James Pacitti has been an attorney for nearly three decades and is licensed to practice in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He is the founder and managing attorney of PLF, an entertainment law firm based in Beverly Hills, California. Prior to starting PLF, James was a trial attorney and litigator in state and federal courts across the country. PLF represents a broad spectrum of creatives, including producers and production companies, in the development, finance, production, and distribution of their projects. The firm also acts as general counsel to its clients and advises them on a wide array of entertainment matters and intellectual property rights issues. PLF has handled TV and film productions across the United States and the globe, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia. Past and current clients include Academy Award and Emmy-winning producers and production companies. Full Bio »
Learn all about legal clearances and how you can protect the rights to your project with esteemed entertainment attorney James Pacitti of Pacitti Law Firm
PLUS! You'll receive a Mock Script and Film Clearance Report as well as examples of clearance issues that led to court cases!
Producing a TV, film, or multimedia project is an incredibly daunting task wrought with potential legal peril throughout the entire process.
A TV, film, or multimedia project is the amalgamation of a vast array of rights. In order for producers to be able to distribute their projects, it is essential that the necessary rights are secured through expertly prepared and vetted agreements with each rights holder. It is also vital that producers do not infringe on the rights of those only incidentally involved in the production of their project, including copyright and trademark rights holders. In addition, producers must be mindful of issues of defamation, invasion of privacy, and rights of publicity. Successfully navigating through this complicated legal landscape is virtually impossible without the knowledge and assistance of an experienced entertainment attorney. We’re here to help.
In this essential Stage 32 webinar, you will learn the major legal issues that are most likely to arise during your production and how you can steer clear of any potential legal pitfalls so you can successfully produce and distribute your project. Teaching you everything you need to know about clearance issues for your project is esteemed entertainment attorney James Pacitti of Pacitti Law Firm. James has been an attorney for nearly three decades and is licensed to practice in California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. He is the founder and managing attorney of Pacitti Law Firm (PLF), an entertainment law firm based in Beverly Hills, California. PLF represents a broad spectrum of creatives, including producers and production companies, in the development, finance, production, and distribution of their projects. The firm also acts as general counsel to its clients and advises them on a wide array of entertainment matters and intellectual property rights issues. PLF has handled TV and film productions across the United States and the globe, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia.
In this information-packed webinar, James will guide you through the clearance process and illustrate why an entertainment attorney is an essential member of your producing team. You will learn everything from how to obtain permission to use work from a third party, how to navigate clearance of using underlying intellectual property (IP), how to copyright of your work and how and why you need to get clearance of your film after production and post-production.
PLUS! You’ll receive exclusive handouts to help you ensure clearance needs on your project are met. Downloads include:
If you are a filmmaker at any stage of your project, you do NOT want to miss this webinar with immensely important information to make sure the production and release of your project goes smoothly.
“Securing and clearing all the necessary rights is essential to all productions. However, proper clearance is often misunderstood by independent film and TV producers. I am looking forward to the opportunity to give guidance on common clearance issues and to convey the importance of involving legal counsel at the inception of the development of a project.” - James Pacitti
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Learn how to "make your day" on time and on budget while achieving your creative vision from a director who has made over 25 feature films and has screened at Sundance, South by Southwest, and more! PLUS! You will receive exclusive handouts including Director Duties, Shot List Components, and a Director's Reading List to help you on your next project! The number one expense facing all filmmakers (indie or otherwise) will always be... time. Falling behind just one day quickly leads to another, and another…and a domino effect! You suddenly have a runaway production. It doesn’t matter how creative or inspired you are, if you can’t get it “in the can” on time and on budget, you’re going to have a difficult career. This is especially true in the indie space, where your budget limitations are often quite rigid and not at all conducive to any directorial hesitancy or indecision. Thankfully there’s a proven method to keep you on track, while still allowing for spontaneous inspiration and experimentation on set. It also happens to be the industry standard, and applies to any level of filmmaking - from student short to studio feature. You don’t have to toss the creative baby out with the budgetary bathwater, contrary to popular belief. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, you will learn where to put the emphasis in your pre-production process and a specific method for planning shots and scenes (shot lists, top down lighting plots) optimized for making your day without turning you into a budgetary bean-counter. This course also serves as a strong “trouble-shooting” guide applicable to the vast majority of scheduling issues that seem to always arise on set. You will gain a confidence in the time management necessary to focus on what really matters - performance and “the visuals.” Here to guide you through all the considerations you should take to best make your day while maintaining your creative process is Clay Liford, a graduate of the University of Texas film program who now teaches all aspects of film production at his alma mater. Clay has made over 25 feature films that have garnered numerous accolades and screened at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and more. Clay is excited to share his plethora of knowledge and experience with the Stage 32 community so your next project will be a success! PLUS! Clay will provide you with exclusive handouts to help you on your next project. Downloads include: Director's Duties Shot List Components Director's Reading List You no longer have to choose between being “fast” or “good.” In fact, you’ll quickly learn that those two elements are actually intrinsically tied together, rather than mutually exclusive! Praise For Clay's Webinar: "Clay had great energy and pace. He was able to explain things in different ways and with excellent examples." --Magi A. "Clay didn't sugar coat anything - keeping the short within a tight budget and length is smart strategy & practical. I appreciated his honesty." --Shaan D.
