Showing posts with the label chain of title

PRODUCTION TIPS: It's Better to Avoid a Lawsuit Than to Win One pt. 3

In parts 1 and 2 , we covered the reality of being sued and ways to minimize the chances of that happening (and losing) by essentially displaying common sense, taking the time out to make sure 'things are what they seem' and getting everything in writing.  Producers and filmmakers with money hire lawyers and others to do all that work for them so they can focus on the fun stuff like directing scenes or hobnobbing with actors and financiers. The true no-budget filmmaker can't hire a lawyer to do the work but the work still needs to get done somehow.  This series has been an attempt to provide no-budget filmmakers, like you, some guidelines to help you organize and minimize your risk.* INTERNS.  'Everyone loves PA interns cuz they work for free, right?!?' Wrong. The Blackswan case was a wake-up call for the industry; your interns are not a way to get free labor.  For far too long, interns have been used in abusive manners (even if the producers didn't i

PRODUCTION TIPS: Avoid Using a Movie Title Already In Use (Lessons Learned from The Butler ruling)

So the verdict came in and  a MPAA title registration bureau arbitration ruled Tuesday that The Weinstein Co. could not use the title  The Butler  on its upcoming film, due to be released Aug. 16, because that previously served as the title of a 1916 short film that now belongs to the Warner Bros. library .  High-powered attorney, David Boies, fresh off his Supreme Court win, issued the following statement, "The suggestion that there is a danger of confusion between The Weinstein Co.’s 2013 feature movie and a 1917 [sic] short that has not been shown in theaters, television, DVDs, or in any other way for almost a century makes no sense. The award has no purpose except to restrict competition and is contrary to public policy."  Basically, the MPAA title registration bureau decided that the market at large (meaning you and I) would confuse 2013's The Butler, a feature film about an African-American butler serving at the White House for 34 years, with 1916's The Butl

PRODUCTION TIPS: The Chain of Title is VITAL to your Production

The journey to produce your project, whether long or short, is filled with so many steps along the way that many filmmakers overlook important details in their quest to write, shoot and edit it right.  Ensuring you have the best script, shots and cuts truly are vital since without them you don't have a good production. But without taking care of all the other details you won't be able to avoid legal and financial issues along the way, let alone sell your film. A habit that should become essential for every filmmaker is to have a proper "chain of title" collected neatly in an accordion folder or large binder.  The chain of title is your collection of legal, production and financial documents that you collected (or should have) throughout the filmmaking process.  These documents are just as important as your script, critic reviews, film, and press kit. Having a chain of title is a must to secure any type of distribution agreement because it is what assures the d