Legal Ease

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LEGAL EASE: Does Your Film Need an LLC? (9/24/2015)

So you’re making a super-indie documentary that only stars your family members and their pets. Do you still need to create an LLC for the project? Attorney Lisa Callif, Partner, Donaldson + Callif has the answer in this month’s edition of Legal Ease. “The short […]

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LEGAL EASE: The Ins and Outs of Production Insurance (8/26/2015)

“But this is an indie film. We don’t really need production insurance, right?” asked the naive filmmaker. Wrong. Attorney Lisa Callif, Partner, Donaldson + Callif confirms that all productions need production insurance and says it’s important to be transparent with the insurance company about what you’ll […]

Getting Your Ducks in a Row: The Legal Aspects of Pre-Production (3/18/2015)

Warren Zevon’s song about “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” isn’t about pre-production, but it might as well have been. In addition to crewing, casting and catering, if you’re the producer, you had better be thinking about corporation, copyright and clearance. Pre-production is where producers need to […]

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LEGAL EASE: Get Your Crew to Sign on the Dotted Line (3/31/2014)

“The most important thing for a producer to think about when they’re putting their crew together and before they start shooting is to make sure everybody has signed an agreement that says that their work is a work for hire,” suggests attorney Lisa Callif, Partner, […]

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LEGAL EASE: How and When To Protect Your Screenplay (2/04/2014)

“One thing that I typically advise my clients is to not register a script until it’s done,” suggests attorney Lisa Callif, Partner, Donaldson + Callif. “Because one, you don’t want it to be public before it’s done. And two, it can get confusing if there’s […]

Matt Galsor

LEGAL EASE: An Entertainment Attorney Answers Filmmakers’ Most Burning Questions (11/05/2013)

Entertainment attorney Matt Galsor from the firm Greenberg Glusker recently gave an interactive talk to Film Independent Members, including producers, directors, cinematographers and writers. Here are the top take-aways from the Q&A: Can you please explain the difference between optioning a screenplay and buying the […]

entertainment law

Legal Ease Live! (12/18/2012)

Can you use that popular song in your film? Can you write a script about someone living? And what about contracts — does that scribbled note on a napkin count? When it comes to the art of filmmaking, the legal road is paved with questions. […]

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LEGAL EASE: OPTIONING A FOREIGN FILM FOR AN ENGLISH REMAKE (3/19/2012)

I am optioning a German film to do an English-language remake. Anything special I need to worry about? Well, according to the Greeks, you may have a lot to worry about.  The German may grant some rights to you but only if you agree to […]

January 18, Opponents of SOPA made went dark in cyber-protest of SOPA.

LEGAL EASE: “NO SOPA FOR YOU” (1/30/2012)

The statements and opinions expressed below are those of the lawyers who write them. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Film Independent or its directors, officers and staff.  Film Independent does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of those statements or […]

Don't fret, Hollywood is full of people who make bad decisions

LEGAL EASE: WE STARTED IT TOGETHER, BUT NOW I WANT TO GO IT ALONE (1/03/2012)

From the archives Q: 12 plus years ago a colleague came to me with a high concept logline for a TV series. I created the characters and most of the bible, even wrote a pilot. Through some bad decisions on his part, we went with […]