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Paperwork & Money

Short Film Woes and Worries

Entertainment lawyer Christopher Schiller takes a legal look at the trials and pitfalls of making short films. Short films are easy, right? I mean, they’re just like the real thing only shorter, cheaper. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, short films can be seen as a concentrated concoction of every problem and Read MoreRead More

Revisiting the Case of the Wedding Photographer Threatened with a $300,000 Lawsuit

What happened to the case where an angry client sued the wedding photographer for $300,000? Robert Schenk takes a look at the case. A couple years ago, I read a story about a Washington wedding photographer that was threatened with a $300,000 lawsuit by an ex-client. The story then seemed to drop out of sight. Sometime Read MoreRead More

Achieve an Efficient Production by Becoming Proficient at Pre-Production

Bobby Marko explains how better preparation will lead to better on set execution. Problems always occur in video and film production. It’s the nature of the work we do. There are always outside forces beyond our control and no matter what we do to prepare for them, we are always faced with a problem to Read MoreRead More

How Do You Determine A Fair Price For Licensing Your Videos And Photos?

Mike Wilkinson looks at how to determine the cost of licensing your footage.   The factors I came up with for determining a licensing fee included any or all of the following; a) who the company or individual is (fortune 500, independent producer, NPO, small business, etc) b) the reach of the media (one small photo Read MoreRead More

The Potato Salad Kickstarter is Better Than Your Crowdfunding Campaign

Exploding on the social media today is news about a Kickstarter campaign to make Potato Salad that is reaching the upper limits of 5 digits while countless other passion projects go unfunded. Why is that? Perhaps because your Kickstarter campaign sucks. An individual recently Kickstarted a batch of potato salad and asked for $10 to Read MoreRead More

Legally Speaking, It Depends: Copyright in Court

New York Transactional entertainment attorney Christopher Schiller discusses what may happen if you should be involved in a copyright case that sees the inside of a courtroom. Specifics being key to every case, this effort will only lay out the big-picture elements of what it might be like to take a copyright claim to the Read MoreRead More

The Legal and Business Issues of Crowdfunding

Christopher Schiller covers some key aspects you must consider when looking to use Crowdfunding as your source of financing. Types of Crowdfunding: – Charity based (e.g. fund drives for public broadcasting) – The main goal of the funding is to support the charity. The product or gifts are an afterthought or extra and are not Read MoreRead More

Movie Industry Money Terms Explained

Entertainment Lawyer Christopher Schiller dives into common money terms in filmmaking contracts and what they mean for screenwriters. Typically studios, producers or anyone else funding movies don’t work with piles of bills lying around in a vault, ready to fund movies. There are numerous schemes that are used to shift funds when needed into the Read MoreRead More

Crowdfunding & Taxes: Kickstarter’s Hidden Bite (& How to Stop the Bleeding)

Ben Henretig raised $112,000 for a documentary – but how much of that money winds up with the IRS in terms of tax dollars? He explains his approach to the tax question when it comes to crowdfunding: Kickstarter has emerged as an incredibly powerful platform for creatives to crowd-fund their creative work. In October of Read MoreRead More

5 Things You Need to Know About Filming Permits

Elliot from Reel Deel Film School explains what you need to film abroad. When filming in another country, it’s incredibly important to make sure you have the correct paperwork before you record anything… A full write up: The very first lesson I was taught on Day 1 as a Camera Assistant was to never assume anything! Read MoreRead More

Thinking About Crew Prep

Shooting a movie is not just about the gear. Arthur Vincie writes about the often overlooked process of crew prep and how to approach and plan for working with a crew. One of the biggest mistakes I see first-time filmmakers commit is to think solely in terms of production time when it comes to crewing up.  The Read MoreRead More

5 Things About Crowdfunding That Were True in 1998 (& Are Still True Today)

Crowdfunding pioneer Mark Tapio Kines writes about effective strategies of raising money through crowdfunding whether it be the first film he financed in 1997 or his latest. I hold the somewhat geeky distinction of being the first person to ever crowdfund a film. When I needed money to finish for my first feature Foreign Correspondents, I Read MoreRead More

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