Do you have a project that needs a top-tier piece of talent attached to get the proper attention of buyers and financiers? Actors bring your characters and story to life, but before your film is ever seen on screen, signing the right top talent can bring financing and get your project sold. So how do you as a writer, producer or filmmaker approach A-list talent to be a part of your film? In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, top casting director Dori Zuckerman, who has worked with director Garry Marshall and talent including George Clooney, Elijah Wood, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more, will give you an insider’s view on the types of projects that attract top talent, as well as strategies to position your project, break through the gatekeepers and actually sign top talent to get your project made. You'll leave this webinar with essential information and important tools to approach difference-making talent for your own projects that can help propel your work and career. Dori has cast over 100 TV series and feature films. Dori is a member of the Casting Society of America and has twice been the recipient of their award for excellence in casting.
Learn how to pitch remotely from the writer of JIGSAW and SPIRAL (which hit #1 at the box office upon release) Includes a live pitch demonstration and an exclusive pitch workshop where YOU can practice your Zoom pitch and receive notes! Pitching your projects has changed DRASTICALLY over the past several years, as we’ve moved from traditional in-person pitches between to mostly remote ones. Zoom pitches are here to stay and will remain a consistent aspect of the industry. That's why it's imperative that you know how to pitch well over Zoom... having the right tools, tips, and materials at your fingertips can really make your pitch shine. Now, more than ever, you must be quick, concise, and clear. To avoid aimless rambling or unnecessary detail and conversation, structure is key. And once that structure is in place, your well-developed pitch can take you to the next level. What are the elements you need to pitch to a development executive or producer to get you to that next level? If you don’t know how to pitch efficiently while keeping your concept clear, the virtual pitch meeting you’ve waited weeks to have could come to an abrupt end. Those who don’t take the time to practice and think they can roll through on the fly quickly, discover they’ve missed out on an incredible opportunity. But armed with the right tools, conversation, and materials, your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Pete Goldfinger knows what those tools are. Pete is an incredibly successful feature and television writer in Hollywood, perhaps best known for penning two recent features in the SAW horror universe, including JIGSAW, which grossed over $100 million, and SPIRAL, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock, which debuted at number one at the box office. Other credits of Peter’s include SORORITY ROW, PIRANHA 3D and TV shows like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. When he’s not writing for the screen, Pete is running and hosting his own screenwriting retreats, in-person workshops, and Zoom classes. Students of Pete’s classes learn how to turn their projects into marketable, saleable products, and he’s going to deliver these same principles to Stage 32’s community. During this inofrmation-packed on-demand webinar, Pete will show you how to deliver the most valuable and authentic pitch possible by discussing the elements that need to go into a pitch so that you hook producers and showrunners quickly. From handling (sometimes) awkward small talk to delivering strong loglines with pitch decks, Pete will share his years of experience so that you leave feeling confident about your next (or first!) virtual pitch. After passing on his golden nuggets of wisdom, Pete will deliver a live pitch demonstration, who will take attendees’ ideas on what to pitch and then deliver his pitch on the spot to give you a feel of what Zoom pitching and thinking on your feet is really like.
Agustine’s day-to-day role is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine hosted a Q&A session as well!
