Film and Television
Motion picture and television productions have very specific payroll-, accounting- and production-management needs. On-boarding and time capture can be complicated by the size of the crew, tight schedules, locations and size of the shoot. Every production’s situation is unique and clients often have questions and concerns about complex guild and union rules, as well as the need for ATL, BTL and back lot payroll. Productions also need advice and management services for identifying and securing available production incentives across the U.S. and internationally.
Additionally, workers’ compensation coverage needs to be in place and in alignment with the production’s scope. In some cases, general coverage is sufficient, but special coverage is required if the production involves water, stunts, hazardous situations or foreign travel.
Commercial producers operate with sharply compressed schedules, rapidly changing environments, various bidding processes and multiple other challenges. These could include escalating advertiser requirements relative to the number of shoot days allowed per project as well as the demand for a highly experienced production team with comprehensive union-contact knowledge — as this can prove vital to the overall job cost. Commercial productions have a critical need for proven expertise in the areas of payroll, job costing and corporate accounting.
As with film and television, workers’ compensation also is a major concern, especially as it relates to securing a safe location for a shoot. Commercial producers similarly need to understand and capitalize upon available tax incentives.
Music tours are regional, national and international in scope. New crew needs to be on-boarded in each new city and performers and crew must be paid accurately and promptly (through direct deposit) regardless of location. Calculating and paying taxes across the U.S. and abroad requires employer certifications in each location and it is essential to be up to date on tax laws of multiple jurisdictions.
Other unique challenges: the inclusion of foreign nationals working in the U.S., as well as handling the sensitive complexities of paying executive officers and high net-worth individuals. Multi-state workers’ compensation is critical and requires intensive planning and end-of-the-year auditing. Managing the nuances of any injury or disability claim is also burdensome.
Venue operators typically self-operate their staff, whether they work as part of the front-of-house, on event day or are part-time employees. It is a model proven successful. A challenge each of them faces, however, is the need to increase their internal infrastructure to manage and administer a large and complex workforce. On-boarding and managing hundreds, if not thousands, of seasonal hourly union and non-union staff requires meticulous organization and easy-to-understand systems.
The operators require robust payroll and workers’ compensation solutions so they don’t have to take on the increased costs or potential liability associated with being an administrative employer of thousands of seasonal and part-time employees. Due to the volume of hourly staff, maintaining self-managed workers’ compensation insurance can become quite costly and burdensome, as well.
Festivals and Live Events
Festivals and Live Events are cyclical. The logistical organization that is required, particularly as it relates to the number of people needed to work the event in multiple shifts through multiple days, necessitates everyone to be in sync and on their toes from start to finish. This requires specialized expertise in handling payroll and other services for temporary and part-time employees.
Operators want to achieve efficiency through streamlining of processes and digitization of administrative paperwork. It is critical that temporary staff is properly employed, classified and paid expediently and that the event complies with all federal and state regulations.