Know Your Rights As A Filmmaker!

Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark teaches legal essentials for documentary filmmakers

What's Inside

  • Foundational Business Principles for Filmmaking

  • Securing Your Film's Chain of Title, Identifying and Addressing Rights Issues

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

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

  • Addressing Personnel Issues, Types of Insurance Required for Film Production

  • Fundamental Terms Of The Distribution Agreement, The Revenue "Waterfall"

  • BONUS: LIVE Legal Q&A Zoom Calls w/ Attorney Firemark (scheduled yearly) and access to the recordings inside the course

Don't Let Costly Legal Mistakes Doom Your Documentary

With Documentary Legal & Business Essentials, you get access to a 6-part (21 videos) legal training series covering THE most essential legal issues filmmakers need to know during the making of a documentary. 

These topics have been specifically curated for documentary filmmakers by entertainment lawyer Gordon Firemark.

The course is offered in a quick & easy format with videos, fun quizzes and downloads. 

The goal is not to turn you into a lawyer, but to give you the necessary insight to help you avoid the most common legal issues that get filmmakers in trouble.

As an extra bonus, get access to a growing database of 100+ legal Q&As (recorded on video) for added context and clarification. Questions such as "Can I use video from YouTube in my documentary?" or "Is it ok to use a newspaper article or headline in my documentary?"

You have a lifetime access pass so you can refer back to the course as often as you need to during the making of your film!

Want Legal Forms & Contracts along with Legal/Business Essentials?
Get everything at a discount as part of the Documentary Legal Tool Kit.

Why It's Important To Get Things Right

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. 

Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark has created this practical legal resource to give filmmakers THE most essential information needed to make smart, practical business decisions at each stage of the documentary process -- from conception and development of the idea, through production, post, and into distribution. 

A one-hour legal consultation can cost $575+/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 the Documentary Legal & Business Essentials Course, you'll have peace of mind that you've covered your bases and avoid unnecessary legal surprises.

"This course is excellent. What I love most is the simplicity. It's an outstanding tool!" 
- Thadius Bonapart, III / Bonapart Media

About Attorney 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

What Students Are Saying

"Very thorough and helpful"

By Annette King/Splicer Films

"We felt confident starting production with all the release and legal forms necessary to protect our interests and mitigate any legal risk. Thank you to Gordon for very helpful resources and openness to discuss specific use cases!"


By Matthew Richardson/Pele Pictures

"I loved how the legal was explained clearly with examples and the Q & A from other students in each section of the course. It answered 95% of my questions."

"Worth the Investment"

by Leonard Smith III/LS3 Studios

"This came at the perfect time. It's worth the investment if you are serious about filmmaking."

"SO well done"

by Bob Williams/Films For Good

"SO well done - simple, but not too simple. Comprehensive, but not exhausting. I particularly liked the ability to have both slides and video to go back and forth between, and to use as reference. The quiz questions were very fair - and affirming. Frankly I did not expect to so throughly enjoy what frankly is a bit dry bunch of stuff! Congratulations! This is not easy to do!"

"Gives confidence"

by Fairlie Arrow/Storynmotion Films

"I love Gordon’s course. As a documentary filmmaker, understanding the must-know legal and business essentials gives me the confidence in knowing where I stand dealing with everything from pre-production through post, especially when it comes to making sure I have all the required paperwork to move forward. Great course to have under your belt."
Fairlie Arrow


by Zian Chavez/WATMBP LLC

"Thank you. Your help has been immeasurable. Easing the nerves of a new film maker. Your legal guidance has made a huge difference in my film making experience."

6-Part Training Series (21 videos, 100+ Q&As) Documentary Legal & Business Essentials

From The Offices of Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark

*Lifetime Access Pass*

Includes Live Group Legal Q&A's


"This whole legal thing was so daunting before your course. I had no idea where to start. And I just want to say how amazing it's been and how helpful you've been. Thank you!"

by Ramy Hassan/Director-Producer