The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers

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* You have an idea you want to pitch to a production company; how do you safeguard your concept?
* There’s a painting in the background of your independent film; is it necessary to clear the rights?
* The screenplay you and a friend wrote gets optioned; how do you split the proceeds fairly?
* How do you get a script to popular Hollywood actors or deal with their agents?
Find quick answers to these and hundreds of other questions in The Pocket Lawyer for Film and Video, the next best thing to having an entertainment attorney at your beck and call. Written by a TV-producer-turned-entertainment-lawyer, this no-nonsense reference provides fast answers in plain English: no law degree required! The Pocket Lawyer is designed to help producers reduce legal costs by providing the vital information needed to make informed decisions on the legal aspects of film, video, and TV productions.

Film and video production is a litigation lighting rod: actors get hurt, copyrights are infringed, and contracts are broken. Big-budget producers have lawyers on retainer, but many independent filmmakers are left legally exposed. Arm yourself with the practical advice in this book. You will not only avoid common pitfalls, but become empowered in your daily work. Too many otherwise competent producers turn over every aspect of the deal negotiations to their lawyers and agents. This book explains the principal deals common to every production, putting producers back in the co-pilot seat with their representatives.

The format is carefully designed for quick reference, so you get the answers you need, fast. Features include:
* Clause Companion: explains the meaning and impact of typical contract clauses, taking the headache out of reading them.
* F.A.Qs: instantly answers the most commonly asked legal questions.
* Warnings: alerts you to critical areas and common mistakes.
* Pro-Tips: advice on unions, escrow accounts, etc. for producers who want to distribute their video widely.

2 thoughts on “The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers

  1. Jason Mark Anderman
    1
    22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent and Approachable Guide to Key Filmmaking Legal Issues – Great for Non-Lawyers, March 3, 2007
    By 

    This review is from: The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers (Paperback)

    Even though I’ve practiced law for many years outside of the entertainment law area, now that I have moved over into independent film production, I have found the legal issues involved in properly putting together a film to be daunting. If these entertainment law issues are hard for me, as an experienced attorney, I can imagine that they are dramatically more difficult to handle for everyone else. As a result, it is frankly tempting to instead focus on the artistic side of filmmaking so you can skip slogging through the legal quagmire, but you do so at your peril. This is true for a number of reasons, but most importantly, you are taking a huge risk because distributors won’t touch a distribution deal for a film with serious legal problems. Fortunately, I’ve found that this book takes away much of the pain of learning about the legal issues in film, simply because it is so approachable. After reading this book, I really believe that even non-lawyers can quickly grasp the legal challenges of filmmaking. Best of all, the book skips typical “legalese” and instead offers easy to understand, quick references to the contracts, rights clearance and negotiating issues that everyone should understand. Not only did I like the book, but it really is unique, because there’s very little else out there on this subject. It really should be on the desk of every producer. I couldn’t recommend it more.

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  2. 2
    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A powerful guide in a small package!, March 22, 2007
    By 
    S. WALKER (New York, NY USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers (Paperback)

    This book contains a wealth of information presented in a clear, concise, yet thorough manner. Whether you are a writer, producer, composer, or actor, this book will help you understand the legal issues that are part of the process of filmmaking. You can use it as a quick reference to answer a specific question, or you can read it from the beginning as the author unpacks legal concepts and the step-by-step process of setting up a production company to selling your film. As a bonus the book has appendices that make up a valuable law library of intellectual property, i.e. copyright, trademarks, contract law, labor, and employment law. And if you are a lawstudent or lawyer, this book is better than any entertainment law class you will ever take and at a fraction of the price.

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