Judging & Taxes

Yesterday, I did my taxes which was the first time I did them with the business.  The business is still setup as a sole proprietorship, so personal and business taxes are done together.  DreamWorks Animation and my wife’s employer both took taxes directly out of our paychecks, but that was not the case for the business.  As a business owner it is my responsibility to pay the taxes myself each quarter.  I had an idea of how much they would be, so I made sure I set some money aside.  This was the first time I did not get a tax refund, but instead will have to pay Uncle Sam.  It is more obvious how much money you pay in taxes when you pay it all at once instead of having it taken out of your paycheck each week.

I’m looking into changing the business into a S-Corp for the tax benefits, but if I don’t make enough money it will end up costing me more then what it will save me.  I will see how the next month goes before making a decision.  I know there are other benefits to switching to an S-Corp, so I may just bite the bullet, and make the change.

I was contacted by the president of my alma mater’s Film/Video Society about being a judge for their annual Filmmakers Showcase.  When I was a student at the University of Toledo I always enjoyed attending this event, and would often have my own work in the show.  I was honored when they asked me to be a judge, and have been making my way through the 39 entries.  They include film, video, and animation projects that range from a couple of minutes to 30 minutes in length.  To be honest, some of them are pretty bad, but there are also a lot of really good ones in there.  I’m about half way through them, and still hoping for an amazing one.

This week I have still been doing a lot of work on my website.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I started with a website that I liked, and was trying to change it to be my own.  I realized that getting it to a point where I did not feel I was copying someone else’s work would require a lot more skill in web design & programing then what I have.  Although I was making a lot of progress, and learning a great deal I still had a lot of work to get done.  I already have spent more time on this then I wanted, so I needed a better option.

I typically try to stay away from the cookie-cutter website design programs, since they are often very limiting on what you could do with them.  After I had two friends mentioned using SquareSpace I thought I should check it out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the available options, and how simple it made it.  Realizing I was not progressing fast enough on my current course I decided to make a change.

I signed up for a SquareSpace account and started over with my website.  I already planned out the layout of my website, so with the SquareSpace tools I was able to quickly get back to where I was.  I now feel I have a functioning website that at the minimum shows our work, and gives clients a way to contact me.  I will continue improving the site, but the basics are there.  Please check it out and let me know what you think of it so far.


I hope to be finishing up the site this week, and starting next week I plan to focus on finding my next clients.  I feel I might have been dragging my feet on this with other projects, since I’m not sure where to start.  I have a couple avenues I can explore, and hopefully one of them will get me somewhere.


If you have not already, please join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog.  Also, if you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.