Yorkshire's Own Movie Mogul

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Finance

 Film Funding Book

A tax expert in Huddersfield is helping find funding for what he hopes will be the next big British movie. Richard Garrod, a partner at Huddersfield accountancy firm Mazars has been appointed tax adviser to the Film Production Alliance.

 Stuntman supreme Vic Armstrong to Direct

"This investment structure will interest people with a passion for films - and anyone looking for something a little bit more unusual than stocks and shares," Mr Garrod says.

The company is looking for £20m to pay for a string of high-profile productions. First in the film pipeline is Spytrapper, which focuses on a young writer who discovers the truth about his father's death and uncovers a high-level terrorist plot.

PA aims to attract leading British actors with Hollywood credentials to star in the blockbuster. Spytrapper, due for release next year, will be directed by world-renowned stuntman and director Vic Armstrong.

He was Harrison Ford's stunt double in the Indiana Jones movies and was stunt co-ordinator on a string of films, including War of the Worlds, Charlie's Angels, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day.

Garrod is working with Film Alliance Ltd and its financial advisers to prepare documentation for potential backers. He said several film partnership schemes had been launched to help pay for British movies.

“They became more popular after 1997, when the Government introduced generous tax breaks for backers of UK films. They involve sale-and-leaseback deals on the distribution rights of films and provide a means of sheltering income and capital gains from tax. Film partnerships have become increasingly popular," said Mr Garrod.

"They've raised millions of pounds to help get movies such as The Full Monty and Billy Elliot off the ground,” the accountant says. “"These films have performed very well at the box office and, in turn, have performed very well for their investors. Strong DVD, video and soundtrack sales have added an important income stream.”