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"Legal and Business Essentials For Documentary Filmmakers"
With Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark


WEEK 1:  Foundational Business Principles for Filmmaking

WEEK 2:  Securing Your Film's Chain of Title, Identifying and Addressing Rights Issues

WEEK 3:  Strategies for Using Copyrighted Material, When to Rely on the Doctrine of Fair Use (and when not to)

WEEK 4: Obtaining Necessary Releases and Permits - Dealing With Rights of Privacy & Publicity, Avoiding Claims of Defamation

WEEK 5:  Addressing Personnel Issues, Types of Insurance Required for Film Production

WEEK 6:  Fundamental Terms Of The Distribution Agreement, The Revenue "Waterfall"

Why This Course

Getting a film MADE is a huge accomplishment. But it does no good for anyone, if the film never sees the light of day. 

Getting distribution is the key to securing a return on your (and your financiers’) investment. 

Too often, however, filmmakers encounter problems on the eve of distribution because they don't have their business and legal affairs in order. This costs them time, money, sleepless nights, and may even lead to whole projects being “shelved." 

These aspects of filmmaking are just as important to a film's success as the creative. And for the creative-minded filmmaker, they can be downright daunting. 

But they don't have to be. 

This course will provide filmmakers with the insider knowledge and information needed to make smart, practical business decisions at each stage of the process, from conception and development of the idea, through production, post, and into distribution. 

You'll learn to spot and address issues BEFORE they become issues. 

In addition to the in-depth course content, you'll receive valuable worksheets and checklists to help ensure that you have everything in order at completion of your film.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars in legal fees and headaches, sign-up for this practical no nonsense live guided tour with a Hollywood Entertainment Lawyer who will walk you through every step of the process.

You’ll be able to proceed with confidence, knowing you’ll have everything ready for delivery when the time for distribution arrives. 

Would you rather pay $3,000, $10,000 (or more) in legal fees?

A one-hour legal consultation costs $300+/per hour. And one mess-up could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees, not to mention all the headaches, sleepless nights and lost revenue.

With this course, you get SIX (6) one-hour sessions of legal coaching (a $3,000+value). 

Taking this one class easily pays for itself to give you peace of mind that you've covered your bases and to help you avoid unnecessary legal surprises.

What Students Are Saying

"Worth the investment"

Leonard Smith III/Documentary Filmmaker

"This class came at the perfect time. It's prompting me to go through every piece of footage & image checking the rights. I'm enjoying the class and have gained new knowledge for my upcoming projects. It's worth the investment if you are serious about filmmaking."

About Your Instructor

Attorney At Law

Gordon P. Firemark

Mr. Firemark is an entertainment attorney based in California and also teaches Entertainment Law in Columbia College Hollywood's film program. He's the producer and host of Entertainment Law Update, a podcast for artists and professionals in the entertainment industries and the author of The Podcast, Blog and New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide. The Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark cover intellectual property, cyberspace, new media and business/corporate matters for clients in the entertainment industry. More Info: Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark; Theatre, Film, TV & New Media

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