Content Top

Legal Ease

Lisa-CallifThumb

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, -- continue reading →

Lisa-CallifThumb

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 -- continue reading →

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 -- continue reading →

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. -- continue reading →

death-at-the-funeral

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 -- continue reading →

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 -- continue reading →

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 -- continue reading →

free-sign

LEGAL EASE: THIS CAN’T BE RIGHT…BY SIGNING THIS UNSOLICITED SUBMISSION AGREEMENT I’M BASICALLY GIVING UP MY RIGHTS? (12/05/2011)

Q: Here’s a quote from an unsolicited submission agreement I was sent. “I hereby grant to you the non-exclusive right to use any or all of the Material for any and all purposes, in perpetuity.” Am I missing something or do I understand this correctly -- continue reading →

Joel and Ethan Coen's O Brother Where Art Thou is based on The Odyssey

LEGAL EASE: WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH “BASED ON” VS. “INSPIRED BY”? (10/27/2011)

Q: I have a question regarding the rights needed to make a film “based on” a book, and/or “inspired by” a book. Is there a legal difference between these two terms? It seems that one implies a more direct adaptation (“based on”) and the other -- continue reading →

In their down time Matt and Jess love to sit back and watch a Gnome named Gnorm and other like named films.

LEGAL EASE: MY TITLE IS THEIR TITLE – NOW WHAT? (10/10/2011)

Q: I’m in the process of wrapping up a movie.  I just discovered that the title we’ve been using, and the title I love, was the title of a little known [major studio] film from back in the 70’s.  Can I still use the title? -- continue reading →

Content Bottom