Production Legal

The following is an outline of the types of production counsel services the firm provides in connection with the production of an independent motion picture, television show, podcast, or new media production. This should not be considered an exhaustive list of services.

 If you have not already secured financing for your project and are in the development phase, you may wish to review Amy’s film and television development services.

1.   Assist with applicable state incentive processes.

2.   Register screenplay(s) with the United States Copyright Office; draft assignment and document cover sheet regarding screenplay assignment to the production entity.

3.   Assist in signatory process with respect to SAG, WGA, DGA, IATSE, Teamsters, as applicable.

4.   Prepare Production Contracts such as:

  •  Producer(s) Agreements
  •  Director Agreement
  •  Casting Director Agreement
  •  Actor Deal Memos and Agreements
  •  Director of Photography Agreement
  •  Line Producer Agreement
  •  Editor Agreement
  •  Production Manager Agreement
  •  Composer Agreement
  •  Music Supervisor Agreement(s)
  •  Master Use License (template)
  •  Publishing/Synch License (template)
  •  Crew Deal Memos
  •  Location Agreements
  •  Releases-Extras, Vehicles, etc.
  •  Vendor Agreements

5.   View the rough and final cuts for legal issues.

6.   Draft paid ad credit obligations and name/likeness restriction memo.

7.   Review film/TV credits for legal issues.

SECURITIES/TAX DISCLAIMER

The firm does not prepare financing or investor documentation such as a private placement memorandum because such documents involve securities and tax related issues better suited to corporate lawyers. You are strongly encouraged to consult corporate and/or tax counsel prior to beginning development and production.

Legal Fee Structures

Many indie producers assume that they cannot afford a production lawyer and find themselves unable to sell their completed film due to lack of proper written agreements and/or clearance issues.

To give producers some budgetary certainty, the firm offers monthly retainers during the production period, which are determined by project parameters such as the length of shoot, size of the principal cast, number of unions, location(s), and budget.

On average, you can expect the following fees to apply for production legal if you hire our firm for a scripted production or a feature-length narrative project:

Production Budget

Monthly Retainer*

(i.e., amount paid)

Hours Included Each MonthValue
$250,000 – $700,000$4,000/month15 hours$5,250 /month
$700,000 – $2.5M

$5,000 – $6,500       per month

20-25 hours$7,000 – $8,750 per month
$2.5M – $5M$7,500/month30 hours$10,500/month
> $5M$10,000+/month40+ hours$14,000+/month

*Two month minimum applies. If your project requires more than the included hours in any given month, additional hours will be billed at the “rush rate” (currently $350 per hour) unless otherwise agreed. The firm can provide weekly updates on time spent during the production period to minimize surprises. 

For ultra low budget projects (i.e., less than $250,000), Amy offers a “low frills” production counsel package for $5,000. This option places more responsibility on the producer (with Amy’s guidance) to handle common situations that arise during production, with Amy stepping in primarily to handle the major agreements and atypical issues that arise such as clearance issues.

Short projects, documentaries, student films, etc. are typically billed hourly, with discounted rates via bundled services and/or prepaid hours available in some circumstances.

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