make good choices, can elevate the quality and content of your film to a much higher plane than any one mind could imagine on its own. If you don’t want to work with other people, go paint a painting or write a book. (And if you want to be a fucking dictator, I guess these days you just have to go into politics…).

Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

For more moviemaking wisdom, check out Danny Boyle’s 15 Golden Rules of MovieMaking. Remember to visit us next week for Wisdom Wednesday!

For more information on subscribing to MovieMaker Magazine click here.

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Artist Visa Processing Issue Addressed in Senate Immigration Bill

SOURCEAction Alert Icon - Boom

June 25, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Improvements to the U.S. visa process for international guest artists are now included in the comprehensive immigration reform package under consideration in the U.S. Senate!  

Called The Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS)” provision, these improvements will require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure timely processing for visa petitions filed by or on behalf of nonprofit arts-related organizations. This provision was originally introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) just over one week ago, however, on June 24, it was wrapped into a broader package of amendments to the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The ARTS provision has had strong bipartisan support in Congress. Visit the PAA Issue Center to learn more about this topic.  

How This Would Work:

The ARTS provision would improve the reliability of the visa process by reducing total maximum processing times for O and P nonprofit arts-related visa petitions to under 30 days. Currently, the law requires these petitions to be processed within 14 days of filing, but more often than not, the process takes longer than this. Under the ARTS provision, USCIS would be required to treat as a Premium Processing case any arts-related O and P visa petition that it fails to process within the required 14-day period. This Premium Processing would waive the $1,250 fee usually assessed for this service—a fee which is unaffordable for most arts organizations. 

Why This Matters:

Our nonprofit arts organizations and artists can boost international diplomacy by presenting foreign guest artists in performances and educational events in our communities. This is an important public service and it is provided by arts organizations both large and small. Over time, consistent improvements in the U.S. visa processing system—such as the ARTS provision—will greatly enhance international cultural exchange and rebuild confidence in the U.S. visa process among U.S. organizations and foreign artists. 

Your advocacy through PAA makes an impact!  

Since 2001, PAA members and supporters have urged Congress and USCIS to remove barriers to international cultural engagement by improving the historically burdensome and unpredictable O and P artist visa process. As the Senate began debate of comprehensive immigration reform, PAA signed on to a coordinated effort by a broad array of national arts organizations supporting improvements to the visa process. PAA coordinates its policy work with the Performing Arts Visa Working Group, which includes the American Federation of Musicians, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, League of American Orchestras, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, OPERA America, Theatre Communications Group, and our partners at The Recording Academy.  

Next steps: 

The Senate plans to complete action on its immigration bill by the end of this week, while House consideration begins to move forward. Stay tuned to the PAA website or follow us on Twitter for updates on this issue as well as other targeted advocacy opportunities around comprehensive immigration reform.

As always, you can take action at any time and contact your members of Congress on  the issues that affect the performing arts field. Your voice makes a difference!


Dallas Film Society To Present Summer Film Camp Highlighting All Aspects Of Filmmaking

The Dallas Film Society and Southern Methodist University – Division of Film and Media Arts have announced registration is now open for three two-day summer film workshops for students aged 14-18 year olds.  With only 35 spaces available for each workshop, early registration is encouraged as the camp promises to be an incredible hands-on learning experience. Campers will be submerged in the world of film as professionals share their knowledge and tricks of the trade about all aspects of the film industry.  The film camp will take place at SMU from July 9 -12, 15-16, 2013 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily.  Registration closes June 10, 2013.

Camera Class at the Dallas Film Society Summer Camp“SMU and the Division of Film & Media Arts have been brainstorming ideas and making plans for over a year with the Dallas Film Society on its annual Summer Film Camp,” said SMU Film & Media Arts Chair Sean Griffin. “We are thrilled to be introducing a whole new generation to the wonders and magic of film and media, with the hope that we open their imaginations and provide inspiration!  Who knows—someone from Summer Film Camp may eventually be accepted into a future Dallas International Film Festival, win an Oscar or an Emmy, or both!”Campers will participate in sessions on Storytelling for the Screen, Production Boot Camp and Clowning for the Camera with a focus on the hands on side of filmmaking including writing, lighting, camera angles, sound recording and directing.  The students will also learn about the unique craft of the great silent film comedians culminating in the students creating their own short silent comedy.The total cost of the camp for all three workshops will be $255 for Dallas Film SocietyMembers and $330 for non-members (single two-day workshop $110 for members, $135 for non members). For more information and for registration please visit or contact Renée Contreras, Director of Education, Outreach and Membership at

