Foreign Fixer/Production Company / Overseas Facility Company

  • Choosing a service company
  • Contract
  • Budget
  • Cashflow
  • FX rate
  • FX risk
  • Bribery act
  • Wording of in-vision contracts
    • Cast
    • Extras
    • Crew
    • Locations
  • Fee
  • Services
  • VAT

It is recommended that legal advice is sought on how to structure contractual relationships in foreign countries.

Fixer is often an individual, who is a local resident, with experience of setting up shoots.   They can help arrange facilities, crew, locations etc, but the contracts for these are usually directly with the UK production company.

Foreign Production Company can be contracted to take on full responsibility for completing the filming.  They are given the full budget and will deliver the completed film.

An Overseas Facility Company can act as a half-way house between using a fixer or foreign production company.  The facility company can act as a fixer to help arrange any of the services required, and can also contract directly with the suppliers, but will charge a commission for doing so.  There are significant benefits to using a facility company / fixer to contract and pay local cast and crew, as employment law can be complex.  Using local experts ensures contracts, payments and deductions are handled correctly.  UK production companies can inadvertently set themselves up as local employers, leading to all the responsibilities and costs this incurs.

Special Purpose Vehicle – In some countries, an SPV can be set up to be make the production, it is set up by the UK production company and the foreign production company.  This can enable local tax breaks to be accessed.

Where the local company raises contracts for anything or anyone In Vision, it should be ensured that the wording of the contract includes the buyout of Rights in accordance with the production’s needs.

Production Services Agreement

Legal advice should be sought when agreeing the production services agreement; it is not advisable to just accept the contract provided by the foreign fixer / foreign production company.  Some key areas to check include:

  • Fee – how it is calculated, when it is payable
  • Budget – is the budget agreed in sterling or foreign currency, therefore who takes the risk of exchange rate differences?
  • Cashflow – it may be necessary for payments to initially exceed the budget, and then cash returned at the end e.g. timing of VAT reclaims etc.
  • Contracting suppliers / crew – clarifying who is contracting the local suppliers and crew
  • Detail of services required
  • Bribery act responsibilities
  • VAT – where the reclaiming of overseas VAT is not immediate consideration must made as to how this VAT cashflowed.
  • Tax Credit – where reclaiming an overseas tax credit consideration must be made as to the timing of that income and who it is to be paid to.