Meet Wrapbook

The Best Alternative to Media Services

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Ensuring that everyone on your shoot is paid on time and according to the law is one of the most important tasks a producer has. While there are many entertainment payroll services available, both Media Services Payroll and Wrapbook offer a powerful suite of services that support film, TV, commercial, and live production.

Here, we explain some key differences between Wrapbook and Media Services to help you decide which payroll company is right for your production.

1. The Full Gamut of Entertainment Payroll

From a compliance perspective, entertainment payroll can be a headache. In most cases, everyone from the director to the PA shuttling cast and crew to set are your production’s employees. This means your production will need to procure worker’s compensation insurance, cover payroll taxes, and send off the proper forms come tax season.

Plus, if any of your cast and crew are in unions, you’ll be responsible for staying compliant which usually means sending health and pension to various guilds each week of your production.

An entertainment payroll service and accounting firm, Media Services Payroll can handle all of these tasks for you in house. Once you sign up, you’re assigned a dedicated paymaster who will then handle your production payroll for you. You’ll be responsible for getting Media Services your cast and crew’s start paperwork. They’ll then get back to you with your payroll.

While they do offer software to assist with these processes, each are generally offered al a carte for a premium on top of your payroll expenses.

Wrapbook offers its entire software functionality for one low cost. While still providing you a dedicated paymaster, Wrapbook’s software-first approach to entertainment payroll allows you to track your production’s cashflow and run payroll in real time.

By moving the payroll experience to an all inclusive app, cast and crew can easily onboard themselves which will automatically generate the necessary settings your production will need to stay compliant with the law. This, in turn, saves you time and money on your entertainment payroll, eliminating the high fees standard in the industry.

What is Media Services Payroll?

Media Services Payroll has been leading the entertainment payroll space for over forty years. Starting as production accounting firm, the company has expanded its operations to residuals and processing payments, expanding to Los Angeles, NYC, and Louisiana. While handling some studio projects, Media Services has primarily served commercial shoots, indie films, and web content.

In addition to running payroll, Media Services also created the ShowBiz software line. From ShowBiz Timecards to ShowBiz Budgeting to the ShowBiz Labor Guide, the software suite provides tools for producers manage their productions.

Wrapbook vs Media Services

In addition to entertainment payroll, Wrapbook offers an all-in-one software suite that makes the process of running payroll efficient and compliant.

Digital I9s
Yes ✅
No ❌
Digital Onboarding
Yes ✅
No ❌
Contractor Payments
Yes ✅
No ❌
Crew Database
Yes ✅
No ❌
Insurance Agency
Yes ✅
No ❌
Digital I9s
Yes ✅
Digital Onboarding
Yes ✅
Contractor Payments
Yes ✅
Crew Database
Yes ✅
Insurance Agency
Yes ✅
Digital I9s
No ❌
Digital Onboarding
No ❌
Contractor Payments
No ❌
Crew Database
No ❌
Insurance Agency
No ❌

2. Transparent, Affordable Pricing

Once you’ve raised enough money to green light your project, the last thing you want to do is spend it on entertainment payroll services.

Like most film payroll companies, Media Services requires you to request a quote, usually including a weekly fee to use their services, a fee to cut checks, a fee per SAG pension and health report, a fee for onset accounting, plus a percentage of your gross wages.

Wrapbook charges 0.75% of your gross wages and a one-time setup fee for unlimited access to their intuitive software. And that’s it.

And since you’re getting quoted, you never know if you’re getting the best deal possible.

Wrapbook only charges 0.75% of your gross wages, a one-time setup fee for unlimited access to their intuitive software, and that’s it.

While Media Services and Wrapbook both offer software to assist with timecards, onboarding, and secure cloud space for your production, Wrapbook includes all of them for free.

As with any production, Worker’s Comp rates depend on the state you’re shooting in. Wrapbook is tailored to productions operating with medium to low budgets so you can stop worrying about paperwork and get back to creating.

