What is a key creative team?
The key creative team comprises of the writer, director and lead producer on a project.
Do you need to have separate people for each key creative team role?
No, but we do require teams to have at least two people across these roles. You can have a writer/director, a writer/producer or director/producer as long as there are at least 2 different people across key creative positions. In the case of co-writers and co-directors, they will count as one person for the purposes of application.
Can you have more than one person in a key creative team role?
Yes, co-writers, co-directors and producing teams are welcome, however only the lead producer is part of the key creative team.
What is a Lead Producer?
The lead producer spearheads the project and is the producer who is part of the key creative team and will be who Mercury CX will contract and communicate with in regard to the grant regardless of whether the project has a producing team or co-producers.
Can I apply without a complete key creative team?
Applications are expected to have a complete key creative team.
Can I change my key creative team before or after the grant decisions have been made?
It is expected that the key creative team at application will remain the same and changes may result in the project acceptance changing due to reassessment, however appropriate alterations may be considered in extenuating circumstances.
Can I have an Executive Producer? Can they be interstate or overseas?
Yes, executive producers are optional and allowed and they can be interstate or overseas if you can demonstrate how they are an asset for your team and as long as you have a South Australian Producer in your Key Creative Team.
Are mentors allowed? Can they be interstate or overseas?
Yes, mentors are optional and allowed and they can be interstate or overseas if you can demonstrate how they are an asset for your team and how they will be able to support you remotely.
Will you help me find a mentor?
No, mentors are not a requirement to participate.
Can cast or crew come from interstate?
It is expected that you will source your cast and crew locally in South Australia, however exceptions will be made for specific interstate cast and crew if the key creative team can demonstrate why that particular person is necessary to the success of the project. All members of the key creative team however must be South Australian residents.
Can vendors be interstate?
We hope you use this opportunity to forge relationships with South Australia's many excellent production and post production vendors, however working with vendors outside of South Australia is not prohibited.
How about for animations?
Animation projects must have significant South Australian participation, however use of vendors outside South Australia is allowed as long as projects can demonstrate significant South Australian participation.
If I apply at a budget level is that the only budget level I am eligible for?
If your project is shortlisted and we feel that your project should be considered at a higher or lower budget level, we will ask you to provide an updated budget at the new level.
Can I apply at a different grant amount that those stated?
No, your budget and rational should match the tier you are applying for.
Can I have funding from other sources?
Yes, you can have private money, other grants and in-kind support for your projects in addition to the Quicksilver Grant.
Can I already have filmed my project?
Completed projects are not eligible for Quicksilver however a post-production grant may be considered in exceptional circumstances and documentaries may already have some footage shot.
Can I have VFX, animation, AR or VR in my project?
If you can make it work for your budget, you have a distribution plan that considers this and the project meets eligibility requirements, sure.
Can I have Special FX, animals, children, guns or stunts in my project?
If you meet local legal requirements, have the right safety precautions in place and they are being led by experienced professionals, projects involving special FX, animals, children, guns and/or stunts will be considered, however there will be additional requirements that teams will need to meet.
Can I film interstate or overseas?
As the key creative crew must be South Australian it is expected you will shoot in South Australia. However exceptions may be made on case-by-case basis for documentary projects.
Is there a premiere requirement?
No, we encourage a release pathway that includes a national or international premiere at a highly regarded film festival.
Do you take the copyright of granted projects?
No, the filmmakers retain copyright over their projects, however contractual obligations include credit for Mercury CX and screening and publicity opportunities to promote MCX and the Quicksilver program.
Do I have to pay cast and crew at MEAA rates? Are deferrals allowed? Are volunteers allowed?
We assume most productions will work with volunteer cast and crew. Volunteer cast and crew will be covered by Mercury CX insurance as part of your inkind. Volunteers can be paid honorariums or kit rentals. The production can decide whether they are paying cast and crew members and at what rates as long as both parties are in agreement and contractual obligations are met. Paid cast and crew will need to be employed and insured by the production company. Deferrals are allowed, but you will need to ensure that your distribution plan is executable with the deferrals in place. The production will be solely responsible for all deferrals and meeting any guild, union or collection organisation obligations.
Are there restrictions to what the grant money is allowed to be spent on?
Grant money is to be solely spent on the production and distribution of the granted project in line with the approved budget. Producers will be responsible for the funds and required to manage budgets, keep financial documents and show where the funds have been spent.
How is the grant delivered?
Grant funds will be delivered in contracted instalments, transferred into the nominated bank account following receipt of invoice and having met the requirements of that stage of production. If a team is in breach of any requirements, they may be in breach of contract have future instalments of the grant revoked.
Can I take the in-kind support as cash instead?
No, the Mercury CX in-kind support is not transferable in any way.
Can I use the in-kind support for a cast and crew or premiere screening?
No, the Mercury Cinema is excluded from in-kind support. However limited work in progress and tech check screenings may be available in the Iris Cinema on an availability and accessibility basis during business hours.
When do I have to shoot?
You can set your shoot schedule according to availability of crew and the demands of the production but should be well in advance of the contracted delivery date.
Yay, I got a grant, when I do get the $?
Funds usually take 6-8 weeks to process following completion of initial contracting, however instalments will typically be processed within 2 weeks of invoicing and delivery of required paperwork.
When does the film or project have to be finished?
Delivery of the completed project is 12 months from execution (signing by both parties) of the Grant Agreement.
Is the grant recoupable?
No, the grant does not need to be repaid.
Do you have specific rules and regulations?
Yes, there are several contractual obligations that teams will need to meet in order to receive funds. Key creative team members will be required to become Mercury CX members in order to receive grant funds and they will be required to sign the Mercury CX accord for the respectful treatment of cast and crew. Pre-production, production and delivery paperwork will also be required, with templates and support provided to complete these on schedule. A breach of any of these can mean future instalments or in-kind support attached to the grant may be revoked and the key creative team members considered in breach of their contractual obligations.
What happens if COVID forces me to cancel my shoot?
Unfortunately this is a reality we will need to face and you should make sure you have contingency plans in place in the event of a COVID shutdown. While we won't be able to increase grant amounts to cover such a circumstance, we will work with you to make alternative arrangements whenever possible. Mercury CX will not support productions that put cast and crew at risk.