According to figures published by the Czech State Fund of Cinematography, Amazon Studio’s production of The Wheel of Time TV series stands to receive close to fifteen million dollars in incentives for the first season of the show.
Wotseries.com reached out to the State Fund of Cinematography for confirmation on the reported figures. We received written confirmation that “the first season has a total allocation of 376,897,291 CZK” or Czech Koruna, which equals $14.9 million US dollars according to current exchange rates. This Czech State Fund was established in 2013 to attract more filmmakers.
This incentive program offers production companies and studios a 20% cash rebate on qualifying “Czech spending”, according to the Czech Film Commission‘s website. A simple calculation puts the cost of season one of Amazon’s adaptation well north of $75,000,000 if the filmmaker is to maximize the incentive allocation.
More Than $10,000,000 Per Episode
At $15 million US dollars in incentives allocated to the show, the filmmakers will have to spend around $75,000,000 to receive the full allocation on “Czech goods and services”. This will not include most foreign actors’ salaries, salaries for directors and other foreign crew and staff. Rosamund Pike alone (deservedly) will receive $350k per episode according to fantasy news website WinterIsComing.net. We can safely deduce that the first season will cost more than $80-$90 million, or $10+ million per episode.
The Czech Republic Production Incentives
According to the Czech Film Commission, this program pays 20% cash rebate to filmmakers on qualifying Czech and International spending. The program pays the incentive to feature, animation, documentary and fictional films with a runtime over 70 minutes, or TV series with a per-episode runtime of at least 30 minutes. Animated series with at least 5 minutes per episode also qualify.
The rebate stands at 20% on qualifying Czech costs and 66% on withholding tax paid in the Czech Republic. The minimum spend for a TV episode to qualify is 8 million CZK, or $316k USD. What’s covered includes Czech goods and services paid to individuals and companies paying income taxes in Czechia. Examples of this include rental equipment, transportation, catering and local actors and crew. The applicant for these funds must be a resident in the Czech Republic.
This fund has paid out $32 million USD in 2016 (which includes projects form prior years) and $22 million in 2017. For projects initiated in 2018, $43 million has been paid out to date. One of the biggest recipients of incentives from this fund is Amazon’s Carnival Row, which received over $11 million dollars for season 1, and has an allocation of $9.7 million dollars for the second season, currently in production. Other notable projects include Whiskey Cavalier, Knightfall, Miracle Workers and Das Boot.
Asked if any funds have been released to the production, the State Fund told wotseries.com that the funds have not been yet paid since “the incentive is paid after the production in the moment audited statements and other final documents are submitted.”