- Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, a leading provider of payroll services serving the entertainment industry for nearly four decades, has expanded its services by establishing Cast & Crew Financial Services, LLC, it was announced today by company President and CEO Eric Belcher. Cast & Crew Financial Services will provide production incentive financing and administration services for film and television productions.
Belcher said, "We are very excited about this opportunity to broaden our product offering, while maintaining the high level of customer service that our clients have come to expect from Cast & Crew."
Deirdre Owens, who has 14 years experience in finance and media, has joined the company as Vice President, Production Incentive Financing. In her position she facilitates loans for film and television productions collateralized by production incentives, such as grants, rebates and transferable tax credits. Owens comes to Cast & Crew from Grosvenor Park Media, where she was senior Vice President, Finance, specializing in underwriting senior, gap and tax loans to production companies. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Owens teams up with Joe Bessacini, Vice President, Film and Television Production Incentives, who joined the company in 2008. Bessacini leads The Incentives Program (TIP) at Cast & Crew, which assists clients in navigating the ever-changing rules and requirements of production incentive programs both domestically and abroad. This group will also begin offering administrative services to producers, including estimating the value of tax credits, preparing and submitting applications, monitoring qualified expenditures and facilitating communication with auditors and the relevant governmental authorities. Bessacini started his career with the Internal Revenue Service before moving to Warner Bros., where he worked for almost 30 years, most recently as Executive Director, Tax.
"Deirdre brings a wealth of production financing experience, and Joe and his team are the go-to source for production incentive guidance and advice for the film and television industry," continued Belcher. "This new initiative brings their collective experience together to provide a full-service production incentive offering for studio and independent production clients alike."
Among the first motion pictures to benefit from their services is Voltage Pictures' The Cobbler, directed by Thomas McCarthy and starring Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi and Dan Stevens. It recently wrapped production in New York. Cast & Crew Financial Services financed the New York state tax credits for the film.
Owens and Bessacini are at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to meet with producers seeking guidance in this area.
Cast & Crew is headquartered in Burbank and has eight offices throughout North America - including New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Albuquerque and Wilmington as well as in Toronto and Vancouver. Cast & Crew recently established its first European office in London.
About Cast & Crew
Founded in 1976, Cast & Crew Entertainment Services is a leading provider of technology-enabled payroll and related business process outsourcing services to the motion picture, television, live entertainment and commercial markets, all supported by 24/7 client services professionals. Production companies use the company's solutions to manage payroll processing and related regulatory filings, production accounting software, workers' compensation insurance coverage and claims administration, residuals processing, purchasing and procurement services, and production incentive guidance. Cast & Crew was acquired by ZelnickMedia in December 2012. www.castandcrew.com
ZelnickMedia is an investment and management enterprise focused on the media and communications industries. The firm is investing from its private equity fund, ZM Capital and currently has interests in interactive entertainment, mobile communications software and services, direct marketing, digital media, broadcast advertising, media services and publishing. www.ZelnickMedia.com