Film Credit Confusion

Coupons remind us of Film Tax Credits. We're going to use the analogy between coupons and tax credits to show how understanding "Film Credit Confusion" can help a producer run a better set.

Imagine you have a 20% coupon to your grocery store. With a coupon you think - great, I'll save money. You leave with your purchase thinking you've made a good deal. And the store sold items. Good for the store, great for you cause you saved.

A coupon is designed to do two things. The first is to bring you into the store. The next is to have a confusing psychological effect on you; its there to make you think you've saved while distracting you as you spend more money than you expected to spend. In any retail setting, once customers enter a the store, they buy items they didn't anticipate buying (largely due to packaging and marketing displays) and more often than not, they spend more on the unanticipated items than on the items they plan to buy.

Think about yourself - I'm sure you've entered the market and thought something like - oh, pumpkin spice bagels, all right, I have a coupon anyway, yum - nobody has ever gone into a market with the intent of buying pumpkin spice bagels, but you leave with them in your reusable mesh bag.

That's how a coupon works. They invite you and then they confuse you. When a person has in their hand, what they perceive to be 20% free money, they buy the pumpkin spice bagels and they buy more items generally because they feel 20% of it is free.

The faulty, confused math is 20% of whatever I spend is still 20% less and I'm getting such a great value! Expect, comparing if you don't buy the bagels and your bill is $90 and if you do buy the bagels and your bill is $100, you see you're saving $28 when you don't buy the bagels and only $20 when you do. Look at it written it seems stupid and obvious. It's not you. You were confused. The coupon worked. The only effective way to use coupons is to spend less money. That's why they're confusing - we all have the instinct to think we have a deal, so let's spend more. When in reality, the saving on ly matter if we spend less.

Now, let's think about film tax credits in the same way as coupons. They're very similar.

The credit incentives you to walk in the door of the sate. It works. Consider Georgia - Georgia's credit is one of the best in the USA, and in 2016, they led the nation in Top 100 Domestic Feature Production with 17, compared to Cali at 12, and NY at 6. Georgia is excelling at getting customers in the door.

Now, once producers cross the state's threshold, we know they're likely to spend more money less effectively than they should be spending. From a producer's perspective, they may assume they have a deal, and they fall into the same pattern as the customer in the grocery store. Again, it is confusion. Terrific line and unit production managers experience it.

If a producer wants to run a better set, they have to temper the temptation to spend more, to understand and avoid coupon confusion, and they have to have the wisdom to spend less without sacrificing necessity. Even though we've spent up to now talking about coupons - and hopefully we've helped - that last obstacle is the real challenge.

If a producer can't save money creatively and wisely, they're going to walk away over budget and under-resourced. Saving money without sacrificing necessity, producers want to know how. Some already do. Ask us about our technology. Run A Better Set can help you run your set, better.

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