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Taking Care of Business
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Assuming that happens, your last question should answer itself if you are an ethical person and I would hope that you are. ;-)

-gb-
Well, yes that is a very good point. Of course, I would share any money, but I was wondering if there was a usual practice.

The real question is who owns the final product. Again I wonder if there is a standard, or is it different with every project?
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Old August 16th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Stevens
The real question is who owns the final product. Again I wonder if there is a standard, or is it different with every project?
I emailed one organization, filmarts.org, who said the filmmaker owns the copyright under fiscal sponsorship.

Jeez, Dennis you are so dumb! That's obvious!

Oh, wait, I'm writing out loud again.....
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Old August 16th, 2006, 02:42 PM   #18
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Dennis--

When you first go to set up a partnership with a non-profit, you'll want to have some kind of contract, or at least a written agreement stating the basic terms of the partnership.

The main things to keep in mind are: 1) You want to retain ownership of the work if at all possible. You'll want to get the non-profit to agree to this, or you'll find yourself up to your eyeballs in headaches if you ever want to do anything with your work (if you want to show it at a festival, it might have to be approved by the Board of Directors, etc.). 2) In exchange for letting you own the project, you should offer the non-profit a percentage--again, 5%-10%--of any net income generated by the project. This is generally more than enough to satisfy your non-profit, because they really aren't putting a whole lot of time or money at all into this (they may help you with accounting, but that's all they really need to do). 3) It is also a very good idea to promise the non-profit a really prominent credit in the title sequence ("such-and-such presents..." or something like that), and to put their name and logo on all print and web-based publicity materials. You want to make sure they know that they will be immediately associated with the project.

Also, make sure you don't give anyone at the non-profit any kind of "veto" power on the creative side of things. It's not too hard to convince a board of directors to accept this arrangement if they understand that they're getting a small cut of all money that comes in, in addition to free advertising. Having their name on your project will make them look good in the community.

As for the lagalities of striking up a contract or agreement, maybe there are people other than me who can help with that. But I can say that non-profits often have long-standing relationships with lawyers that will help with stuff like this for almost nothing. If you play your cards right, you yourself may not have to pay the lawyer anything. If it's a pretty small production and you feel like you can trust the non-profit not to screw you over, you may be able to get by with a simple notarized agreement. This is a little risky, but it may be enough, depending on the situation and the non-profit you're working with.

One last thing that I can't stress enough--pick a non-profit that is in your immediate area, and seems easy to work with. And keep in mind that the chosen non-profit need not necessarily have anything whatsoever to do with film production or your subject matter... all you need is a willing organization with non-profit status. If they've done this kind of thing before, or work within the area of your subject matter, it definitely helps... but it isn't entirely necessary.

Good luck.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #19
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filmarts.org a.k.a film arts foundation (FAF) is very good ...
you can look at those that are using FAF fiscal sponsorship online ..
i have made several donations to projects thru FAF - it's my understanding that FAF takes 5-10% of the funds and sends the remainder to film maker ..

though FAF states that they keep a eye/oversee on projects all the projects i've donated to have never heard from FAF other then receive the check ..

there are many non profits that do give away $$ - many can only give to another non profit !!!!

when one joins FAF you get a 30min ( or is it a hr?) free consultation with a media lawyer once a year .. i know several persons that have gone thur that lawyer to set up a non profit ... basically the cost is $2500 .. they'll show you sample by lays - you add or delete what you want ... you ask friends/persons to be on your board of directors ( think you need 2-3 ) ..
once you turn the paper work into lawyer it takes less then week to file and you have a temp non profit status and can operate .. takes another 2-3 months for the official papers to come thru ...
once you have the temp status you have a meeting and elect president etc and vote ( approve) on the by laws ... as persons quit the board then you elect new board members ..
NOTE: that if you form you own non profit and make projects = the non profit owns the project .. you can attempt to keep rights in your name BUT the board is there to do the BEST for the non profit not you ... and remember if the board does not do what is best for the non profit they can be SUED !!
yes board member can be sued ... i was on a board - the co director was ??? well they stopped coming to work , so we say resigned , they say they were fired ? well they sued the non profit and the board members !!! there was a settlement !!! no more boards for me !!! most small non profits do NOT carry liability insurance that covers board members .. board members should have their own insurance - note that most home owners insurance do NOT cover you if you are on a board - most do offer a floater policy ...
so before you ask your friends to be on your board please make sure you tell them the liability risk !!!

if you form your own non profit your board would have to approve any payout arrangements you make with crew- actors ...

also if you get fiscal sponsorhip ... the IRS has been cracking down on the making a commercial movie using/thru a non profit ... so make sure you use a non profit that does media like FAF instead of using a non profit that suppys health medicine to pets ... few years ago i made a donation to a film project that used a marching band non profit - this year i recieved notice that they were audited and the 2002 donation was not tax deductable ...
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Old August 16th, 2006, 10:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Donatello
also if you get fiscal sponsorhip ... the IRS has been cracking down on the making a commercial movie using/thru a non profit ... so make sure you use a non profit that does media like FAF instead of using a non profit that suppys health medicine to pets ... few years ago i made a donation to a film project that used a marching band non profit - this year i recieved notice that they were audited and the 2002 donation was not tax deductable ...
Interesting - Jarrod's post above suggests it doesn't matter if the non profit is related to the subject.

Hmm... only one to settle this dispute gentlemen - Wet T Shirt Contest!!
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #21
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Well, Don also indicates that what he's talking about is a somewhat recent development. I'm willing to believe that my point might be bit out of date.

His advice is sound--go with either a non-profit that does fiscal sponsorship somewhat regularly, or else a women's charity (or similar). I don't think there will be any red flags for the IRS in either case.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #22
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i have a friend making a doc on huntingtons disease.. he has fiscal sponsorship thru Huntington Disease foundation northern cailfornia chapter..

here's a link to his site - you can see how he's raisings funds

http://www.huntingtonsdance.org/index.html
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