The art of keeping the cameras rolling

As one of Australia’s brightest film and digital production agencies, Melbourne-based NB Content knows the true value of cash flow.

When a new project is born, it’s not only lights, camera, action they must worry about – it’s managing teams of people from pre-production through to post production and launch, and the ongoing expenses that come with them.

The financial challenge to keep everything running smoothly is omnipresent.

NB Content Chief Financial Officer, Scott Pioro, explains: “When you hit pre-production, everything starts to happen and so does the cash flow commitment. You know the deposit cheque is coming but the ball is already rolling and then we generally don’t get final payment by our clients until well after the post production stage, and that could be 30, 60 or 90 days later and our crews and suppliers need to be paid much earlier than that.”

The impact to cash flow is both obvious and immediate.

Like most production companies, NB Content provides for a mix of both salaried employees and freelancers to supply their steady production of big budget film advertisements and digital content.

“We have up-front payroll obligations and payment terms for our freelancers of around 30 days. Then we have talent who require 7-10 day terms plus filming permits and location fees usually due upfront...with clients who pay us at the end of a project on 30, 60 or 90 day have to keep everything going until then.”

Enter Apricity, one of Australia’s leading providers of debtor finance.

“When we start pre-production, we need access to funds from day one. Apricity is really handy when we need the extra cash flow,” said Mr Pioro.

“The great thing about Apricity is that we don’t need to go down the path of a bank overdraft. As a business, we don’t like to have a lot of debt on our balance sheet, and Apricity provides a great way around this. Their product means they are on call when and if we need them.”

Apricity assists companies like NB Content by paying their client invoices upfront, for a fee.

“Some companies live on their overdraft very easily, but that’s a path we are not interested in going down. By bringing our invoice payments forward, we can smooth out our cash flows when it suits us to do so,” he said.

“We’ve looked at other products like merchant loans and cash advance, but they’re annoying because they don’t fit our business model and you can also pay a ridiculous amount of money on top of what you borrowed weekly or even daily.

“Apricity takes out the challenge of cash flow during our peak periods. It’s a great financial resource for us to drawn on when we need to.”