Step by Step Guide: How You Can Protect Yourself Legally on Film & TV Projects

Taught by Sean Pope

$159.20 $199

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$159.20
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

Projects:

Class hosted by: Sean Pope

Senior Associate, Ramo Law PC (Netflix's THE BLACK GODFATHER, Liam Neeson's HONEST THIEF, Netflix's CHEER)

Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Prior to joining Ramo Law, Sean worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER.  Full Bio »

Summary

Embarking on creating a film or television project is an enormous undertaking from a business perspective. There are many moving parts to consider - from creative rights to copyright, entity structure, chain of title, compensation, financing, publicity - and that's just scratching the surface. Any missteps during the process could expose you and the production to legal risk, which you always want to avoid.

If only there were a blueprint that can help you think through every step of the process from development all the way through post production...Now there is!

Stage 32 Educator Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Some of his most recent projects that he's worked on include the Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and Emmy-winning Netflix docu-series CHEER. 

Sean has put together a thorough and exclusive 2-part class for the Stage 32 community to help walk you through everything you need to consider legally for your project. You'll learn everything you need to know in the development stage all the way through pre-production and production. Sean will help you navigate the legal side of film and TV projects ensuring you feel confident going into your next project prepared.

What You'll Learn

Over the course of 2 jam-packed extended sessions Sean will cover:

Development

  • Production Entity
    • Do we need an SPV?
    • Who are the managers/directors?
    • Who has approval rights?
    • How is the entity going to be owned?
    • What is the waterfall? How do we allocate gross receipts?
  • Chain of Title
    • Underlying Rights (e.g., Book, Article, Life Rights, etc.) Option/Purchase
    • Screenplay Option/Purchase
    • Engaging Writers
  • Copyright Filings
    • Document Recordings
    • Registering the Screenplay
  • Financing Documents
    • How is this project being financed?
    • Equity
    • Loans
    • Soft-Monies (e.g., tax credits, grants, etc.)
    • Negative Pick-up
    • Pre-Sales
    • A combination of the above?
  • Q&A with Sean

Pre-Production

  • Signing on to the applicable guilds (SAG-AFTRA, WGA, DGA)
  • Above the Line Crew (Director of Photography, Production Designer, Costume Designer, Editor, Casting Director)
  • Clearances for Screenplay
    • Photos/Videos/ Material to be Depicted On-Screen
  • Locations
  • Casting – Making Offers
    • Length of Services (pre/principal/post)
    • Location (do we need to travel cast?)
    • Compensation
      • Fixed Compensation
        • Escrowing Funds
    • Contingent Compensation
      • Back-end Compensation
      • Deferments
      • Box Office Bonuses
      • SVOD Bonuses
      • Award Bonuses
    • Crediting
      • Positioning on screen
      • Paid ads/Excluded ads
      • Above Title Tie
      • Artwork Title Tie
      • Audio Ad Tie
      • Likeness Tie
    • Name and Likeness Approvals
      • Biography
      • Still Photographs
      • Non-Photographic Likeness
      • Merchandising/Commercial Tie-Ins
      • Behind the Scenes/Blooper Footage
      • Key Art Resubmission
    • Publicity Services
    • Approvals/Consultation Rights
      • Script
      • Hair/Makeup/Wardrobe
    • Director
      • 20/60/10/10 Payment Schedule
      • Cuts and Previews
      • Who holds final cut?
  • Q&A with Sean

Post-Production

  • Music
    • Composers
      • Who will own what rights?
        • Publishing Rights
        • Master Rights
    • Music Licensing
      • Master and Sync Licenses
  • Distribution/Sales Agency Agreements
  • Delivery Schedule
    • Title and Copyright Clearance Reports and Opinions
    • Credit/Likeness/Approvals/Dubbing/Cutting Requirement Chart
  • Q&A with Sean

About Your Instructor

Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Prior to joining Ramo Law, Sean worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER. 

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class. If you cannot attend a live class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. Plus, your instructor will be available via email throughout the lab.

