On October 7, HB 3367 becomes law. This is significant in several ways for Oregon’s film, television, and digital media industry. The most obvious change is the increase in the annual amount of OPIF tax credits to $10million a year. (By the way, we’re selling the remaining $4million of tax credits for 2013 beginning on October 21. Here are the details of the tax credit auction.)
What may prove to be just as important of a development, though, are the changes happening within the “local filmmaker” program which is commonly referred to as the Indigenous Oregon Production Investment Fund (iOPIF). iOPIF has now been modified to include local “media production services”. Media production services, as defined in the bill, will include post-production services and interactive video game development.
In layman’s terms, projects where only post-production work is done in Oregon may apply for iOPIF. Video game projects are also eligible to apply. If you would like to apply go to the Oregon Film Website and find the iOPIF application.
Another change to iOPIF is the budget range. $75,000 is still the low end budget threshold, but now the high end threshold is “up to $1,000,000”. There have been several questions already about these new changes and I thought it would be prudent to answer a few of these questions on this blog post.
Can I apply for iOPIF now if I’m working on a “post-production only” or video game project?
Yes you can, but the expenses on your project will only qualify if the expenses occur after October 7, 2013.
If my project is over $1million and there are no more OPIF funds available, may I still apply for iOPIF?
Yes, but only the first $1million of your expenses can qualify for the rebate.
My video game company (or post-production company) will be producing 4 projects over a calendar year, can I fill out one application as a company?
No. Each individual project must apply as a separate project. We can not accept speculative applications based on anticipated work.
May I apply as I am bidding for a project?
Yes. We will tentatively hold the anticipated rebate amount while you are bidding for work, but only for a fixed amount of time. Should you win the bid, we will then formally reserve the funds for your project.
My company does post-production for commercials. May I apply for a rebate on one of those projects?
No. iOPIF is only for projects with some form of a narrative. Commercial production, news, and sports programming are not allowed in the program according to the statute.
Can my company outsource work out of the state and still apply for the program?
You may, but any expense that occurs physically outside the state (a la outsourcing work) will not count towards the rebate. By law, you are also are required to have 80% of your cast and crew be residents of Oregon to qualify for the rebate, so excessive outsourcing may exclude you from the program. Any inaccurate reporting about the location of the work will cause that project to be excluded from any rebate and may prevent the production company from being able to apply for a rebate on any future projects.
All rules that apply to iOPIF film and television projects also apply to post-production and video game projects. You will need an Oregon producer or production company. You will need to have all your employees on payroll. And you must have an Oregon CPA verify that the payroll was done in accordance with state law. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions. We’re looking forward to the first iOPIF post-production and video game project!