Great post on the need for the Oxford comma. Amazing how such a small thing makes such a big difference.
Originally posted on Squirrel Thoughts:
Oxford comma-nistas around the world are having a heyday over a recent push alert sent by Sky News, which they believe is the end-all, be-all argument in favor of their precious punctuation mark.
Now, let’s be clear: The Oxford comma is necessary in this “sentence” as it’s written. Obviously, there are some pretty serious implications without it. However, this whole “sentence,” if you can even call it that, could be rewritten for clarity, and we would not have been subjected to all this nonsense in the first place. The Oxford comma-nistas would never suggest that though!
News of Paul Walker’s death was tragic and unsettling. As an avid car enthusiast, I am a big fan of the “Fast” franchise of adrenaline pumping car chase movies. I’m sure I join his many fans in mourning our loss.
Which got me thinking about whether the installment of the film franchise in which he was starring, “Fast and Furious 7″ would be completed. While producers often commission rewrites in the process of making a film, the loss of a key figure in the story line highlights an often-overlooked component of film production: key person insurance.
As Production counsel, one of the many line items on my task list is a slot for insurance. In addition to general commercial liability insurance, I also counsel clients to obtain “key person” insurance (also known as “key man” insurance) to insure against this exact scenario. This type of Insurance may also protect against loss of other key individuals involved in the production. Like many enterprises, film production relies in a variety of key people – writers, directors, consultants – the loss of whom would have a material adverse effect on the film.
In the case of “Fast 7″, it will be interesting to see how, or if, the project continues since that decision may be up to the insurance carrier, according to a recent Hollywood Reporter article. Even though much of the movie has been filmed, many action sequences have not.
While the current producer, Universal, has indicated its desire to continue the project, the insurance carrier may have the final say. At this point, the financial risks such as costs to edit the script, screen and cast new talent, and finish filming will fall to the insurer. The decision to continue filming in the hope that release of the finished movie will generate enough revenue to offset those costs, is balanced against the decision to end production and write-off the cost of the insurance payout.
Clients sometimes laugh at my over-cautious approach to identifying and protecting against risks in film production. This unfortunate tragedy highlights how real, and unexpected, these risks can be.
If you are planning to produce a film or have already commenced production, feel free to contact me for a free consultation. It’s never too late to take a second look at business structure, contracts and other risk mitigation techniques.
I can be reached at (866) 734-2568 or dadler (at) lsglegal.com
For more information about entertainment law, visit my website.
Asked about the viability of indie and parallel cinema at the box office, Kasaravalli said, “The commercial aspect depends on the filmmaker. He has made a film.
France’s New Film Crew Wage Law Faces Legal Challenge
France’s New Film Crew Wage Law Faces Legal Challenge From The Association of Film Producers (l’APC), the Union of Independent Producers (SPI) and others.
NYC Independent Film Festival is Gearing Up for Its Fourth Year
Consumer Electronics Net
Theyre a part of the NYC Independent Film Festival. The Fourth Annual NYC Independent Film Festival celebrates the art of filmmaking. Whether made by a …
Indie cinema’s success will boost art films in India: Girish
The Indie filmmakers will get an opportunity to make movies independently. They will try to release themselves from the shackles of norms set up by the industry.
Catch up with Fort Myers Film Festival and “Missed It Mondays!”
Naples Daily News (blog)
The Fort Myers Film Festival is an intelligent independent filmmaker’s preferred event to create, unite and showcase the finest artistic cinematic works.
Entertainment Law Seminar: What In-House Lawyers Must Know About Exploiting Creative Content
Chicago’s leading Entertainment Law firm, Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler, is pleased to announce its inaugural Entertainment Law seminar.
This seminar, geared for in-house counsel tasked with managing a broad range of Intellectual Property, Marketing, Branding and Promotions efforts, deals with the role of attorneys and agents, personal and intellectual property rights, motion picture production and distribution, television rights and procedures, literary publishing, and music publishing and sound recordings. The seminar will also examine technological developments and contract negotiation tips.
This Seminar is FREE, but it is INVITATION-ONLY and currently limited to in-house counsel. Space is limited! Contact David Adler at dadler[at]lsglegal.com to get your invitation.
Thursday, June 20 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler
203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2550
CHICAGO, IL 60601
The Business of Independent Film
For the past few years, the business of creating independent film has faced many challenges. Outside financing has suffered from the “Great Recession” as banks stopped lending, Federal Section 181 film tax credits have evaporated, State film Tax credit programs have imploded from scandal and debate rages about the effectiveness of such programs. Three of the six major studios axed subsidiaries that had specialized in buying independent films. Consumer spending is transitioning from buying movies to simply renting them.
However, sales at film festivals continue to inspire filmmakers. So do seasoned, household-name producers. I was recently turned on to the text of Steven Soderbergh‘s speech at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Soderbergh discusses the state of the film industry and fellow indie film producer Ted Hope shares how encouragement and inspiration from Soderbergh kept him in production.
Every independent filmmaker should listen.
Five Legal Questions To Ask BEFORE Crowd-funding You Next Film (or Creative) Project
I recently had the opportunity to share the stage at a Chicago VentureShot Community panel presentation on crowdfunding an independent film project. My client successfully raised enough funds to produce his film through the Crowdfunding site KickStarter.com. Due to the unpredictable life with three small children I was not able to physically attend although I did participate in real-time using Twitter. What follows is a series of questions that were discussed during he panel.
