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Insight + analysis on indie film legal issues

Do WGA writer-producers have to cross picket lines to keep working for the studios as producers during the strike?

Most major studios recently informed WGA writer-producers that work done in a “producer” capacity is still required despite the ongoing writers’ strike. But is the position taken by the studios a correct interpretation of this aspect of the WGA Minimum Basic Agreement? Probably not.

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Independent contractors and indie films: Police officers not production employees on low-budget shoot per California Court of Appeals.

Entertainment law case updates

Michael Estrada v. Scars of the Mind Motion Picture Company
Cal Ct App August 31, 2022

Whether production crew members on low-budget indie films are employees rather than independent contractors is an extremely important business and legal affairs issue for film producers. That’s because a production company that allegedly fails to pay workers as employees if required to do so can face wage demands, fines, penalties, and the need to defend themselves in court. It’s exactly what happened to the filmmakers behind “Acts of Desperation,” an indie motion picture filmed in Los Angeles in 2018 by Scars of the Mind Productions.

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