How to Navigate Business and Legal Affairs For Your Independent Project to Ensure It's Protected

Hosted by David Zannoni

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David Zannoni

Webinar hosted by: David Zannoni

International Film Business Specialist at Fintage House

David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America.   Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It can be more exciting to focus on the creative side of developing and producing your film or TV project, but if you’re a producer, you know this is not the only aspect you need to cover. Navigating business and legal aspects can truly make or break your project. Handling IP, chain of title, contracts and legal documents, setting up production entities, domestic and international negotiations with producers, financiers, talent agents and law firms—the list goes on, and not one element can be overlooked or handled haphazardly. No matter the size of your project, understanding the business and legal affairs that come with it is of the utmost importance and can be the difference between your film making it to the screen and falling apart in the process.

 

Business and legal affairs are a different story for larger independent production companies and studios. They will have in-house staff and lawyers to handle these matters or can hire outside production council. This is likely not be possible for your smaller independent project. As a result, business and legal affairs are often overlooked in smaller productions—to the production’s own detriment. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. You don’t need to hire a team of attorneys in order to ensure your indie project is covered and protected. Instead, you need to understand which aspects of business and legal affairs are important, what support there is available for independent producers, and how to best navigate the process to ensure every other aspect off your production stays on track.

 

David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America.

 

David will discuss both business and legal affairs that will be involved with your independent production. He’ll dive into how to deal with multiple players in the industry while putting together your project, how to negotiate and make deals, and the other business knowledge and expertise that is important for you to know when putting your film or series together. On the legal side, David will explain the different types of agreements you’ll need to have and the process of navigating many agreements at once. He’ll also go into the trickier aspects of legal affairs including domestic vs. international jurisdiction, distribution rights and licensing, recoupment schedules, and even arbitration and legal proceedings. Through David’s advanced and wide-stretching presentation, he will share with you countless tools that you can take to ensure that your own project is protected and can ultimately come together.

What You'll Learn

  • How to Define Business & Legal Affairs?
  • Context for Business & Legal Affairs in the Film Industry
  • The Independent Production Company
  • Stages of Film: Development, Production & Distribution
  • Corporate Level vs. Project Basis
  • The Role of Business & Legal Affairs in Independent Film
  • Issues Business & Legal Affairs Deal With
  • Who Takes the Lead on Projects with Multiple Parties?
    • In-house or external support
    • Collaboration between multiple business & legal affairs managers
  • Business Affairs: The Commercial Side
    • Dealing with multiple players in the film industry
      • Producers
      • Sales agents
      • Distributors
      • Talent
      • Talent agencies
      • Investors
      • Financiers
      • Lawyers
      • Service providers
      • Streamers
    • Deal making & negotiations
    • Business knowledge & expertise
    • Networking: Essential for business affairs managers
    • Business traveling
    • Film markets and film festivals
    • Education & Learning
  • Legal Affairs: The Legal Side of Business
    • Legal affairs on a company level
    • Legal Affairs on a project basis
    • Dealing with multiple agreements
      • Production agreement
      • Sales agency agreement
      • Distribution agreements
      • Finance agreements
      • Talent agreements
      • Interparty agreement
      • Security agreement
      • Collection account management agreement
    • Domestic vs. international jurisdictions
    • Financing and financial closing of a film
    • Dealing with talent
    • Co-productions
    • Distribution rights & license deals
    • Financing plans & recoupment schedules
    • Independent film & legal issues
    • Arbitration & legal proceedings
  • Q&A with David

About Your Instructor

David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America.

 

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How to Protect Your Financiers for Your Independent Film Project

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The Importance of Recoupment Schedules for Your Film or TV Project and How to Put One Together

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How To Recoup Your Film's Profits Through Collection Account Management

Nowadays many independent film and TV productions that have multiple parties involved are looking for the best way to recoup profits on a completed project. One of the best ways to assure the parties involved with your film (producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent) see their returns is to have a collection account in place.  A collection account is an account in the name of a neutral third party who receives revenues generated by an independent film or TV project on behalf of the multiple beneficiaries from local distributors. This process is called collection account management and is an effective tool to guarantee that the beneficiaries receive their share of the revenues. The beneficiaries include producers, investors, financiers, sales agents and talent. Often times financiers, production partners and international sales agents put a collection account up as a requirement before even boarding project. During this webinar we will explain the functions and benefits of having a collection account in place for an independent film or TV project, how collection account management is set up and which parties should be involved in the entire process. We will further discuss the allocation and distribution of revenues, how to put together the Recoupment Schedule, and the importance of signing, or being a beneficiary to, the Collection Account Management Agreement.

