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 Working on coproductions, you care deeply about what the exchange rate is doing between the two or three currencies you are using (in order to maximize money making it to the screen instead of to exchange rate loss).

UBC’s Sauder School of Business has the the ability to plot exchange rates at the Pacific Exchange Rate Service… in effect a “Currency Plotter“.

There is nothing like looking at a graph of the currency exchange rate to give you a big picture look at the exchange rate related to your production and over time. I’m not saying you can predict the exchange rate, but… well… just make the choices, “make a chart” and see what I mean. It’ll be a tool I know you’ll want to use again and again:

http://fx.sauder.ubc.ca/plot.html

Cheers & happy exchange rate plotting!
Deb

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Sometimes you don’t want to use the 3-digit currency code when typing references to money. If you only need to refer to your own country’s currency – that’s easy – because your currency’s symbol is bound to be easily found on your keyboard.

Here are some keyboard short cuts for other currencies too:

While holding down “Alt” (on a PC), type the number next to it (using the number keypad), and then release.

$ ALT 36 USD, CAD, AUD… Dollar (various countries)
£ ALT 156 GBP Pound Sterling 
ALT 0128  EUR Euro
¥ ALT 157 JPY Yen

For symbols not included in the reference lists above, look for the “insert a symbol” or “insert a special character” menu to find a complete list of international symbols available to you on the software of your computer.

Cheers & a great international shoot to you,
Deb

– – – – – – – – – –

“Film Production Management 101:
Management & Coordination in a Digital Age”
** SECOND EDITION IN BOOKSTORES NOW **

UPCOMING EVENTS: (more details at www.debpatz.com ):
* Booksigning/USA launch at the Writers Store in Burbank – 11am Sat.Oct.23

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Ah, the international flavour of film festivals – from the movies themselves to the filmmakers and fans! When producing an international copro, communication and courtesy are essential to working successfully with business partners. A small (but appreciated) detail is to use the correct accents in those communications – especially when those accents are on someone’s name.

Typing accents on an English keyboard with Windows is a challenge. Pin a reference chart near your computer screen of keyboard short cuts for many of the accents you may use. For event faster reference, highlight the ones you’ll use the most.

Laura K. Lawless at About.com has a great list of ALT keyboard short cuts for accents that I refer to all the time. Here’s a modified chart of some of the ones I use the most.

While holding down “Alt,” type the number next to it (using the number keypad), and then release.

á ALT 0225 Á ALT 0193
à ALT 133 À ALT 0192
â ALT 131 À ALT 0194
ä ALT 0228 Ä ALT 0196
       
é ALT 130 É ALT 144
è ALT 138 È ALT 0200 
ê ALT 136 Ê ALT 0202 
       
í ALT 0237 Í ALT 0205
î ALT 140 Î ALT 0206
       
ó ALT 0243 Ó ALT 0211 
ô ALT 147 Ô ALT 0212
ö ALT 0246 Ö ALT 0214
       
ú ALT 0250 Ú ALT 0218
û ALT 150 Û ALT 0219
ü ALT 0252 Ü ALT 0220
       
ç ALT 135 Ç ALT 128
ñ ALT 0241 Ñ ALT 0209 
     ß ALT 0223
       
« ALT 174  » ALT 175 
 ¿ ALT 0191 ¡ ALT 0161

 For even faster typing, some programs allow you to add accents using CTRL with the logically similar punctuation mark (like an apostrophe for an accent grave), but not all programs acknowledge these CTRL commands. ALT commands take a little longer to type, but tend to work in all programs (on a PC).

For accents not included in the reference lists above, look for the “insert a symbol” or “insert a special character” menu to find a complete list of international symbols available to you on the software of your computer.

Cheers & a great international shoot to you,
Deb

– – – – – – – – – –

“Film Production Management 101:
Management & Coordination in a Digital Age”
** SECOND EDITION IN BOOKSTORES NOW **

UPCOMING EVENTS: (more details at www.debpatz.com ):
* Booksigning/USA launch at the Writers Store in Burbank – 11am Sat.Oct.23

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Here are some more of my “favourite” expensive expenses…

6. Stunts & Special Effects – Well, any of the special departments really. Lots of planning (read “money in prep”) has to happen to make sure the “special” shots happen with all their movie magic on-the-day. The many logistics on set to address issues like safety will also slow down the speed of the production on-the-day.

7. Prototype Equipment – Prototype means there is no backup when it goes wrong or breaks down – you have the only one. You  may need 24-hour fix-it crew to keep the equipment in working order for the set day. If you are fortunate enough to work with a prototype when there is two – one will be being repaired while you’re on set with the other one… Murphy’s rules.

8. Large Vistas – The more you see in a shot, the more it costs. If it’s a country vista in a period piece, there will probably be telephone poles or the like to digitally remove. If it’s a city vista, you may need to close a number of streets with all the permits and personnel required to do so. If you have crowds of people in the vista – that’s a lot of (paid) extra vouchers.

9. International Co-Productions – Granted that structuring a coproduction may be necessary for the Producer to raise sufficient funds to make the movie, but the costs of travelling cast, crew and/or equipment, immigration & customs, the extra sets of accounting books, the extra legal costs to set up the necessary documentation, etc. bring unique expenses to a production that non-copros do not typically have to deal with.

10. Music Rights – There are rights to use the “sheet music” (kind of “author rights”) – that allows you to perform your own version of the song… but there are also “master recording rights” that you also need to purchase if you want to play a certain recording of that song… and sometimes there are also artist rights that have been held back by certain performing artists that you have to purchase too. If the song you want is in the public domain… someone can still write a particular arrangement of the P/D song and therefore attach new “author rights” to the song you thought was going to be free. Research the origin of any and all music you want to include in your film in any manner.

Happy budgeting!

Cheers,
Deb

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