If you are considering using a crowd-funding platform (e.g. Kickstarter) to raise funds for your production, here are five questions at you should ask BEFORE you launch your campaign.
1. Are there legal distinctions to using Kickstarter to collect funding for projects rather than doing it the traditional way of seeking investments from friends, family, fools or private investors?
Yes. The biggest difference between the (current) crowd funding method and the traditional equity-investor model is the value proposition being offered in the crowd-funded model. I say “current” because crowd-funding today does permit solicitation or sale of an ownership interest.
2. What are the legal steps to protecting projects before putting them on a Crowdfunding site?
I recommend my clients look at three areas of legal protection before putting a project on a Crowdfunding site.
First, consider forming a legal entity to protect you, your partners and the assets of the business. The most common entities are corporations and limited liability companies.
Second, do a trademark clearance search to make sure the brand names you want to use (e.g. the name of the production company and/or the name of the Film (or project)) are not in use by someone else. Nothing is worse than investing thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in a project only to learn that you have to change your name.
Third, make sure you have a clear chain-of-title for all the eighths you need to exploit. This means properly documents and executed Option Agreements, Script Purchase Agreements, Talent / Cast & Crew Agreements, Right of Publicity Waivers, Music/Film Score clearances and any other waivers or releases necessary to reproduce, promote, distribute and creative derivative works from the Film.
3. Are there legal upper bounds to funding through Kickstarter specifically?
Wile there are no dollar limits on the amount of money that can be raised using Kickstarter, there are limitations. For example, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Also, once a funding goal is reached, the project must be started or the money must be returned to the backers.
4. What are the legalities of taxation on film projects through Kickstarter? A they different per state?
Although the federal Film Tax incentives are no longer available many states still offer some. Each state is different and many require a certain amount of money be spent in the state, in a certain period of time, in order to qualify for the incentive. Consult a qualified lawyer to determine eligibility for Film Tax Incentives.
5. If you can’t finish a project that has been fully funded on Kickstarter, what legal liability comes into play?
CrowdFunding describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money via the Internet to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler has a decades long history assisting Filmmaker and Film productions clients (funding portals, broker-dealers, technology solution providers, software developers, investors and entrepreneurs). We provide guidance on regulatory and industry trade association compliance.
What does it mean to be a creative professional in Chicago? That is the topic for discussions during the Chicago Tribune’s Trib Nation event Chicago Forward: The Future of the Arts in Chicago being held tonight, March 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM. In the Chase Auditorium at 10 South Dearborn. The event proposes to discuss the “arts and culture scene in Chicago.” You can register here.
Panelists include Chicago Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold and critic Chris Jones as moderators, among with celebrity chef Rick Bayless, Chicago’s cultural commissioner Michelle Boone, artist and playwright Tony Fitzpatrick and renowned architect Jeanne Gang.
While organizations such as the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and the Illinois Arts Council, have long held conversations in the community around identification of the basic challenges facing artists, filmmakers, actors, musicians, and other creative professionals, hopefully this panel will identify actionable initiatives that offer real solutions to shared needs.
I am attending and will be live tweeting via the hashtag #ChicagoForward. Follow me on twitter at @adlerlaw.
Please feel free to tweet your questions and include your comments below. I will post a follow up with highlights after the event.
Are you getting the most out of your online marketing efforts? Last year, Google announced a change to its search rankings algorithm, lowering results for known pirate sites. Critics asked why the company would not do the same for Youtube, since that site is widely viewed as a repository for pirated films and music.
Read the full post at VoxIndie
Do you have questions about filmmaking, marketing and distributing films? We have answers! Learn more about ecommerceattorney.com and our media and entertainment services.
IndieFilmLaw’s Curated List of People, News & Events For Independent Film and Filmmaking
“It’s been one heck of ride!” said Abbeville filmmaker Russell Hebert. It took him a year and a half long to make this Independent Film “Blood on the Bayou” from pre-production all the way to this week’s world premiere, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Though the independent film making movement is on the rise, the case of distribution is still a big concern. This is because distributors (and the laws that govern them) are still stuck in an archaic structure.
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 10, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the official selections of AFI AWARDS 2012 – the awards season event favored by artists and entertainment executives for its intimacy and collaborative recognition.
Light shines on independent filmmaking
Actors Jude Law, Michael Gambon and Ben Drew were among the film-makers who turned out last night for the Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market in London. Jude Law was at the gongs to receive the Variety Award.
Very Independent Filmmaking, why?
noho arts district
Most people don’t make money from independent film and certainly not at the very, very independent end of the market. Even if you can make a film and market it, the chances of really making money unless it gets picked up and distributed by the big guys.
‘Broken,’ ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ Lead British Independent Film
Video · Filmmaking. « LA Film Critics Awards · Box Office: ‘Hyde Park’ Leads Debuts · British Independent Film Award Winners · ‘Sugar Man’ Tops IDA Awards …
Regal Cinemas Downtown West and Knoxville Horror Film Fest with help from Knoxville Film and the Secret City Film Fest are teaming up for a filmmaking …