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Production Companies and Advertising Agencies could benefit from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program.

February 9, 2009

The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program offers qualifying feature films, television programs, commercials and video games the opportunity to receive a payment equal to 5% of their in-state spending upon completion of an audit of their Texas expenditures. Projects made in underused areas of Texas (such as Houston) are eligible to receive a payment equal to 6.25% of their Texas spending.

However, many people believe that this Incentive Program it is only for Production Companies and not for the Advertising Agencies. But did you know that both parties can benefit from this production incentive?

According to the Texas Film Commission, The only restriction is that only one application can be received for each project, and only one check can be issued.  There is no restriction as to who can apply.  Usually the production company applies because they are incurring the most expenses.

If the ad agency applies, the agency would have to get the production company to submit all of their invoices/receipts to provide documentation for production expenses.  On the other hand, if the production company applies, they could include applicable agency expenses (such as talent or post) if the agency provides those invoices. This could be great, especially when production company expenses are less than the minimum in-state spending of $100,000 rule.

Some production companies have made deals with their agencies so that all eligible expenses could be included.  In those cases, the production company has applied for the incentive and the agency has given them their invoices to submit.  I assume that part of this deal is that once the production company is paid for the incentive, they have to give a cut of it to the agency.

If both parties want a part of the incentive, it is best to work it out ahead of time so that only one application is submitted.  If the Texas Film Commissions receives multiple applications for the same project, the Texas Film Commission generally accept the one that was submitted first.

I hope this information helps to inform and create better mutual alliances between Ad agencies and production companies by bringing more TV commercial production to the State of Texas, especially to Houston. As the saying says “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”

Please visit the Texas Film Commission website for additional detailed important information and program qualification, rules and requirements for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program.

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