FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING L-OPIF
Local Oregon Production Investment Fund (L-OPIF) – rebates 25% of goods/services paid to Oregon registered vendors and 20% of Oregon-based payroll (including fringe benefits). Applies to projects being actively produced by an Oregon resident producer or an Oregon headquartered production company spending a minimum of $75,000 and up to $1million in Oregon for any single project or season of a series. The local filmmaker must hire at least 80% Oregon residents as speaking cast + crew, contract with a third party company for payroll services and carry production insurance.
L-OPIF now also includes local “media production services”. Media production services, as defined in the bill, include post-production services and interactive video game development.
In layman’s terms, projects where only post-production work is done in Oregon may apply for L-OPIF if the above thresholds and requirements are met. Video game projects are also eligible to apply with the same requirements.
Q: Can I apply for L-OPIF now if I’m working on a “post-production only” or video game project?
A: Yes you can. Interactive games and “post only” project qualify for L-OPIF if they are being produced by an Oregon Headquartered company and are spending at least $75,000 in the state of Oregon.
Q: My video game company (or post-production company) will be producing 4 projects over a calendar year. Can I fill out one application as a company?
A: No. Each individual project must apply as a separate project. We cannot accept speculative applications based on anticipated work.
Q: May I apply as I am bidding for a project?
A: You cannot officially compete an application until the project has been awarded and financed. But we can review a budget and then tentatively hold the anticipated rebate amount while you are bidding for work, but only for a fixed amount of time. Should you win the bid, we will then have you apply, complete the contracting phase and then formally reserve the funds for your project.
Q: My Company does post-production for commercials. May I apply for a rebate on one of those projects?
A: No. L-OPIF is only for projects with some form of a narrative. Commercial production, news, and sports programming are not allowed in the program according to the statute.
Q: Can my company outsource work out of the state and still apply for the program?
A: You may, but any expense that occurs physically outside the state (a la outsourcing work) will not count towards the rebate. By law, you are also are required to have 80% of your cast and crew be residents of Oregon to qualify for the rebate, so excessive outsourcing may exclude you from the program. Any inaccurate reporting about the location of the work will cause that project to be excluded from any rebate and may prevent the production company from being able to apply for a rebate on any future projects.
It is also important for producers utilizing the Oregon incentives program to familiarize themselves with the state laws regarding Independent Contractors; which can be found on the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry website. Incentives cannot be paid to companies and projects which are in conflict with state laws.
Q: Can we capture “retroactive” expenses?
A: No. The only expenses that can be incentivized are those which have been incurred after the date on the application for the project. We cannot accept an application and then “reach back” for expenses which were dated prior to the application date itself.
Q: What defines an “Oregon Resident?”
A: The actual definition of an Oregon resident can be found via the “Oregon Laws” website, specifically ORS 316.027
Q: How are airline ticket expenses qualified?
A: All travel related costs that are booked through an Oregon-based travel agent into and out of Oregon will count at the 25% rate. Travel booked though an exclusively online agent or directly with the airlines will not qualify.
Q: For L-OPIF, how is the 80% cast and crew calculated?
A: There’s two way to calculate this: # of people and total amount of payroll. for example, if you have 4 speaking cast and 6 crew members, 8 of those 10 people need to be Oregon residents
If you have a total of $100k in payroll for the project, $80,000 of that payroll needs to be paid to Oregon residents.
Q: Is the 80% calculated as a total of cast and crew? Or does it need to be at least 80% cast and 80% crew?
A: Speaking cast (not extras) plus crew working in Oregon, combined, not separate.
Q: Does the 80% requirement go for all ATL? Writers, producers, etc.?
A: Writers don’t generally qualify for our incentive as that is considered “development” but it does include producers and directors working in Oregon on L-OPIF projects.
Q: You certify a specific amount based on the budget prior to the beginning of principal photography. But if there are overages, that can be revisited with your office?
A: We do set an amount in the contract, yes, as it is a capped incentive program. If there are significant overages we will happily review a budget and amend the contract to increase the amount if it is warranted and if there is still money available in the OPIF program to do so.
Q: Is it safe to say 4-6 weeks after final OR spend, the production would receive their rebate? Is that wired or a physical check?
A: It can be wired or a check and yes it is generally turned around within 4-6 weeks of us receiving all of the required audit documents.
Q: What are the DEI Reporting and Safe Set procedures and requirements?
A:Every incentive participating company is required to have a written diversity, equity and inclusion policy to hire or contract with individuals from underrepresented groups as of the date on which the company submits an application for reimbursement. In accordance with that written policy, each company must actively engage in good faith efforts to hire or contract with individuals from underrepresented groups for the production. This written policy needs to be submitted during the application process and then adhered to during the hiring, prep and production periods. The tracked groups include women, BIPOC, LGTBQ+, Veterans, Recent Immigrant and Living with a Disability amongst others.
In addition each company is required to report diversity statistics for all employee hiring related to the production to Oregon Film (“OFVO”) during or after completion of the production. There are three ways to do this –
I) have individuals self-report directly to OFVO upon hiring (here is a link to a questionnaire to do that https://forms.gle/K6uzGFn8ZghTWu4t9) and
II) provide a Company wide report to OFVO upon completion of spending in Oregon (here is a link to a form to do that https://forms.gle/Pz1xXHRZjSZ4Kdm56).
III) if your payroll company is already collecting this data as part of their onboarding or start form process, we may be able to accept a report generated using their data. Please check with us.
Individual data will be kept confidential, but it will be used in the aggregate to inform our office of hiring deficiencies and then help explore ways to approach correcting those deficiencies.
Also, each participating company is required to have a written process for addressing claims of harassment, discrimination and other misconduct related to the production (including, but not limited to, procedures for reporting and investigating harassment claims, a phone number for an individual who will be responsible for receiving harassment claims, and a statement that the company will not retaliate against an individual who reports harassment). This needs to be a specific “process” by which complaints and reports can be made and then followed up on in some form. This can be a monitored “hotline” of some type or even a procedure that is handled by a third party (such as All Voices). The applicant shall also indicate how the policy will be distributed to employees.
We want each production to really think through these requirements and find the policies and procedures that work for them and their project in order to make their sets and studios safe and welcoming places for all people to work. This is why we do not have sample policies that can be just cut and pasted into our form.
Q: If we hire Oregon residents and use them in a location outside of Oregon, does that qualify?
A: No, that would not qualify. The intent (and governing statutes) for the program is to keep and bring projects into Oregon so that the knock-on economic benefit that goes beyond the jobs (i.e. vendors, taxes, future tourism etc) stay within the state. We are not able to apply it to work that is happening outside of the state whether that work is being done by Oregon residents or not.