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in Filmmaking
on Jan 8, 2008

In a sudden and stunning piece of news that’s just breaking within the film production comunity, Axium, one of the industry’s largest payroll services and a leader in the administration of state tax incentives for independent producers, is closing and will be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 corporate bankruptcy, a company ceases its operations and its assets are liquidated to its creditors and investors by a court-appointed trustee. We will try to have more details, including news of what will happen to current productions that have their payroll with Axium, soon.

UPDATE, 7:00PM: News on Axium’s closing is beginning to appear in other media outlets. The Hollywood Reporter is currently headlining it on their site in a story written by Borys Kit and Carolyn Giardina.

From the piece:

Axium International, the industry’s largest payroll services providers as well as a source for production and gap financing, has closed its doors indefinitely.

The company’s home office on Wilshire Boulevard as well offices in Burbank, New York, Vancouver, Toronto and London are quiet, with employees told via e-mail not to show up to work starting Tuesday.

Sources said that company president Ruben Rodriguez was no longer with the firm.

The Hollywood Reporter also reports that one of its sources claims that the IRS was involved in the shutdown, although the IRS would not comment.

Defamer has more, printing an email sent by an L.A. producer to an email chain of colleagues.

From that email:

All the Axium offices worldwide (LA, NY, CHI, London, Mexico City, Canada) are shut down permanently, and the accounts have been frozen. It does not appear that the Axium employees are going to be paid for their last week of work or any sort of severance, as it is indeed a bankruptcy.

For working film producers, there is a sad story. Axium has been a part of the film community, a contributor to independent film non-profits and, through its various businesses, has handheld many productions through the different state tax rebate programs. Film producers working right now, however, might be in an especially tough spot if Axium’s accounts are indeed frozen and the company is holding payroll bonds intended to guarantee and finally cover their production payrolls. We’ll update as soon as we have more information.

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