Film Finance TermsSAG
The Screen Actors Guild, the American equivalent of British Actors Equity.

Sale and leaseback
A sale of an asset which is immediately leased back to the seller by the buyer.

Sales agent
An agent appointed by the producer to act as agent for the sale of the film. See also distributor.

SECAM
Sequential Colour and Memory – the code system used in France by which colour television pictures are distributed or transmitted using 625 lines. See also PAL and NTSC.

Secondary rights
See ancillary rights.

Security agreement
A charge or mortgage of the copyright and distribution rights in a film and of the physical materials created in the process of producing the film given by the production company as security for the repayment or a loan or investment used to finance the cost of production of the film. See also assignment by way of security and priority agreement.

Sequel
A film which follows another film, using the same characters but depicting later events. See also prequel.

SESAC
SESAC Inc, an American collecting society acting on behalf of composers and music publishers.

Simultaneous cable relay
The relay by cable of television programme signal transmitted over the air simulataneously with (or effectively simultaneously with) the original transmission. The expression usually relates to the relay of a whole programme service or channel rather than individual programmes.

Single purpose vehicle or SPV
A company established for a particular project or to hold a particular asset. An SPV is often used by the borrower’s group to contain insolvency risk and/or make it easier to give a lender the floating charge it will normally seek.

Source material
The original work on which the screenplay for a film is based.

Standard television
The American equivalent of free television.

Stop date 
The last date on which a performer or director can be obliged to work. A performer or director may want the certainty of knowing when he/she will be free to accept another engagement. Stop dates are unpopular with completion guarantors, as it can be very expensive to replace an important member of the cast or the director if a film is delayed.

Strike price
See completion guarantee.

Subordinated debt
Debt, the repayment of which is postponed or subordinated to the claims of other creditors on liquidation or administration. The subordination may be in favour of a particular creditor or in favour of all other creditors (or a class of them).Where the subordination is in favour of all creditors, the subordinated debt is akin to share capital and isoften treated as such, particularly in relation to financial covenants. The subordination will usually (but need not) encompass payment of interest, fees etc. in respect of the debt as well as its repayment.

Syndicated loan
A loan provided by a number of banks (called a `syndicate’) as opposed to a `bilateral loan’ between one lender and the borrower.

Takeover
Completion guarantors and some financiers require a right to take over the production of a film if the producer becomes insolvent, commits a material breach of its obligations to the completion guarantor or the financier encounters serious production problems. This may involve firing some of the crew and/or cast working on the film, including the director.

Talent unions
In Britain, British Actors Equity, the Musicians’ Union and the Writers Guild of Great Britain, being the respective joint negotiating bodies on behalf of actors, musicians and screen writers.

Tax transparency
A legal structure is tax transparent if it results in the same tax consequences for the ultimate investors whether they invest directly or through the legal structure. An example of an arrangement which is tax transparent is a corporate partnership, ie a partnership the members of which are companies.

Tax shelter
A relief, allowance, deduction or credit for taxation purposes which has the effect of eliminating, reducing, or deferring, a liability to tax.

Tax haven
A jurisdiction which eith charges no tax or tax at very low rates. Examples are the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda and Cayman Islands.

Television rights
The collective expression includes a number of different forms of television, such as free and pay television and terrestrial and satellite television. When granting television rights, care should be taken to be specific as to the rights granted if revenues are to be maximised.

Theatrical rights
The rights to exhibit the film in cinemas and other places of public viewing to which the general public is admitted and for which an admission charge in money or money’s worth is made.

Title Search
A report, usually carried out by agents in the United States, on registrations of works under the proposed title of the film and on literary works, television programmes and films bearing the same or similar titles to that proposed for the film. The report may inlude a digest of references to projects bearing the same or a simila title which have appeared in the film industry trade press.

Triple track
Separate magnetic track (sound) can come in a number of formats. Triple track is the format which contains three separate sound tracks. Any sound can be put onto a tack, for example, one track may be M & E track. A triple track is frequently used for stero sound, one track being used for the left, one track for the right and the third unused.

Turnaround
When a project is developed, the person financing the development has an agree period in which to put the project into production, failing which the project goes into turnaround. When this happens the producer is entitled to buy the project back from the financier, usually for all or a proportion of the sums advanced by the financier.

Underspend
The amount by which the budgeted cost of the film, exceeds the actual cost of production of the film.

Window
A period during which a particular form of exploitation of a film may take place, for example a free television window.

Writers Guild of Great Britain
See talent unions.

Film Finance Terms A – C

Film Finance Terms D – F
Film Finance Terms G – M
Film Finance Terms N – R
Film Finance Terms S – Z

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