Think Like an Entrepreneur: How to Be Profitable on a Sub $1 Million Film in the US Market - With a Film Case Study

As an independent filmmaker or producer, you likely start working on a new endeavor for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet this is of course not the only element of filmmaking. Like it or not, your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money. In this way you’re not just a making a piece of art; you’re also running a business. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur and understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but it's doable. In fact, there’s a bit of a sweet spot for independent films in the $1MM range and a viable path to profitability for films of this level. The key is to intimately understand how money—both hard money and soft money—flows in and out of the project. Getting a handle on this flow puts you in a powerful position, because not only can you make your current film profitable; but you will also create a business model that you can apply to your future projects, and eventually a portfolio of profitable assets (or films) that will serve as an effective and undeniable calling card as you continue to grow in the industry. This entrepreneurial approach might not be second nature to creatives, but it’s something you can learn and something that will aid you tremendously. David Zannoni is consultant for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. He serves as the company's representative for the Americas. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and Europe. As an international film business specialist David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the US market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, $1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a $1MM or under budget looks like, whether it’s considered a small film or microbudget, and how it compares in the larger worldwide film market. He’ll delve into how to see your film as an asset and how to use this viewpoint to work with investors and provide profit. David will give you the tools to think like an entrepreneur and explain the relationship between financing, distribution, and recoupment of investment. David will then teach you how to take a business approach to a $1MM and under film project. He will discuss debt and equity financing and compare it to soft money, demonstrating both of their impacts on your recoupment. He’ll then go over how to finance your film through bank loans, tax credits, private lenders, equity investors, and family and friends. In doing so, he’ll demonstrate the differences between lenders and investors and demonstrate how to make—and keep—all of your investors happy. He’ll also go over ways to mitigate risks for yourself and your investors. Plus, David will show a case study of a real $1MM US film to illustrate how a film of this level can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure, the role of the sales agent, and how he navigated the film’s distribution agreement. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own $1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable.   Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars   "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P.   "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O.   "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K.   "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.

Navigating Collection Account Management For Your Independent Film or TV Project

If you’re an independent filmmaker or producer working to put together a film or TV project, you are likely going to have multiple producers, investors, financiers, sales agents, and talent that are will be looking to recoup profits on the completed project. This can get tricky. Not only do you have to keep your numbers and figures straight to properly reallocate your revenues, you also likely have to handle guild residuals, navigate liability issues and ensure every party is happy and trusting in the process. This can ultimately be a very messy process, and one that you should not handle on your own as the film’s producer. Instead, it’s probably time you have a collection account. A collection account is an account in the name of a neutral third party who receives revenues generated by an independent film or TV project on behalf of the multiple beneficiaries from local distributors. This process is called collection account management and is an effective tool to guarantee that the beneficiaries receive their share of the revenues. Collection account management is a massive time saver and a way to lower the chances of errors or improper payments. But it’s also the industry standard and something most parties and investors are going to expect you to have if they are considering moving forward. So how exactly does collection account management work and how can you best use this process to your advantage as an independent filmmaker? David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you how to navigate collection account management. He’ll begin by going into what exactly collection account management is and the different elements that go into it. He will also explain when to know if your production will need collection account management and delve into how this process affects your job as a producer, including liabilities, your relationship with your sales agent, and the rights and obligations with financiers, guilds, and talent. Next, David will demonstrate how collection account management works from a legal framework and the paperwork and contracts that go along with it, including the CAM Agreement. Finally, David will outline the benefits you will see as a producer when working with a collection account. He’ll even give specific tips for producers related to the CAM agreements, financiers, residuals, sales agents, and more. Collection account management can be a tricky process, but it’s also one that’s crucial to get right. David will show you how.     Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars   "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P.   "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O.   "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K.   "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.

How a CAM Account Saves You Time and Worry

Filmmaking isn’t just an artform, it’s a business. As a creative, you might not be aware of how you can ensure you receive your fair share of the revenue or properly negotiate for it. With the right agreement in place, you can focus on producing a great story that audiences will love without worrying about how the money will come later. What you need is a CAM Agreement. The CAM Agreement, short for Collection Account Management, is a multiparty agreement that handles the receipt, allocation, and disbursement of revenues generated by the distribution of a project. In short, a CAM Agreement is how you get paid when the project sells. It protects everyone’s interests and eliminates misunderstandings between partners by ensuring everyone enters the project on the same page and puts everyone on a Recoupment Schedule so that you know when and how you’re getting paid. With so many platforms and distribution markets to consider, revenue is never as simple as selling the project one time. It covers payment of revenues, commissions, expenses, recoupment investments, deferments, bonuses, and profits. David Zannoni is a consultant for Fintage House, where he's seen first-hand the benefit of these agreements through his work negotiating for films and television series internationally, regularly attending the major film festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, and more. David will walk you and the other attendees of this Stage 32 webinar exclusively through the key elements of the CAM Agreement, what’s covered, standard clauses, the different kinds of CAM Agreements you’ll need for the different guilds, and how the agreement will evolve and be used in the future. By knowing the benefits of these agreements from someone who regularly uses them, you’ll have the ability to negotiate better for yourself and your project, empowering you to stress less about how you’ll make your money back and focus instead on telling a great story.  

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