A founding partner of Lane Sash & Larrabee LLP, Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, including deals with TLC, Elsevier Publishing, Starz, Discovery Communications, Focal Press, the Smithsonian Network, WE: The Women's Entertainment Network, The Science Technology Network, IDW Publishing, and Sony Entertainment. He joined Lane Sash & Larrabee in July of 2012 as a partner. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Crowell was a television producer and the head of business development for one of Japan's premier satellite television news companies, the Science Technology Network. Mr. Crowell began his legal career at KMZ Rosenman, where he established his expertise in entertainment, media, intellectual property protection, and general corporate and commercial matters. In addition to his private practice, Mr. Crowell is the Director of the Indie Film Clinic at Cardozo Law School, where he also teaches a course in film law. Mr. Crowell is a strong supporter of legal pro bono work for artists and is the Executive Director emeritus of the New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. A frequent columnist for film industry publications, Mr. Crowell is also the author of a best-selling legal guide for independent producers, The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers (Focal Press), which has been adopted as a core textbook in many film and law schools across the United States. His latest book is “The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators” (Focal Press) — is the very first dedicated legal guide for the comic book industry. He currently serves as a series editor for Focal Press and its new line of legal guides for artists. THIS PRESENTATION HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE OR A LEGAL OPINION. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT QUESTIONS YOU RAISE DURING THE WORKSHOP ARE NOT CONFIDENTIAL. ONLY YOUR ATTORNEY CAN ADVISE YOU WHICH LAWS ARE APPLICABLE TO YOUR SPECIFIC CASE AND SITUATION. Full Bio »
"One of the best webinars yet! All are informative and I have learned from each, but this one topped the charts. Definitely want him back. Thanks!" - J. Rose
Creating a movie is more than just a labor of love: it's also an investment of time and money. But while countless hours are spent setting up shots and editing footage, many producers spend too little time taking care of the legal aspects of their productions. As a result, filmmakers often learn the difficult lesson that no matter how good their films may be, a distributor can't sell a movie unless all of the necessary rights and permissions have been secured. In fact, without the correct agreements in place, filmmakers may be surprised to find out that they may not even own their own films!
Whether you have a finished film, a script, or the beginnings of an idea for a television program, this course will show you how to spot the top legal problems producers face… and give you a set of tools you can use to tackle them!
Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars 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 webinar.
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 webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.
Very helpful graphics; good pace (not to fast or slow); speaker had high level of knowledge/experience. Very helpful. - J. Marshall
Tons of great information very well explained - Thanks! - R. Heaps
Great job.. Thank you. - R. Miles
One of the best yet! All are informative and I have learned from each, but this one topped the charts. Definitely want him back. Thanks! J. Rose
What is the most important element in your film to landing a distributor? The script? The director? Probably not. For many distributors, the choice of one film over another often comes down to whether your film features an actor that audiences recognize. Actors’ performances breathe life into a film, and their fame gives a film its marketing power. Because performers realize the hold they have over a film project, negotiating the performer’s services agreement can be a nail-biting experience. Virtually every recognizable performer has a team of agents, managers, and attorneys ready to protect the actor’s interests and negotiate the best deal they can for their client. For producers, knowing how to negotiate an actor’s contract is critical for the success of their films. This course will show you how to negotiate an actor’s services agreement, provide an overview of dealing with SAG-AFTRA, and even give you a few tips and tricks on dealing with actors’ agents and managers. Testimonials for Thomas' previous webinar: "One of the best yet! All are informative and I have learned from each, but this one topped the charts. Definitely want him back. Thanks!" J. Rose
Often entertainment immigration seminars focus on actors, but what about the people behind the scenes? Directors, sound engineers, editors, makeup artists, etc? What does US immigration deem "extraordinary" and how do you prove it? Join managing attorneys, Lorraine D'Alessio and Liz Profumo as they outline what US immigration looks for, how to build your resume, and how to make the process as smooth as possible in this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar. Your hosts, Lorraine D'Alessio and Liz Profumo are partners at D'Alessio Law Group. Their practice specializes in immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, and entertainers. They have has assisted hundreds of artists, performers, and other industry professionals to realize their dreams of living in the United States. Ms. D'Alessio combines her unique, firsthand knowledge of the entertainment business with immigration law. This year she also won the Century City Bar Association's "Lawyer of the Year" Award. The associates at DLG Immigration have personal experience in the immigration process and the entertainment industry and understand your logistical requirements as well as your legal requirements. They understand the types of documentation you will have and what to ask you for and are here exclusively for Stage 32 to help our members around the world pursue their dreams of working in the U.S.!
