Live 6-Part Master Class Series:
"Legal and Business Essentials For Documentary Filmmakers"
With Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark

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WEEK 1: March 14, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Foundational Business Principles for Filmmaking + Live Q&A with Instructor

WEEK 2: March 21, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Securing Your Film's Chain of Title, Identifying and Addressing Rights Issues + Live Q&A with Instructor

WEEK 3: March 28, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Strategies for Using Copyrighted Material, When to Rely on the Doctrine of Fair Use (and when not to) + Live Q&A with Instructor

WEEK 4: April 11, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Obtaining Necessary Releases and Permits - Dealing With Rights of Privacy & Publicity, Avoiding Claims of Defamation + Live Q&A

WEEK 5: April 18, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Addressing Personnel Issues, Types of Insurance Required for Film Production + Live Q&A with Instructor

WEEK 6: April 25, 2019 @ 1pm PST - Fundamental Terms Of The Distribution Agreement, The Revenue "Waterfall" + Live Q&A with Instructor

** Each class lasts approximately 1-hour

** If you can't join live, replays will be available for each class. 

** LIVE Q&A with instructor at the end of each class

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 $500+/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) plus a live Q&A at the end of each class to get all your questions answered. 

Even if you only attended ONE class, the tuition has already paid for itself. In addition, you get access to all the course recordings for future reference.

What Students Are Saying

Leonard Smith III/Documentary Filmmaker

"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."

BONUS: Starter Pack of Legal Forms

Get a complimentary Starter Pack of Legal Forms with the class

  • Talent Release - ie Personal Release Form, use this for your interviews.

  • Location Release - Use this for permission to shoot on private property.

  • Materials Release - Use this form whenever you are including photographs, paintings, sculpture, other artwork, documents or artifacts in your film.

  • Group Release - Use when depicting larger groups, such as a club, athletic team, choir, etc.

  • Extra/Background Release - For persons who appear in the background of a shot or scene, but who are not the focal point or subject of the footage in question.

  • Poster-Style Release - This is a poster-size release you should use when filming in public spaces where numerous people may be entering and exiting the frame. Examples: Public Parks, Government Buildings and surrounding areas, Shopping Centers, Malls, Sports arenas, and the like. (Note that location releases may be required for some of these kinds of places)

  • Crew Deal Memo - Use this release for all crew members working on the film. This includes volunteers, Production Assistants, etc., whether in the office, or on-set, who work during any phase of production, from development through post-production.

  • Depiction Release (Life Rights Option) - Use this form when you are acquiring the subject’s so-called “life rights”, for all purposes, which may include feature films, television movies, series, etc.

About Your Instructor

  • Gordon P. Firemark

    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