Q: Will I have access to the lab afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of the lab, you will have on-demand access to the video recording, which you can view for one month after the class is complete.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Your Definitive Legal Guide to Distribution Deals: 2-Part Intensive Class

"Very informative. Sean is very knowledgeable and charismatic. When questions were asked, he gave full and complete answer. I highly recommend taking Sean's webinar."   Learn from one of the top entertainment attorneys in Hollywood who has worked on hundreds of film & TV projects!   Distribution can often be confusing, complicated, and murky territory, and there are many common pitfalls filmmakers of all levels fall into when navigating. It can feel like you need a law degree and a special glossary just to understand the rights you’re giving away, along with the territories, fees, expenses, residuals, and everything else that comes along with a distribution deal. But you don’t need to pass the Bar to find success in seeking distribution. Gaining a keener understanding of the process and how agreements work can empower you as a filmmaker to negotiate a distribution deal that’s right for you and your film. Sean Pope is a Senior Associate at Ramo Law PC, one of the largest and most respected entertainment law firms in Hollywood, where he works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution. Prior to joining Ramo Law, Sean worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER. Sean has helped countless filmmakers negotiate fair distribution deals and make the most out of their film, and is ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. In this advanced level and intensive two-part class, Sean will walk you through the nuts and bolts of distribution deals and zero in on the provisions and clauses you need to understand when negotiating your own distribution and sales agreements. Sean’s exhaustive rundown will leave you with a much deeper understanding of what agreements look like, what you should be looking for, and how to avoid pitfalls along the way.

TV Series Pitch Document Writing Lab (One on One Mentoring)

Only 15 Spots Available! By popular demand, we're bringing in TV executive Anna Henry (who has 100% satisfaction with her webinars!) to teach a one-on-one TV pitch document writing lab! Need help with writing your TV series pitch document? Look no further! Anna's here to help. This is the golden age of television and the appetite for content has never been greater. What does everyone network and streamer want? Fresh, unique, authentic voices with never-been-told stories. While the door is open to new writers, the competition is fierce. Of course you need a very strong finished script, but before that will be read, you need to be able to communicate what makes your show stand out from the crowd, what will make people want to watch it for years and years, and why you are passionate about writing it. You need a blueprint of what the series will be beyond one episode. That's where a pitch document (aka bible, aka treatment) comes in. Whether you are selling your show verbally, sending the pitch to a potential producer, or applying for a fellowship, this document carries the weight of your imagined world with all its inhabitants and stories. That's a tall order! So where do you begin? How do you organize your ideas? What should be in a pitch? How detailed should you get? Should you start with a summary of the pilot? Should you have ideas for future episodes? What should you say about your characters? In this lab we will delve deep into writing an effective pitch for your scripted television idea - one that will clearly communicate your intentions, excite the reader, and convey your voice and your passion. Most writers need help with switching gears and selling their story in addition to telling it - which is the purpose of this lab. Anna has spent her career developing television projects with writers and selling those show ideas as a development executive, manager and producer. What she has found is that most screenwriters have taken classes that helped them learn about story structure, writing scenes, dialogue, etc. but writing a pitch is entirely different. She will not on ly teach you how to write your document, but work one-on-one with you to make sure it's the best it can be to go to market.  Testimonials from Anna's previous lab: "I thought it was a great course and really helped me understand the format. Anna is knowledgeable and quickly cuts through to what can help your story better. Her notes on my script were insightful and really demonstrated her thorough experience." - Lee L. "Anna’s class was by far the most thorough, well put together, and organized screenwriting class I’ve ever taken. I have an MFA in filmmaking and, after graduating, I still felt as if I didn’t fully understand the structure of pilot writing. Anna’s class laid it out step by step and she went through every piece in detail. She was also extremely available to her students. During our one-on-one sessions, I expected to have a quick 15 minute call with her but she ended up speaking extensively with me about my story from outline through script stages. She really, truly cares for her students and is there to answer any questions, which, given her abundant experience in the industry, is a priceless piece of her labs. Thank you, Anna!" - Jacqueline D. "Anna was concise, and detailed. I've been working on log-lines/treatments/synopsis for 2 years for my scripts and never had it nailed like Anna was able to do. She rocks!" - Cheryl Lynn S. WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for intermediate writers and producers looking to get their individual television project pitch document ready. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 15 Spots Available. No exceptions.*** (10 Spots Remain!) You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of six sessions occurring twice weekly for three weeks, each roughly 90 minutes in duration. In addition to the lessons where Raquelle teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 15 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information