Volunteer or Intern | Los Angeles Film Festival 2013



As a volunteer, you are a key component to making the Festival work. Volunteers not only go behind the scenes, but are also at the forefront of the Festival, ensuring that our filmmakers and guests have an enjoyable experience. Whether it’s working in theater operations, answering ticketing questions, or setting up a Q&A panel, volunteers help bring to life a world-class cinematic event.

Volunteers work a minimum of 20 hours during the Festival and must attend one MANDATORY orientation meeting, either Wednesday, May 29, 2013 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm OR Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. The orientation will cover details of what is expected of you, how the Festival runs and other information to get you fully prepared to volunteer.

All volunteer candidates must register on Shiftboard:

Shiftboard allows you to sign up for shifts that best accommodate your availability during the Festival. We are more than happy to help anyone that may need assistance navigating Shiftboard, though we recommend you view the tutorials in the “Help/FAQ” section before contacting us.

Please contact with any inquiries, and register today on Shiftboard!


Interns assist with the preparations leading up to the Festival, ideally working with a department that matches their career interests. Internship dates vary by department, but generally begin in May and go through the end of June. Interns are required to work one day per week, and full time from June 10 – 28.

Departments currently seeking Festival interns include:

  • Events/Production
  • Film Independent (FIND) Membership Outreach
  • Filmmaker/Guest Hospitality
  • Marketing
  • Publicity
  • Sponsorship/Fundraising
  • Technical (A/V)
  • Theater Operations
  • Ticketing
  • Videography/Editing
  • Volunteers

If you are interested in an unpaid Festival internship, please send a cover letter, attached resume, your availability, department(s) of interest and one professional reference to with “INTERN: [Your Name]” in the subject line.

Candidates specifically interested in the Sponsorship/Fundraising department please send the above information to

 For more info click here …

South Carolina Film Incentive Bill

On Thursday South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a bill that offers increased tax incentives to movies and television shows that plan to film in South Carolina.

The new law will allow production companies to be reimbursed:

- 20 percent on payroll taxes for wages paid to out-of-state workers

- 25 percent for in state residents

- 30 percent on the taxes spent at local businesses

The production needs to spend over $1 million to take advantage of these incentives

Read more here!

President’s FY14 Budget Released

Action Alert Icon - BoomVia: The Performing Arts Alliance

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 10, the President released his FY2014 budget proposal. Due in February, the budget arrived two months later than normal and after both the House and Senate have released their own budgets. Below are highlights from the budget proposal as well as additional updates for the performing arts field.

Nonprofits Defend Charitable Giving Incentives

As budget debates once gain ramp up, the White House and Congress continue to consider imposing limits on charitable giving incentives. The President’s FY14 budget request once again includes a 28% cap on the rate of tax deductibility for charitable donations, and House and Senate budget and tax policy committees are weighing a range of potential limitations, primarily as cost-saving measures. National nonprofits are calling on Washington’s policy makers to take the charitable deduction off the revenue table once and for all. Reducing incentives to give would shrink the resources available to support community needs. Learn more about this important policy area.


Filming up in L.A. despite increasing competition

Originally posted on IMAGINE Entertainment Payroll, Inc.:

  • According to FilmL.A., filming in Los Angeles generated 13,361 production days in from January to March of this year, up from 11,360 in 2012.
    There may be more states vying for film production dollars with tax credits, but Hollywood is still filming in Los Angeles. Film production activity has bounced upward 18 percent in the first quarter due to low-budget films, sitcoms and television pilots, per a new report by FilmL.A.Filming in L.A. generated 13,361 production days in from January to March of this year, up from 11,360 in 2012. It is the second consecutive quarter of double-digit gains for location filming in the L.A. region. The last quarter of 2012 saw increased production to get projects completed before the holidays. The numbers only include location shoots in the city and not production on studio lots.”One quarter can’t undo all the troubling declines we’ve experienced, but we’re certainly encouraged to see things moving in the right direction,” said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A.

