If you want to start trading in the UK, you can simply go ahead and do it. The US, not so. Americans love their bureaucracy and setting up as a sole trader is no exception. So on Monday, I went down to the County Clerk’s office and registered Ascalon Films as a business.
I’ve been using that name for filmmaking for the past five years but it’s only this week that it’s become official. Ascalon Films is now a publicly registered film and video production entity. Okay, well it’s still me, trading as Ascalon Films, but somehow it feels different.
After the County Clerk, we went over to TCF Bank to open a business account. TCF is a bank with branches only around the Mid West. Their big advantage is they offer free banking to small business paying up to 100 items a month and processing 200 payments. Nice.
Sitting at the desk is like sitting in another film set. Yes, American banks have those big safe doors open at the back of the room and everything is open plan, like every heist movie you’ve ever seen. It took about half an hour to open the account and now I have Ascalon Films checks (as opposed to cheques).
And there you have it. I immediately sent out my first invoice to the Michigan Theater for making a short film featuring the life of one of their main supporters, Judy Dow Rumelhart. My first paid work in the USA. I’m looking forward to many more to come. And they enjoyed the film too!
All this plus moving house (closing is today–we get the keys!), dealing with appliances being delivered, finishing American Short Film, bidding on another film project (more paid work, yay!), the insurance claim for lost paintings (bah!), purchasing lighting and sound equipment, accounting, organizing Cinema Slam and a heap of other stuff. Oh, and the boys are off school for the week and running riot.
Life is happening extremely quickly at the moment. It’s a lot of fun and lots of good things. Tonight, basketball. Sunday, Oscar party. Next week, birthday. Phew.