Learn how the Illinois tax incentives work

Although Illinois’ filmmakers 30% tax incentive has been available, agencies, advertisers and producers haven’t been taking full advantage of this opportunity to maximize their budgets and sharpen their competitive edge.

To take everyone involved in commercial production through the tax incentive process, Media Services and Showbiz Software will host a workshop, “Turning Soft Money into Gold,” Nov. 17 at Fletcher Camera.

This specially-designed professional development program provides a working knowledge of the latest industry tools and time and money-saving information.

“Tax incentives are a hot topic now,” says Steve Bizenov, New York-based Media Services VP/Sales and Software Development, and one of the five panelists who will speak on the topic.

“We’ve been holding these seminars all over the country. But this is our first one in Chicago.”

The first half of the program, from 1:30-3 p.m. “Making the Most of Your Production Dollars,” covers the hottest issues in today’s incentives programs, planning and budgeting, assessment, qualifying, how to access and qualify for tax credits, tax, accounting and payroll issues and more.

Discussing the process are Boston-based PanJoe Maiella, VP/Media Services, who moderates; New Jersey-based Karen D’Elia, Incentives Specialist, Tax Credits, LLC; New York’s Bizenov; Betsy Steinberg, managing director, Illinois Film Office; Lisa Masseur, executive producer, Radar Studios and Jim Laubinger, CPA, Principal-in-Charge, Corbett, Duncan & Hubly PC, Chicago.

The second part of the workshop, 3:30-5 p.m., “Tools of the Industry,” presented by Steve Bizenov, covers interactive participation with Showbiz Budgeting and Showbiz Scheduling software.

Fletcher Camera is located 1000 N. North Branch, Production Studio F; $20 includes refreshment. Ample free parking. See

COMMENTS