3. Express Onboarding

The last thing a crew member wants to do after a long shoot is search for a time card template online. The last thing a producer wants to do is sift through email chains of timecards to approve them.

To eliminate this headache, Media Services offers TiM Digital Onboarding in addition to their payroll services. However, you might find yourself re-entering information, since onboarding crew and running payroll are treated as two separate entities – despite the fact that they share essential information.

Wrapbook automatically collects onboarding forms from your crew and actors when they join your production – all on the app. It then uses that same information when applicable crew members submit their time cards directly into their phones.

And when it comes time for tax season, Wrapbook automatically sends out W2’s and 1099s.

With Wrapbook’s direct deposit feature, you can onboard and pay crew in the same hour, versus Media Services Payroll’s lengthy set up time.

When talent and crew are onboarded, Wrapbook gathers their tax information upfront.

Preview your payroll instantly without ever involving an accountant.

Why I Switched to Wrapbook

"As a producer, my most valuable resource is time. Wrapbook saves our production company hundreds of hours a year that would have gone into back and forth our prior payroll company. Our newfound time doesn't just enable us to take on more projects, it saves us tons of money in the process."

Ben S.

Executive Producer

4. Film Payroll Fringes

Your production company is based in Maine, but you’re shooting in Georgia, and your director is based in Canada. How exactly do the taxes on that work on that?

To handle situations like this, Media Services’s team of payroll specialists will review the the stack of paperwork, expenses, and timecards your production generates each week and then provide you how much you’ll owe.

Wrapbook gives you the same answer in seconds, allowing you to pay your crew immediately. Drawing from the latest tax codes and union regulations, Wrapbook calculates employer taxes in app, so that you can preview your payroll instantly, without ever involving an accountant.

Easily track who hasn't submitted their forms so you know who to text passive aggressively.

Utilizing Wrapbook’s direct deposit feature, you can onboard and pay crew in the same hour, versus ABS Payroll Services’ lengthy set up time.

5. Union Ready

Both Wrapbook and Media Services Payroll are calibrated so you’re always up to date with every union regulation, keeping your production 100% compliant.

When onboarding crew, all you need to do is flag your crew members’ respective guilds. And when you run payroll, the Wrapbook app will automatically use this information to calculate pension and health in their payroll preview.

Wrapbook submits pension and health to following guilds:

6. Insurance + Payroll

In order to run a shoot, you typically need two things: production insurance to protect yourself from fault and a payroll company to keep yourself compliant with the law.

Besides making onboarding and cutting checks easy, using a payroll company is often required when working with unions like SAG.

While Media Services can process your payroll, they do not provide production insurance at this time.

Wrapbook provides both services under one roof. In addition to providing some of the affordable entertainment solutions on the market, Wrapbook can customize unique insurance packages to keep you complaint with any union for the lowest cost to you.

Drawing from the latest tax codes, Wrapbook calculates employer taxes automatically and provides worker’s comp insurance, which most insurance agencies do not.

These in tandem make Wrapbook one of the best film insurance agencies.

Take a Test Drive

Like so many things in entertainment, most decisions regarding payroll are made on recommendations from friends – people who have worked with vendors who cut checks on time and responded in a timely manner.

While you have to wait to get a quote from Media Services, it’s absolutely free to demo Wrapbook which you can do instantly.

Set up a mock production, collect timesheets, onboard your team, and get everything just the way you like it. You take a new car for a spin before you buy it. Shouldn’t processing millions of dollars operate similarly?

Wrapbook only charges a fraction of a percent when you finally cut the checks or pay out via direct deposit. Plus, Wrapbook doesn’t require a payroll bond, so you can pay your crew without having to front your entire budget upfront.

Wrapbook is the best alternative to Media Services

Because it allows indie filmmakers and producers to put more money into their projects’ actual budget.

Why I Switched to Wrapbook

"Simply put: it's entertainment payroll as it should have been the whole time."

Maxine M.

Production Coordinator