Top 10 Legal Traps for Filmmakers & How to Avoid Them

Hosted by Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

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Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

Webinar hosted by: Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

Entertainment & IP Attorney at Lane Sash & Larrabee LLP (clients include Sony, Starz, TLC & More)

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 »

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!


What You'll Learn:

  • The 10 legal traps most likely to derail any production
  • Key aspects of copyright law: “work for hire,” and “fair use” - we'll go over properly drafted signed agreements.
  • Filmmaker’s ownership of the film, to ensure distributors do not reject your film.
  • Critical deal points for option/purchase agreements - we'll go over critical clauses 
  • Fundraising “sand traps” and how to avoid them - avoid criminal or civil liability
  • Tips and tricks for negotiating with agents
  • Q&A with Thomas - bring your questions!

 


About Your Instructor:

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.


Frequently Asked Questions:

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.

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