Does the film producer really need a film lawyer or entertainment attorney as a matter of professional practice? An entertainment lawyer’s own bias and my stacking of the question notwithstanding, that might naturally indicate a “yes” answer 100% of that time period – the forthright answer is, “it depends” ;.Numerous producers today are themselves film lawyers, entertainment attorneys, or other types of lawyers, and so, often can take care of themselves. But the film producers to concern yourself with, are the people who behave as if they’re entertainment lawyers – but with no license or entertainment attorney legal experience to back it up. Filmmaking and film practice comprise an industry wherein today, unfortunately, “bluff” and “bluster” sometimes serve as substitutes for actual knowledge and experience. But “bluffed” documents and inadequate production procedures won’t escape the trained eye of entertainment attorneys doing work for the studios, the distributors, the banks, or the errors-and-omissions (E&O) insurance carriers. Because of this alone, Perhaps, the work function of film production counsel and entertainment lawyer is still secure.
I also guess that there can be several lucky filmmakers who, throughout the entire production process, fly beneath the proverbial radar without entertainment attorney accompaniment. They’ll seemingly avoid pitfalls and liabilities like flying bats are reputed to avoid people’s hair. By means of analogy, among my best friends hasn’t had any medical health insurance for decades, and he’s still who is fit and economically afloat – this week, anyway. Taken in the aggregate, many people can be luckier than others, and many people can be more inclined than others to roll the dice.
But it is all too simplistic and pedestrian to tell oneself that “I’ll prevent the significance of film lawyers if I just stay out of trouble and be careful” ;.An entertainment lawyer, especially in the realm of film (or other) production, can be quite a real constructive asset to a film producer, in addition to the film producer’s personally-selected inoculation against potential liabilities. If the producer’s entertainment attorney has experienced the process of film production previously, then that entertainment lawyer has already learned most of the harsh lessons regularly dished out by the commercial world and the film business.
The film and entertainment lawyer can therefore spare the producer a lot of those pitfalls. How? By clear thinking, careful planning, and – this is actually the absolute key – skilled, thoughtful and complete documentation of most film production and related activity. The film lawyer should not be looked at as simply the person seeking to establish compliance. Sure, the entertainment lawyer may sometimes be the main one who says “no” ;.But the entertainment attorney can be quite a positive force in the production as well.
The film lawyer can, in the course of legal representation, assist the producer as a successful business consultant, too. If that entertainment lawyer has been involved with scores of film productions, then a film producer who hires that film lawyer entertainment attorney advantages from that very cache of experience. Yes, it often might be difficult to stretch the film budget to permit for counsel, but professional filmmakers tend to view the legal cost expenditure to be always a fixed, predictable, and necessary one – comparable to the fixed obligation of rent for the production office, or the expense of film for the cameras. Although some film and entertainment lawyers may price themselves from the price range of the average independent film producer, other entertainment attorneys do not.
Like it or not, the film lawyer entertainment attorney continues, “Film is just a speculative business, and the statistical most motion pictures can fail economically – even at the San Fernando Valley film studio level. It’s irrational to operate a movie business or any other type of business out of one’s own personal bank account” ;.Besides, it looks unprofessional, a genuine concern if the producer desires to attract talent, bankers, and distributors at any point in the future.
The options of where and how exactly to file an entity tend to be prompted by entertainment lawyers but then driven by situation-specific variables, including tax concerns associated with the film or film company sometimes. The film producer should let an activity attorney take action and take action correctly. Entity-creation is affordable. Good lawyers don’t look at incorporating a consumer as a profit-center anyway, because of the obvious possibility of new business an entity-creation brings. Whilst the film producer should be aware that under U.S. law a consumer can fire his/her lawyer whenever you want at all, many entertainment lawyers who do the entity-creation work get asked to accomplish further work for that same client – especially if the entertainment attorney bills the initial job reasonably.
I wouldn’t recommend self-incorporation by a non-lawyer – any more than I would tell a movie producer-client what actors to hire in a film – or any more than I would tell a legal D.P.-client what lens to make use of on a certain film shot. As will undoubtedly be true on a movie production set, everybody has their very own job to do. And I genuinely believe that the moment the producer lets a reliable entertainment lawyer do his / her job, things will quickly gel for the film production in techniques couldn’t even be originally foreseen by the film producer.
2. SOLICITING INVESTMENT: This matter also often takes its wake-up call of sorts. Let’s say that the film producer wants to create a film with other people’s money. (No, not a silly scenario). The film producer will likely start soliciting funds for the movie from so-called “passive” investors in a variety of possible ways, and may actually start collecting some monies as a result. Sometimes this occurs prior to the entertainment lawyer hearing about it post facto from his / her client.
If the film producer is not just a lawyer, then a producer should not even consider “trying this at home” ;.Like it or not, the entertainment lawyer opines, the film producer will thereby be selling securities to people. If the producer promises investors some pie-in-the-sky results in the context of the inherently speculative business called film, and then collects money on the basis of that representation, trust me, the film producer can have much more grave problems than conscience to deal with. Securities compliance work is among the most difficult of matters faced by an activity attorney