July 28, 2015 at 4:27AM
VISA issues for a European director wanting to make first feature in the USA?
Hi guys, I have a very specific question and thought maybe someone who has done something similar may be able to chime in...
I'm producing my first live action feature film right now, which I will be directing. I didn't write it, but my name is on the script as I was heavily involved in developing it. My writer is an American citizen. I'm looking to bring the production to the US with some European money, but the majority of the financing coming from within the USA.
I had thought about the 01 visa, but it's a bit of a catch 22. I can't afford to get the Visa without financing in place, but I can't get finances in place until I know with 100% certainty that I am legally allowed to direct a film in the US.
I've done a bunch of short films, but my main success has been a stopmotion animated short film, which won me 2nd place in my category at Young Directors Award (part of the Cannes Lions festival). In addition, I have a bunch of press about me and my film, as well as having won another Young Directors Award, issued by Danny Boyle.
I have a feeling that this will not be enough for an O1 visa, nor will it get through the guild portion of the selection process (DGA I imagine?).
What I'm wondering is, if I'm bringing a script to the country, and working as one of the producers as well as directing, does that constitute as employment? Or does that mean I'm setting up a temporary business in the US?
Is there any simple solution to my problem? I can't seem to find any information relating to this, at all....