Resources and Advice

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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 […]

CASE STUDY: The Making of Short Term 12

CASE STUDY: The Making of Short Term 12 (12/17/2014)

SHORT TERM 12 is an award-winning drama about a young woman who works as a supervisor at a teen group home and struggles to care for her teenage patients while desperately avoiding the residue of her own dark past. Based on his short film of […]

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FIND Answers: How To Work With a Location Manager to Find That (Affordable) Dream Location (9/22/2014)

We asked location manager Kristin Dewey (Celeste and Jesse Forever, In a World…) to answer your questions about how to get the most out of working with a location manager, consolidating locations to save money, and understanding a location manager’s needs from pre-production through principal photography. What […]


FIND ANSWERS: A Top Line Producer Tackles Filmmaker FAQs (5/29/2014)

As a filmmaker, you know when you’ve hit the line producer jackpot: you can rest assured knowing that every “i” will be dotted, every “t” will be crossed. We asked freelance producer/line producer extraordinaire Angela Sostre to address filmmaker FAQs based on her years of […]

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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, […]


FIND ANSWERS: How to Successfully Market Your Indie Film (2/11/2014)

“Oh, how times have changed” when it comes to marketing budgets, says Liz Ogilvie, Director of Marketing Programs at Fandor. Here, Ogilvie shares her expertise on putting together a budget, a team and a plan for getting the word out about your film. Prior to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]