Photo ©2008 Mattbr. Used under Attribution 2.0 Generic license, via Wikimedia Commons


Insight + analysis on indie film legal issues

The SAG-AFTRA strike and independent films: What indie producers need to know and what they can do.

SAG-AFTRA announced yesterday that a strike of the Producers-SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Contracts of 2014, as amended by the 2017 and 2020 memoranda of agreement, will begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 14. The work stoppage will impact 160,000 union members whose contracts have now expired. While work for studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (“AMPTP”) will stop, however, members may be able to work on indie productions under an interim agreement. Here is what indie producers need to know.

Continue reading

Anatomy of an independent film business plan.

Planning is key to the successful development, production, release, and profitability of independent films. As an indie filmmaker, you’re in the business of making and selling a product that just happens to involve entertainment. Like any entrepreneur, your business plan should be considered essential. You wouldn’t start making a movie without a shooting script. Probably not without storyboards or some other form of pre-visualization of your shots. Think of your film business plan the same way.

Continue reading

Start a year for successful filmmaking with a solid business and legal foundation

Register now to join DeepFocus Entertainment Law for a virtual coffee get-together monthly in 2023. The first online event kicks off January 27, 2023, from 8 AM to 9:30 AM PST. Clients, prospective clients, and friends are welcome. Register now here. In the meantime, enjoy these suggestions for New Year’s resolutions to start your next film or television project on solid business and legal ground:

Continue reading

Why you should consider using product placements to finance and promote your independent film production.

Porsche logo on the back of a car in an action movie scene

Advertisers are increasingly searching for more and better opportunities to place brands and products into films and television productions. Variety this week reports that global advertising group Interpublic has announced a new data analysis product planned for internal use in finding movies and broadcast and streaming series that “will serve as a good fit for in-show product placement.”

Continue reading

Hollywood star Mary Pickford’s landmark million dollar deal, 106 years ago today.

On June 24, 1916, Mary Pickford signed an agreement rivaling the best that any modern Hollywood dealmaker could negotiate. Adjusted for inflation, the $10,000 per week in compensation that her motion picture contract with Paramount Pictures co-founder Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players Film Company provided for is equal to about $270,682 today. On top of that, profit participation gave her 50% from each film, with guaranteed compensation equal to about $19,600,000.

Continue reading