An Interview With Film Financing Consultant Robert S. Fingerman

R_Fingerman_

Robert S. Fingerman Is a CPA and film financing consultant who owns Independent Films Production Consultants, Inc. Here is a link to his Linkedin.com page:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-s-fingerman-cpa/2/535/112

Q:  What kinds of services does your company provide?

A: My Company, Independent Films Production Consultants, Inc. provides a wide range of financial consulting, accounting & tax services to the motion picture, recording & media industries.

IFPC also provides management and consulting services to artists, film producers, financiers, film funds, studios, distributors, directors, government film agencies, screenplay writers and playwright authors, as well as providing on-site film production accounting. The firm also consults filmmakers on all the various state, federal & international film production tax incentives, including filings and tax preparation

Q:  What is the main difference between being a consultant for the film industry and being an accountant for other kinds of businesses?

A:  You never have to wear a suit & tie, and I rarely shave. You are well paid for your vision & experience. A good personality & speaking skills are very important and rare for a typical accountant.

Q: What is the most common financial mistake that independent film makers make?

A:  Speaking to investors & talent before their investment package and budget are complete.

Q:  What is the strangest thing you have ever seen anyone try to write off?

A: Their wife’s face lift.

Q:  Are artist really less discipline when it comes to money than other people?

A: Yes: Artists, in the film business, by nature do not like, trust, respect or feel comfortable dealing with bankers, lawyers & accountants. And the craziness of the financial roller coaster life they live makes them less disciplined.

Q:  How can my readers tell if a film is a good investment?

A: Three important conditions must exist. 1-Does the film project have an audience. 2-Does the film producers know how to reach its audience. 3- Do the film producers respect the investors goals.

Q: What are some little known financial resources you can recommend to young film makers?

A: Crowd funding, Non-profit organizations that support film projects, & Wealthy investors looking for films with a social or political conscience.

Q:  If an artist only wants green M&Ms can I write off the whole bag of M&Ms or just the green ones?

A:  The whole bag, even though you could buy only green ones at the Times Square, NYC M&M store.

Q: How can my readers tell if an accountant is honest?

A:  If they are in business for a long time, with the same, satisfied client base, and still perform the same services over decades, then they are honest.

Q: What do you think is a fitting punishment for Nicholas Cage?

A:  Really don’t understand the question. I like most of his films. I know he has had problems with the IRS, his choice of business managers and wives. This is very common to most of the talent in the film business.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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