    Pilot production rose 38 percent in the quarter as producers…

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PGA Diversity Workshop

Once again the PGA is offering this amazing workshop which is as much a master class in producing as it is a ‘workshop.’ Learn pitching from folks like Marshall Herskovitz, or learn what a producer needs to know interfacing with the studio marketing department from the woman who used to run New Line’s marketing department.

It’s a wonderful opportunity if you are in the position to take advantage of it.  Check out for more information.

The deadline for application is April 19th.

Coogan Law

SAG-AFTRA has a great link on their site regarding the Coogan Law.  Here is the information they provide .. click the link to go directly to their site

At present, Coogan Accounts (a.k.a Blocked Trust Accounts and Trust Accounts) are required by the State of California, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico. In most instances, you will have to supply proof of a trust account prior to receiving a work permit. 15% of the minor’s gross wages are required to be withheld by the employer and deposited into the Coogan account within 15 days of employment. The parent must supply the Coogan account number to the employer.History of the Coogan Law

The Coogan Law is named for famous child actor Jackie Coogan. Coogan was discovered in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin and soon after cast in the comedian’s famous film, The Kid. Jackie-mania was in full force during the 1920s, spawning a wave of merchandise dedicated to his image. It wasn’t until his 21st birthday after the death of his father and the dwindling of his film career that Jackie realized he was left with none of the earnings he had work so hard for as a child. Under California law at the time, the earnings of the minor belonged solely to the parent.Coogan eventually sued his mother and former manager for his earnings. As a result, in 1939, the Coogan Law was put into effect, presumably to protect future young actors from finding themselves in the same terrible situation that Jackie Coogan was left in. Unfortunately, the 1939 incarnation of the Coogan Law was flawed, leaving open various loopholes and necessitating long term, court sanctioned contracts for validation.The Current Coogan Law

After many years of advocating for more protections for child actors, Screen Actors Guild Young Performers Committee, National Policy and Planning Department and other industry groups were successful in closing many of the loopholes that made the original Coogan Law ineffective. In January 1, 2000, changes in California law affirmed that earnings by minors in the entertainment industry are the property of the minor, not their parents. Since a minor cannot legally control their own money, California Law governs their earnings and creates a fiduciary relationship between the parent and the child. This change in California law also requires that 15% of all minors’ earnings must be set aside in a blocked trust account commonly known as a Coogan Account.Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan went on to recover a small portion of his earnings after battling his mother in court. He became well known on the small screen playing Uncle Fester on The Addams Family, and will always be remembered for the role his story played in protecting child actors from losing their earnings

Regional Details


Parents in CA are required to open a “Coogan” Account and must be opened with a CA bank. A Coogan Account is a special blocked trust fund account found at a bank, credit union or brokerage firm.New York

Parents in NY are required to open up an UTMA or UGMA compliant trust account. This account is similar to the “Coogan,” but does not differ regarding rules of withdrawal. The account may be opened with any bank, in any state, as long as it meets UTMA or UGMA requirements.Louisiana and New Mexico

Parents in LA are required to open a Blocked Trust Account with any bank, in any state.  Parents in New Mexico are required to open a blocked trust account only if their child earns more than $1000 per each employment contract.Please visit the Labor Department’s website in each state for more detailed information.

Coogan Trust Accounts
Not all banks offer Coogan Trust Accounts, and even some that do still have employees are not familiar with the term “Coogan Account”. Sometimes explaining that you are opening up a blocked trust account for your minor child will clear up confusion.Below you will find a partial list of banks, credit unions and brokerage firms that offer Coogan/Trust Accounts. Screen Actors Guild provides this list for information purposes only and does not endorse any particular institution. These financial institutions each have different requirements for opening accounts. Some require a first paycheck to open the account, some a minimum deposit and the interest rates vary. It is important to compare financial institutions and find the best one for you and your child.

  • AFTRA/SAG Federal Credit Union
  • Actors Federal Credit Union
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of the West
  • City National Bank
  • First Entertainment Credit Union
  • Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney
  • Union Bank of California
  • Wells Fargo