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Seeking Funding for your Next Web Series or Game?

Monday, October 5, 2015 is the deadline for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)’s Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund. Have you started your application yet for your next web series or game?

The IDM Fund provides Ontario IDM content creators with funding for high quality, original and interactive digital media content projects headed for commercial exploitation, that make a positive contribution to Ontario’s economy.

While the guidelines and other details are available here –http://www.omdc.on.ca/interactive/Funding/IDM_Fund.htm – and you should read them at least twice before deciding to jump into OMDC’s Online Application Portal – the following are 20 key points / tips:

  1. The Concept Definition Stream(supporting early-stage activities that help applicants move towards the production of a market-ready content project) has a max contribution of $50,000.
  2. The Production Stream(supporting the creation of market-ready content projects that will be released to end users) has a max contribution of $250,000.
  3. The contributions are non-refundable. You don’t pay them back!
  4. The contributions are capped at 50% of the project’s budget. Most applicants don’t ask for the max contribution amounts.
  5. You must spend twice the OMDC contribution in Ontario (if your budget is $100K, and you spend $40K outside of Ontario, the max IDM Fund contribution is $30K [($100K-$40K) * 50%)].
  6. Expenses incurred pre-application are ineligible.
  7. While most IDM Fund applications have typically been for games, other eligible options include web series, mobile content applications, and web sites.
  8. Subject to the other qualifiers, projects intended for distribution on a digital media platform or device are eligible. This includes web series exclusively distributed on YouTube.
  9. There are specific corporate characteristics required for company eligibility. If you’re applying through a new corporation, you are likely considered a “start-up” which requires pre-approval from OMDC. Contact them now!
  10. The application requires information about the project (which for the production stream includes the business and marketing plan), the corporation (including a company profile) and the finances (including the detailed budget and financing plan).
  11. Applications must follow the specific financial templates provided by OMDC.
  12. 10% of the budget must be cash from a third party or the company, and there must be supporting documentation. Until they are told otherwise, or until January 8, 2016, OMDC will assume other funds that you applied to for the project were approved (i.e. the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Fund).
  13. Financed Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credits may be included in the financing plan but are not considered part of the cash contribution. Deferrals may be included in the financing plan too.
  14. There are funding opportunities for both proprietary content and partner-owned content.
  15. Sell you and your company and explain why getting the funding will help move your company forward.
  16. Demonstrate clearly and effectively how you will generate revenue and find an attractive audience.
  17. Keep additional material to a minimum. They do not want to see more the max number of pages suggested. Don’t kitchen sink the application!
  18. The IDM Fund is oversubscribed, which means not all great and eligible projects will receive funding. Sell OMDC on your story and project, which should be compelling enough to put you ahead of the other applicants.
  19. There are steps that must be done on OMDC’s web site with the OMDC Online Application Portal (OAP) in advance of submitting your application. Start the process early! Right now! Be sure to read the Guidelines first though.
  20. Any questions? [email protected]!

This post merely scratches the surface about the IDM Fund. Again, read the guidelines and contact OMDC directly about your project. If this year’s deadline is too soon, be sure to apply next year, when IDM Fund’s funding increases again.

If you have any questions about IDM projects, feel free to contact me.

Byron Pascoe is a lawyer with Edwards PC, Creative LawThis boutique law firm provides legal services to Digital Media, Game, TV, Film, Animation, Music and Software industry clients. For more info and blogs, please visit www.edwardslaw.ca

© 2015 Edwards PC

* This post is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Please contact Edwards PC, Creative Law or another lawyer, if you wish to apply these concepts to your specific circumstances.

 

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digital media, Funding, gaming