How to Use Research as Your Secret Writing Weapon

Research is a component of almost any writing project-- often, a major component. It gives you the ability to write with authenticity, to better understand your characters, and to find story ideas you might not have otherwise considered. Yet research isn’t just useful for solo writers working on their feature or pilot. Research can make or break your pitch to an executive or allow you to stand out in a special way when trying to bring stakeholders on board. More so, research can help you stand out as a member of a TV writers’ room, building story arcs with your colleagues as part of a writing staff. In almost every situation, research can be a writer’s best friend, but only if you know what you’re doing when starting the research process. Not all research is made equal, and some forms of research will serve writers better than others. The internet makes a practically infinite range of material available to television and feature writers, on almost any subject imaginable. 'Doing research online' in a general way isn't enough. Every writer you're competing with for an open assignment, a staff job, or a slot on a development slate is also 'doing research online.' You need to figure out the most effective way to wield what you learn, which varies from situation to situation and project to project. So what's the best way to approach researching your project? Perhaps even more importantly, what are the most effective strategies for deploying the tool of research to further your writing career? Michael Sonnenschein is a long-time and practiced TV writer who has been staffed on shows like The CW’s 90210, NBC’s political conspiracy thriller CRISIS the original, and the groundbreaking syndicated comedy reality series BLIND DATE. Michael began his career as part of the Disney/ABC Television Fellowship after working as a freelance journalist and reporter for publications like the Village Voice, GQ, LA Weekly and elsewhere. He has also developed and sold several series and pilot pitches; current projects include an unannounced series at a streaming service adapting a novel set in the little-known violent aftermath of the American Revolution, a revisionist history of the Roman Empire, and a legal thriller set in Washington, DC. Michael has been able to sell his projects through his careful use of research and knows the steps to take to get research on your side. Using real Hollywood examples and projects from his own past, Michael will teach you the most effective research strategies for any project you’re working on. He will focus on the specific research processes for writing your own project, pitching to studios and execs, and serving on a TV writers room staff. He’ll also discuss how to make sure your research doesn't backfire and weigh down your pitch, bog down your story, or annoy your showrunner-- all of which happen more often than people realize. He will reveal unusual and little-known research sources that will yield material Google won't show you. He’ll also dive into how to gain research from the real world-- unconventional ways to find out about things, researching through experience, and how to get interview subjects to open up and give you the real stuff you need to tell the story you want to tell.     "Every project I've sold, and every writing sample that's gotten me a job, has involved research, and I think that's the norm. But when writers treat research as a blunt instrument, it's often ineffective or even counter-productive. I'll share some specific tools and tactics I use in this underdiscussed part of being a working writer in Hollywood." -Michael Sonnenschein

