Indie Film – Legal Safety Tip

95% of all potential legal problems during the production of a motion picture are prevented, if your producer ensures that all production agreements get signed BEFORE the work starts.

If a producer deviates from this rule, and allows people to work on the film without a signed contract — a/k/a allows them to contribute intellectual property to the movie without any written document transferring the rights — that producer should stock up on Tylenol and freshen up the resume, because misunderstandings, disagreements and production headaches are coming to the film.

At worse, the production team is about to find themselves at the mercy of an evil contractor who can legally claim a copyrightable interest in the movie, and who suddenly developed a strong interest in making more money than you originally discussed. And maybe a new credit and some net profits.


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