The goal of this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar is to empower filmmakers to confidently navigate domestic distribution contracts. This webinar will teach you the basics of domestic (North American) distribution contracts, what to look out for, what parts of the contract are negotiable (and in some cases are expected to be negotiated), and which parts can really be left alone. We’ll talk about what the distributor wants vs. what you want, and how to accommodate both parties so that the contract is clear, the details are transparent and everyone walks away happy. Filmmakers can really be held back by contracts. If they don’t understand them or are afraid that they are being ripped off, they can end up sitting on them, letting them become inactive and missing their vital release windows. If they sign without negotiating in a “someone likes my movie/ let’s get it out there” state of shock, they can give away rights and accept percentages that lock them up, keeping them from maximizing their film’s potential in the marketplace. Do not fall into either of these traps! Your host, Anna Darrah is very well-versed in dissecting contracts from her 12 years of experience as a Film Buyer and as an Acquisitions Executive, licensing all domestic rights to films. Now, working independently as a consultant helping filmmakers plan out their distribution strategies, she is able to analyze contracts from a very wide range of companies. It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways.
Learn directly from Jaia Thomas, Entertainment Attorney who specializes in federal copyright registration and licensing as well as film financing, production and distribution! Do you have an idea for a television show but worried about the legal ramifications of sharing the idea with others? Do you have a film script but don’t know how to properly protect it from copyright or infringement? From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. What is idea theft? And what are the best ways screenwriters, television writers and content creators can protect their ideas and scripts? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jaia Thomas will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. Drawing from her 9+ years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters, Jaia will navigate you through the copyright registration process, going step-by-step through the process of registering a script with the United States Copyright Office. Ms. Thomas will also outline some of the key distinctions and misconceptions between registration with the US Copyright Office and the Writers Guild of America. The webinar will also outline some of the key legal precautions writers can take to protect their ideas and scripts during the collaboration and pitching process, as well as provide attendees with a list of technologies available to assist with script protection. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects!
Hello, Creative Army. I appreciate all who attended my last AMA (Ask Me Anything) and those who have written in wondering when the next session will take place. Wonder no more. Let's kick off the final quarter of 2018 with an inspirational hour plus of craft and industry talk on Tuesday, September 4th. It's been a busy few months around the Stage 32 offices and for yours truly as it relates to my personal projects. I'm excited to share with you what I'm hearing, what I've learned, and what I've experienced since we last got together. So bring your questions on anything and everything and I'll do my best to get to as many as possible. As always, registering for my AMA is completely free and all are welcome to attend. If you can't make it live, no worries, we'll post the video On Demand a few days after the live event. More about the session in the video above. I look forward to spending time with you on Tuesday! Cheers! RB
We are thrilled to bring in veteran producer, director, screenwriter, and actor Zack Ward. Zack began his career with his role as Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, and has since spent more than three decades acting in over 100 films. All of his years on set have allowed him to learn the elements of making a film inside and out. As a result, over the last several years Zack has gone on to produce 3 films and directed 1 feature film. His film Restoration, which he wrote, directed, acted and produced in is currently available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, Ubiquity and coming this month on Redbox. This micro-budget film was made for only $75,000, was shot in 14 days - and - here's the kicker - was making money before he ever yelled "ACTION!" Now, exclusively for Stage 32 Next Level Education Zack is going to take you through the processes and procedures he's learned to bring his latest feature film in on time, on budget and profitable.