PRODUCTION VALUE

The European Scheduling & Budgeting Workshop

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Working Conditions for Filming

Working Conditions in Malta

Permits:

Malta is an EU member which adopted the Euro currency.

Crew members originating from the EU (and including Norway, Switzerland and Iceland) do not need any working permits to work in Malta.

Non-EU crew members require an employment licence/working permit to work on the island. A block application for this employment licence may be made depending on the country of origin. Application fees and processing times differ but generally take six weeks for processing. Work permits can be processed either before or once a crew member enters Malta.

For location shooting in Malta, when filming in public areas, consent from the relevant local council is required, with common practice being that a donation is made to the local council at the discretion of the production company. Donations are typically between €100 per filming day and €1000, depending on the amount of inconvenience caused to the council and residents.

For use of government property or specific areas such as listed sites or protected environments, permits from different government authorities are required. Processing time generally takes an average of two to three weeks. Urgent permits can be organised sooner if there are no complicated construction plans involved.

All public authorities and organizations apply different location fees and administration prices depending on the type of use, length of time. A typical location fee can range from €300 per day to €5000 for protected buildings and areas. The fee set is more a matter of negotiation than related to any set price list.

Working and Turnaround Hours:

Crew working hours are generally 11 hours + 1 hour lunch break.
Turnaround is 12 hours; and certainly not less than 11 hours unless it’s an exception or due to unpredictable circumstances.
Continuous days with running lunches can be done, in which case the standard working day is 10 working hours or less, as per agreement with crew.

Salaries:

All salaries are negotiable but see guidelines. All rates exclude VAT and fringes.

Malta has a population of approximately 500,000 people and thus there’s a limited crew-base.

A rule of thumb is to budget for a high contingent of foreign crew if another two productions are already prepping or shooting at the same time.

If the crew is put on payroll, which is generally encouraged, fringes need to be paid (see Social Benefits below) and no VAT is involved.

Overtime:

Overtime is paid at time and a half of the normal rate. Sundays and Public Holidays are normally at double time. 7th days are paid at double time regardless of whether the 7th day falls on a Sunday or not.

Social Benefits:

Crew members engaged on a contract of service charge VAT at 18%. In such a case the individual crew member is fully responsible for payment of their Social Security Contributions (SSC-health and pension contributions).

Crew members employed on payroll involves the payment of fringes (SSC) by the producer. These range from 14% to 19% depending on the weekly wage.

Allowances:

Living allowances (or per diem) vary depending on production but on average are between €30 to €60 per day. A typical low-medium budget TV production would pay €30 per filming day and €45 for non-filming days.

Other allowances like for vehicle use vary between €10 and €30 per day.

Maltese crews required to film on Malta’s sister island of Gozo, involving an additional 2 hours of travel time, will typically receive a minimum of 4 paid hours for their travel time and fuel in addition to a ferry cost disbursement. Such allowances can be agreed on a per project basis.

Accommodation

Accommodation costs vary according to season and on room availability.

Rates for 5 star hotels typically start at €130 per night for a standard room on single occupancy to €250 per night in peak season – May/June to September/October. Rates of €100-€120 per night are also possible but highly dependent on the aforementioned variables.

Rates for 5 star hotels typically start at €130 per night for a standard room on single occupancy to €350 per night in peak season – May to October. Rates of €100-€120 per night are possible but highly dependent on the aforementioned variables.

A 4 star hotel room can cost between €100 and €250 depending on the season.

All the above are bed and breakfast rates and include 7% VAT (see below).

Actor’s wages:

Day rates for local actors and day players are negotiable, with a typical day rate for an actor being in the region of €300 – €400 per day. A few actors can also charge up to €600 per day, and a couple top actors are known to charge between €1000-€1500.

Extras Daily Rates:

Value Added Tax (VAT):

VAT is charged at 18%. It is refundable on qualifying goods and services used by a production.

Hotels/accommodation have a 7% VAT rate, generally already built into the room rate.

VAT Refunds take five to nine months to process from the scheduled submission date of the VAT return application.

Financial Incentives:

The Maltese government offers qualifying productions a cash rebate of up to 40% broken down as follows:
standard cash rebate of up to 30% on all eligible expenditure.
The Commissioner has the discretion to award an additional 10% based on the Maltese cultural elements as outlined below:
(a) + 5% if Malta features as Malta or local usage of facilities like Malta Film Studios;
(b) + 5% for maximisation of local resources, like crews, locations, services, etc.

All is based on the qualifying EU expenditure in Malta once filming is complete.  
Expenses like construction materials and fuel are not eligible.
HODs are included with Below-the-Line expenditure.
Above-the-Line personnel are capped at a total expenditure of €500,000 collectively.

Fringes, per diems and EU crew salaries are eligible. Double dipping is not permitted. A standard Cultural Test has to be passed to determine the percentage. Further information can be obtained from the Malta Film Commission website (www.maltafilmcommission.com).

Weather:

Malta has hot and dry summers with about 12 hours of sunshine and mild winters which allow an average of 10 shooting hours.

The Films That Got Made

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