Everyone who renders a creative service on your picture may have a claim to the picture’s copyright, since copyright vests the moment the creation is fixed in a tangible medium. You avoid copyright vesting by making each person execute a Work-For-Hire Agreement prior to the commencement of services. All of the employment agreements related to…

SAG vs. Non-Members of SAG You are free of SAG’s requirements if your entire cast is comprised of non-SAG members. Nonetheless, keep in mind that you always have to comply with labor laws which, among other things, require that you pay at least minimum wage, overtime, and provide workers compensation insurance. Your line producer/ unit…

Production / Production Legal If you have raised financing and are ready to commence the production process, now is the time to hire an attorney if you do not already have one. When I provide production legal, I do so from the commencement of pre-production through the completion of post. I negotiate and draft all…

Movie Production Incentives You can raise a portion of your picture’s production budget via the use of production incentives offered by a U.S. State or foreign country. These incentives came about in the 1990s in response to the flight of movie productions to other countries such as Canada. Since then, states (and now several countries)…

Crowdfunding Crowdfunding entails you raising money from an unlimited number of people via a third-party website set up for this purpose. Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com are the two most popular crowdfunding websites for filmmakers. You crowdfund by creating an online campaign, which you upload onto the third-party website. Anyone who likes your campaign can become a…

Distribution The studio will have worldwide distribution in all media if it finances 100% of the picture’s production and distribution. The studio will own the picture, its copyright, the screenplay, and the motion picture rights to the underlying literary property upon which it is based (if any) and, therefore, it will have the right to…

It seems to be more and more common to be asked to sign NDAs before one-night stands or romantic relationships with celebrities and other prominent people, according to four entertainment lawyers Gloria Allred and Dinah Perez — as well as publicists Jeremy Lemur and Michael Whiteacre, and women who’ve been asked to sign them. And…

Whether you get to be a “producer” hinges on your ability to raise the monies you need in order to produce your pictures. You can acquire financing via a studio, private investors, production incentives, the pre-sale of all or a portion of your picture’s foreign territories, and by securing bank financing. Some of the aforementioned…

Producing is a daunting task that requires collaboration among producers. You may have an idea for a screenplay but may want to join forces with a producer that has access to talent, a director, an agency, or money. You may align yourself with another producer in a variety of ways including the following. Partnerships A…

You can hire a writer on a work-for-hire basis, to write a screenplay based on your idea, other material assigned by you, or to write the screenplay the writer pitched to you. “Work-for-hire” means that you are paying the writer and, as a consequence thereof, own the screenplay and its copyright outright. You must enter…

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