The following is an outline of the production counsel services Amy provides in connection with the production of an independent motion picture. This should not be considered an exhaustive list of services. Many factors, including budget**, location(s), and labor/union issues, etc., will have an effect on what services are actually required. Nonetheless, the following is a valuable checklist for how an entertainment attorney can help a filmmaker through the production process.
If you have not already secured financing for your project and are in the development phase, you may wish to review Amy’s film 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:
4.1. Producer(s) Agreements
4.2. Director Agreement
4.3. Casting Director Agreement
4.4. Actor Deal Memos and Agreements
4.5. Director of Photography Agreement
4.6. Line Producer Agreement
4.7. Unit Production Manager Agreement
4.8. Production Accountant Agreement
4.9. Payroll Services Agreement
4.10. Editor Agreement
4.11. Post Production Supervisor Agreement
4.12. Composer Agreement
4.13. Music Supervisor Agreement(s)
4.13.1. Master Use License (template)
4.13.2. Publishing/Synch License (template)
4.14. Crew Deal Memos
4.15. Location Agreements
4.16. Releases-Extras, Vehicles, etc.
4.17. 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 credits for legal issues.
8. Assist with obtaining errors & omissions insurance, including drafting fair use opinion letters.
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. For ultra low budget films, Amy may be able to offer a “low frills” production counsel package that 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.
Please note that the firm does not currently 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/tax counsel prior to beginning development and production.