Top 10 Legal Traps for Filmmakers & How to Avoid Them

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

Hosted by Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

$49

On Demand Webinar - 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
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$49.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

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

Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

Webinar hosted by: Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

Entertainment & IP Attorney at LaneCrowell LLP (clients film & projects appear on Nickelodeon, Discovery, Starz, TLC and 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 »

"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!


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:


Testimonials:

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

Questions?

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Negotiating Actor/Performer Service Agreements

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

Green Card O & P Visas for Film & TV - How to Get to "Extraordinary"

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.!

Stage 32 Founder Rich "RB" Botto - Ask Me Anything!

Hello, my dear, creative friends. It's been a long time since we had a FREE On Stage With RB webcast. I'm appreciative of all of you who have written in asking when the next one was going to air.   It's been a busy few months for yours truly. There have been many project meetings - progress on a few, and a couple of false starts. I've seen and heard much throughout and I'm anxious to share what I've learned out there with you. In addition, so many of you have sent in such incredible questions in anticipation of the next On Stage With RB, I've decided to do something different - an AMA (Ask Me Anything).   More about the session in the video above! I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday! RB

Negotiating Actor/Performer Service Agreements

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

Avoid Theft: How To Legally Protect Your Script, Idea or Project

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!

Breaking Down IP (Intellectual Property) For Development

Ever read something in the paper you wanted to make into a movie? Got a great novel you absolutely love and think you should make it into a film? Well, before you do you'll want to make sure you can legally pursue this path. There are many aspects to securing the rights to an intellectual property but they don't have to stop you! In this Stage 32 Next Level webinar, Breaking Down IP (Intellectual Property) For Development, Jordan Barel (Entertainment Attorney who worked for New Line Cinema, Generate, Alloy, and AMC) will provide you a thorough examination of the legal aspects of trying to find and build your story. He walks through the hurdles, pitfalls, and aggravations you can avoid if you look for stories the proper (read: legal) way. In addition, we'll look at great ways to keep those stories safely in your hands and how you can make the next Robin Hood!  Your host, Jordan will tackle securing various IP rights from screenplays to books to comics and new articles. Teaching you the difference between each and what kinds of stories you should pursue. Also, he'll cover where so many people go wrong and what stories you should steer clear of. Then he'll go into life rights and public domain to help give you an understanding of what public stories/figures you can cover and how to search for free intellectual property.  You'll walk away from this webinar with the knowledge of how to approach stories you find interesting without getting yourself in a legal bind. You'll find out what you need to know to be able to protect your work and focus on the creative development of your projects. 

register for stage 32 Register / Log In