The Need For An Entertainment Lawyer In Film Production

Is it true that the film manufacturer really require a movie lawyer or entertainment attorney as a matter of professional training? An entertainment attorney’s own bias and my stacking of the question notwithstanding, which might naturally suggest a”yes” answer 100% of the time – that the forthright response is,”it depends”.

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Quite a few producers nowadays are themselves film lawyers, entertainment attorneys, or other types of attorneys, and thus, frequently can treat these. But the film producers to worry about, are the individuals who act as though they are entertainment attorneys – but with no license or entertainment attorney legal experience to back it up. Filmmaking and motion image practice comprise an industry wherein these days, unfortunately,”bluff” and”bluster” occasionally serve as replacements for real knowledge and experience. But”bluffed” documents and insufficient production procedures will never escape the trained eye of amusement lawyers working for the studios, the distributors, the banks, or even the errors-and-omissions (E&O) insurance providers. Because of this alone, I suppose, the work function of film manufacturing counsel and entertainment lawyer is still secure.I also suppose that there will always be a few blessed filmmakers who, throughout the entire production procedure, fly under the proverbial radar with no entertainment lawyer accompaniment. They will apparently avoid pitfalls and obligations like flying bats are reputed to avoid people’s hair. By way of analogy, one of my very best friends hasn’t had any health insurance for years, and he is still in great form and economically afloat – this week, anyway. But it is so simplistic and pedestrian to tell oneself that”I’ll avoid the demand for film lawyers if I just stay out of trouble and be cautious”. An entertainment attorney, especially in the realm of film (or other) production, can be a real constructive asset to your motion picture producer, as well as the film manufacturer’s personally-selected inoculation against potential liabilities. If the manufacturer’s entertainment lawyer has been through the process of film production previously, then entertainment attorney has learned many of the harsh lessons frequently dished out from the commercial world and the movie industry.The movie and entertainment attorney can thus save the producer many of those pitfalls. How? By clear thinking, careful planning, and – this is the complete key – skilled, thoughtful and complete documentation of all film production and relevant activity. The movie attorney shouldn’t be considered as simply the individual trying to establish compliance. Sure, the amusement attorney may at times be the person who says”no”. If that entertainment attorney has been involved with scores of movie productions, then the motion picture producer who hires that film lawyer entertainment lawyer benefits from this very cache of expertise. Yes, it sometimes may be tricky to stretch the film budget to allow for counsel, but professional filmmakers tend to observe the legal price expenditure for a fixed, predictable, and mandatory – comparable to the fixed obligation of rent for the production office, or the cost of film for the cameras. While some film and entertainment attorneys may price themselves out of the purchase price assortment of the average independent movie producer, other amusement lawyers don’t.Enough generalities. For what specific tasks need to a producer typically retain a movie lawyer and entertainment attorney? :1. If the manufacturer doesn’t correctly create, file, and maintain a corporate or other appropriate entity through which to conduct business, and in the event the film producer doesn’t thereafter make every attempt to maintain that entity protected, says the entertainment lawyer, then the movie producer is potentially hurting himself or herself. With no defense against liability which an entity can provide, the entertainment lawyer opines, the motion picture producer’s personal assets (like home, car, bank account) are at risk and, in a worst-case scenario, could finally be captured to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the movie producer’s company. Quite simply: Do not do that”.Like it or not, the film lawyer entertainment attorney continues,”Film is a speculative business, and also the most motion images can fail economically – even at the San Fernando Valley film studio degree. It’s irrational to run a film business or any other form of business from one’s own personal bank accounts”. In any case, it seems unprofessional, a real concern if the manufacturer wants to attract talent, bankers, and vendors at any location in the future.The options of where and how to file a thing are often prompted by entertainment attorneys but then driven by situation-specific variables, including tax issues concerning the film or motion picture company sometimes. The film manufacturer should let an entertainment attorney do it and get it done correctly. Entity-creation is affordable. Good lawyers do not consider integrating a customer as a profit-center anyhow, due to the obvious potential for new company that an entity-creation brings. While the film producer ought to be mindful that beneath U.S. law that a customer can fire his/her attorney at any moment in any way, many amusement attorneys who perform the entity-creation work get asked to do additional work for that same client – especially if the entertainment lawyer bills the first job reasonably.I would not recommend self-incorporation with a non-lawyer – some more than I would tell a film producer-client what celebrities to employ in a motion picture – or some more than I’d tell a D.P.-client what lens to use on a specific film shot. As will be true on a film production set, everyone has their own job to perform. And I believe that as soon as the manufacturer lets a competent entertainment attorney do her or his job, things will begin to gel to your movie production in a way that couldn’t even be originally foreseen from the motion picture producer.2. SOLICITING INVESTMENT: This issue also often constitutes a wake-up call of sorts. Let us say that the movie producer would like to make a motion image with different people’s money. (No, not an unusual situation ). The movie producer will likely begin soliciting funds to your movie from so-called”passive” investors in any number of possible ways, and might actually begin collecting some monies consequently. Sometimes this happens before the entertainment attorney hearing about it post facto out of his or her client.

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