How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

The director and actors may get the lion’s share of the credit, and the writer might be the one who thought up the story in the first place, but it’s the producer who actually puts a film together and who turns ideas into reality, all the way from conception through distribution and beyond. The role of a producer can be enigmatic, though. It’s not as straightforward of a job as, say, an actor or a DP, and with so many different types of producers (Line producer? Associate producer? Executive producer? Co-Executive Producer?) it’s a hard concept for people to wrap their heads around. But if you’re interested in being a producer yourself and in leading the charge in creating great content that people want to watch, it’s important you better understand the role and find ways you can separate yourself from the pack and excel. There are a lot of producers out there, a lot of people working to create content. However there are a lot fewer who are prolific, who have multiple projects under their belt and have the know-how to make any project they have their sights set on a success. So what makes these power producers stand out? How do they choose what to produce and how do they operate within the industry to make things happen? And how can you join their ranks? A good step might be to learn directly from a power producer herself. Luckly, successful producer Aimee Schoof will lend her experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee has had more than 25 years’ experience working as a hands-on producer on projects of all shapes and sizes and knows what I takes to thrive in this role. She’s excited to share that with you. Aimee will give you a soup-to-nuts overview of what it takes to produce a film of any level and how to position yourself for success not only on your current project, but for your career moving forward. She will begin by teaching you the different types of producers on a film and what each person’s responsibility is. She’ll then give you strategies of how to choose your own path as a producer, including what it means to be an independent producer. She’ll walk you through how to find partners, collaborators, and mentors in this industry and will discuss the crucial but tricky task of finding and selecting material to produce. She’ll also break down whether a producer should focus on just one project at a time or multi-task. Aimee will illustrate what exactly a day in the life of a producer actually looks like. Aimee will then focus on relationship building, one of the biggest parts of a producer’s job. She’ll break down how to form and maintain relationships with agents and managers, actors, casting directors, and fellow producers, among others. She’ll then discuss the best practices for networking to build your connections, including how to work film festivals and markets to meet new and exciting potential partners or friends. Next, Aimee will delve into how best to source IP as opposed to working with original stories. She’ll go over the balance between holding your relationships close and expanding your network and how a good producer budgets their time when working on multiple projects. Aimee will also give you tips on how you can produce a science fiction film, even on a budget. Then, Aimee will give an honest and realistic breakdown of what a film’s timeline actually looks like—how long it actually takes to make a film and how you can stay motivated along the way. Aimee will use examples and case studies from her own past films, including projects made from existing IP, to further break down the role of a producer.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send your script to Aimee and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.     Praise for Aimee’s Webinar   “I loved this! Aimee knows so much about the subject. I really learned a lot” -Cheryl B.   “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.   “This was great! Thank you!” -Joanne D.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

Stage 32 State of the Industry: Virtual Film Finance Summit

9 Film Finance Experts. 3 FREE Panels. 1 Spectacular Day. Discuss the State of The Film Finance Industry Exclusively Through Stage 32 Live & Interactive - Tune in From Anywhere Around the World!   One of the biggest pieces needed to put together your film always comes down to the financing. When the pandemic disrupted our industry, this piece became even more of a challenge…and a big question mark. Understanding how studios have found ways to shift the risk, the changes in budgets made to cover COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and how film funds have changed is important if you want to know how to finance your next project. While our industry took a big hit, it’s not dead—there are still lots of movies and series being made, and demand is high. So where does everything currently sit? How can you get your next film financed? No need to speculate any longer! We're bringing in filmmakers and bona fide experts in the world of film finance to give you the lowdown as part of our FREE Film Finance Forum. Over one jam-packed morning, we're hosting three unique panels and Q&As where YOU can ask experts the questions you have on film finance and what directions the industry is taking right now.  And when we say experts, we mean experts. Our panelists have collectively put together countless high profile films including MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, GOOD WILL HUNTING, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, THE CATCHER WAS A SPY, LOVING VINCENT, and CHICK FIGHT and continue to actively produce and finance new films as we move into this new era of our industry.   If you're feeling stuck, if your film project has been on hold for too long, if you want to find the way forward to get your film MADE, spend a few hours with us on Saturday the 28th. Hear directly from the source and learn the state of the industry so you can best navigate your own projects.

Location Scouting 101

Learn directly from Tim Moshansky, a 20 year location scout who has worked on hundreds of films and TV shows including The Revenant, Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem! There are two things that a production starts doing as soon as they have the “green light” - casting for actors and scouting for locations. In a way, a location scout is like a casting director for locations. Unless a film is shot entirely in a studio with sets or green screen, locations are integral to how the film will look. Anyone can become a location scout, but to become a GREAT scout that people call again and again takes a keen eye, good people and photography skills, and on-the-ground experience. In this webinar Tim Moshansky will guide you through the entire process of scouting - from the moment you get the script or storyboards, to when they call “Action!” on set. Tim will offer you tips and insights from his nearly 20 years of scouting experience. Whether you are someone considering a career as a scout, or a filmmaker looking for ways to increase your production value and anticipate potential location problems, this is the webinar that will help you learn the basics about scouting. This webinar includes FREE bonus materials for download!: Locations Release Location Agreement Location Breakdown Script Breakdown

register for stage 32 Register / Log In