Aerial images go back to when hot air balloons first went up in the 1700s, but the use of aerial images has exploded in the 21st century with the now ubiquitous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones. In very little time, drone photography has become widely—perhaps too widely—used in countless films, television shows, commercials, and other media projects. And along with this wide adoption of drones has come a demand for those who can successfully and artfully operate them. This presents a potentially lucrative and rewarding opportunity for cinematographers looking to expand their reach and build their skill set. Yet with the clear overuse of drone photography in media today, each to varying effects, it’s evident that not all drone shots are created equal, and standing out requires a deeper level of skills. Adding drone cinematography to your film, tv or new media project can breathe new life into shots that may, in the past, have cost your budget heavily to rent the necessary equipment to get. In the same way, finding success with drones requires more than knowing simply how to pilot one; a cinematographer needs to have the eye and well-developed instincts and they need to understand how to work with clients and artists to get those perfect shots. It's important to know that the term ‘drone operator’ is often used for those that use these vehicles to capture video or images, but just as cinematographers are never simply referred to as ‘tripod operators’, neither should anyone simply be seen as a ‘drone operator’. A drone is just a new way to place the camera in incredibly exciting places, a tool in a tool belt. Better understanding the steps that can take you to this point can prove exciting and promising for a cinematographer’s career. Chris Tangey is one of the most sought after drone cinematographers in the world. His impressive career as a cinematographer has him working for Netflix, Warner Bros. Columbia Tristar, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Lonely Plant and more. He recently won "Best Aerial Cinematography" in the European Cinematography Awards, and both "Best Drone" and "Best Scenography" In the New York International Film Awards. He was also awarded a Jury Commendation in the World Drone Awards in Siena Italy. He has 2 Gold and 4 silver awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society. Chris has quickly become a leader in the field of aerial imagery and is ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Chris will give you the knowledge and tools to get you started to becoming a successful aerial cinematographer. He’ll begin by giving a brief introduction on drone photography, offering a history and understanding of what exactly drones, as well as how they have affected the current state of helicopter-based cinematography. He’ll explain the benefits and exciting potential of drone cinematography and how that has come into play in media today. He’ll lay out how drones and drone photographers work within small and large productions and their crews. Next Chris will give a rundown of how drones work, what the main types of drones are, what the main drone manufacturers are, and what the notable parts of a drone are. He’ll explain what features are offered for different drones and what features are needed for different types of projects. He’ll also give tips on where to buy your own drone as well as how to obtain a licence to legally operate them. Chris will then outline the safety and legal aspects of operating drones. He will teach you the governmental rules and regulations in most countries, including vertical separation rules and how both controlled and uncontrolled aerodromes are treated. He’ll give you tips on how to navigate these rules while still working with your clients and how to understand what your licence gives you the right to do. He’ll also provide strategies to work within the confines and limits to still get the shots you need as well as strategies to keep yourself and your crew safe. Chris will go over how to break into the industry as an aerial cinematographer. He’ll explain the current marketplace and help outline what level of the marketplace you should be targeting. He’ll give you tips on how to build a reel and display your ability to find opportunities and will teach you how to find and stick to your rate, including ways to not undercut the market, manage value-added rates, and offset licence rights against day rates. Chris will even offer case studies from his own career to demonstrate how best to work with clients and get the shots you’re after. Expect to leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to kick start your own aerial cinematography career. "My career as a cinematographer has been “elevated" greatly by incorporating drones and knowing how to use them properly to get the best possible shot. I'm so excited to share my experiences with the Stage 32 community and give everyone the knowledge to use this powerful tool to their creative and financial advantage" -Chris Tangey
Learn from Aimee Schoof, a producer of over 35 feature films including THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES and the upcoming QUEEN OF THE RING. We know how passionate you are about your projects. But no matter how passionate you are and no matter how fantastic your script is, it’s not easy to stand out to investors and executives. But attaching a notable or exciting director to your project can make a big difference. Finding a director with a good reputation or recent buzz that believes in your project and wants to helm it can add a level of legitimacy that will allow you to break through from a saturated marketplace and get the attention your project deserves. However, finding the right director and bringing him or her on board can often require a bit of finesse. Often when filmmakers consider attaching talent to a project, they think more of actors. No doubt attaching a famous actor to your project can help boost its profile, but attaching a great or exciting director can boost it in an even more powerful way and can give potential stakeholders more confidence that the final product will end up great. This is something an actor usually can’t guarantee, no matter how famous they are. From a producing perspective, there are a lot of similarities in the approaches of attaching an actor and director, but there are key differences as well. When you attach a director, you’re handing over the keys to a project you’re passionate about and allowing them to take it in their own direction. It can be a scary or difficult position, but finding a director who’s the right fit and who will add a level of gravitas or buzz might be what it takes to get your project made. Let’s discuss how to make that happen. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 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. Exclusively for Stage 32 in this on-demand webinar, Aimee will teach you how to find the right director for your project and what you need to do to bring them on board. She’ll show you how to build your director wish list and how to find the next hot directors before they’re out of your budget or reach. She’ll then give you tips on how to initially approach a director you’re interested in, whether it’s through them directly, through their reps or through your own network. Aimee will also explain how she pitches her own projects to get directors excited to come on board. She will discuss the legalities of attaching a director and show you a real shopping agreement she uses to help seal the deal, and will finally go over how you can use your newly attached director to your advantage to help sell your film or bring in partners. Through her career, Aimee has helped attach many directors to her projects and understands the steps that need to be taken to make this process smooth and beneficial. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars: "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “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.