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The Independent Filmmaker's Law and Business Guide: Financing, Shooting, and Distributing Independent and Digital Films

Overview

Today’s explosion of independent and digital filmmaking demands a brass-tacks guide to the business and legal aspects of the process. What fundraising options are available to a filmmaker? When should a filmmaker establish a corporation or limited liability company? How do screenwriters protect their work? What are a director’s legal obligations to the producer, cast, and crew—and what are their obligations in return? And why must the filmmaker pay special attention to products ...

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Paperback (Second edition)
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Overview

Today’s explosion of independent and digital filmmaking demands a brass-tacks guide to the business and legal aspects of the process. What fundraising options are available to a filmmaker? When should a filmmaker establish a corporation or limited liability company? How do screenwriters protect their work? What are a director’s legal obligations to the producer, cast, and crew—and what are their obligations in return? And why must the filmmaker pay special attention to products and artwork that might appear in the background of a shot?

This indispensable resource addresses the legal, financial, and organizational questions that an independent or guerrilla filmmaker must face, and the problems that will doom a project if left unanswered. It demystifies issues such as founding a film company, obtaining financing, preparing a budget, securing locations, shooting, granting screen credits, and distributing, exhibiting, and marketing a film.

Newly updated and expanded, this second edition explores concepts such as executing a digital distribution strategy through the use of YouTube and “webisodes,” the importance of international distribution, and legal issues particular to documentaries. Six handy appendixes provide sample contracts, copyright circulars, Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, studio contact information, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An easy to follow and a valuable resource for those interested in being behind the scenes of a production."  —Buzzine
Library Journal

The film industry is a highly competitive market, and as unromantic as it seems, filmmaking is as much about finance, business management, and law as it is about the creative process. It is true that anyone, given the right equipment, can make a film, but whether that project ever finds funding or an audience demands a more businesscentric understanding of the word production. For those who didn't minor in accounting, marketing, or contractual negotiation, Garon (law, Hamlin Univ.; Own It: The Law and Business Guide to Launching a New Business Through Innovation, Exclusivity, and Relevance) provides a clear and concise crash course on not just making a film but also making a film company. In this updated edition of a 2002 publication, all areas have been revisited, and there is an emphasis on new online technologies and the legal concerns and business considerations that lie therein. VERDICT As well organized and descriptively broken down as an outline, this is equally insightful read straight through as didactic instruction or visited circumstantially as a reference guide. An advisable read and career supplement for aspiring filmmakers and entertainment industry students.—Ben Malczewski, Ypsilanti Dist. Lib., MI


—Ben Malczewski
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556528330
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Edition description: Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 458,673
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon M. Garon is a law professor at Hamline University School of Law who specializes in entertainment law, intellectual property, and business law.

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