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The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers Paperback – January 6, 2011


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The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers + Contracts for the Film & Television Industry, 3rd Edition + The Complete Film Production Handbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (January 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240813189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240813189
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Crowell, entertainment and intellectual property rights lawyer, presents this pocket guide providing vital and useful legal information for independent filmmakers. With this well organized reference, producers can navigate the murky legal waters associated with the filmmaking process. Crowell covers everything from protecting intellectual property to dealing with Hollywood actors' agents and even benefitting financially from state film taxes and product placement. Presented in accessible language, without all the obfuscation of legal jargon, this guide provides adequate legal counsel for those embarking on producing an independent film."--Book News, Reference & Research

From the Back Cover

Find quick answers to hundreds of questions in The Pocket Lawyer for Film and Video. This no-nonsense reference provides fast answers in plain English with no law degree required! It is designed to help you reduce legal costs by providing the vital information you need to make informed decisions on the legal aspects of your film, video, and TV productions.

Actors get hurt, copyrights are infringed, and contracts are broken. Big-budget producers have lawyers on retainer, but as an independent filmmaker, you are left legally exposed. Arm yourself with the practical advice of a TV-producer-turned-entertainment-lawyer.

The format is carefully designed for quick reference, so you get the answers you need, fast. Features include:

*Clause Companion: explains the meaning and impact of typical contract clauses, taking the headache out of reading them

*F.A.Q.s: instantly answers the most commonly asked legal questions

*Warnings: alerts you to critical areas and common mistakes

Avoid common pitfalls, save money, avoid lawsuits, and become empowered in your daily work. The next best thing to having an entertainment attorney at your beck and call is having one in your pocket!

Thomas A. Crowell counsels his clients in New York and New Jersey on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Crowell produced television news and children's entertainment for over a decade.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The EZ tabs on the outside of the book make it very easy to find information.
Christina Paul
It's definitely a good reference book to have on hand when I need it and I will certainly reference it at a future point as things come up for me.
rareoopdvds
It's an easy read, and a great reference book for Instructors and independent Film Producers / Filmmakers.
I. Sunara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mark Anderman on March 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Even though I've practiced law for many years outside of the entertainment law area, now that I have moved over into independent film production, I have found the legal issues involved in properly putting together a film to be daunting. If these entertainment law issues are hard for me, as an experienced attorney, I can imagine that they are dramatically more difficult to handle for everyone else. As a result, it is frankly tempting to instead focus on the artistic side of filmmaking so you can skip slogging through the legal quagmire, but you do so at your peril. This is true for a number of reasons, but most importantly, you are taking a huge risk because distributors won't touch a distribution deal for a film with serious legal problems. Fortunately, I've found that this book takes away much of the pain of learning about the legal issues in film, simply because it is so approachable. After reading this book, I really believe that even non-lawyers can quickly grasp the legal challenges of filmmaking. Best of all, the book skips typical "legalese" and instead offers easy to understand, quick references to the contracts, rights clearance and negotiating issues that everyone should understand. Not only did I like the book, but it really is unique, because there's very little else out there on this subject. It really should be on the desk of every producer. I couldn't recommend it more.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. WALKER on March 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book contains a wealth of information presented in a clear, concise, yet thorough manner. Whether you are a writer, producer, composer, or actor, this book will help you understand the legal issues that are part of the process of filmmaking. You can use it as a quick reference to answer a specific question, or you can read it from the beginning as the author unpacks legal concepts and the step-by-step process of setting up a production company to selling your film. As a bonus the book has appendices that make up a valuable law library of intellectual property, i.e. copyright, trademarks; contract law, labor, and employment law. And if you are a law student or lawyer, this book is better than any entertainment law class you will ever take and at a fraction of the price.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christina Paul VINE VOICE on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great handbook for anyone in the film or media industry. I have an earlier version of this on my Kindle, there are some additions to this version as opposed to the last one. There is updated information on film tax credit changes, production incentives. The EZ tabs on the outside of the book make it very easy to find information. There are the basics and then more in depth topics that can keep you farom having to call your entertainment attorney most of the time. When the cost per hour for some of these guys is between $200 and $400 an hour, that is always a plus! Having examples of letters of intent, as wellas suggestions on distribution via Amazon, NetFlix, YouTube, etc are all covered in this volume. In the digital age, in any sort of entertainment field, you need to know these things. At the particular time that I received my own copy of the book, I needed an updated form of an NDA for an upcoming film project. It had exactly what I needed when I needed it. Keep it on your desk where you can get to it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ben on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been independently studying entertainment law, especially contracts, and find this book to coincide well with what I have been learning. I feel this book will save me a lot of time as I move forward with making my own films and am so glad I found it! If you are looking for a book of contracts, this is not the book for you; however, if you want help understanding contracts and various legal aspects pertaining to filmmaking, this is the best book I have come across!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joshua R. Powers on June 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has allowed me to craft a sound legal structure around my ideas, and my film making has become a true business venture. "Pocket Lawyer" has already saved me from several minor blunders, like not posting a Notice Release when shooting in public, and it will undoubtedly save the day in bigger ways as my projects grow. Where was this book when I was in film school? Valuable legal advice has never come so cheap--well worth the $21.75.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By fmwaalex VINE VOICE on May 25, 2011
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The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers, Second Edition: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers

As any one who has read my reviews will tell you I am really into reading about filmmaking in any form. So when I found out about this book I jumped all over it. You see as much as I am into the filmmaking process there are some things I still wonder about. This book right here just happened to be all about one of those topics, one I never really think about honestly. That of course is the legal side of the process and not just copyrights, I am talking about everything.

This book has it all included here including of course copyrights and such from scripts films and ideas. In fact that last one is really interesting since it tells you how you can protect your ideas and concepts when pitching them to people. It even tells you how to get the state to fund your film, yes you read that right. Also included are ways to get other people including agents, executives, actors, and other filmmakers to look at you stuff.

Still the best thing about this book is how easy it is to read and for such tough subject matter that is really important. The added things like the charts and stuff as well as the Q&A portion make it even easier. Of course I am saying nothing new here as other reviews have mentioned all these things and more already. Still I must say that if you are into filmmaking then you must own this for all legal and business issues.

This is a highly informative book that I find to be very easy to read and very interesting. I do highly recommend this book even if you are not into filmmaking this is still a great read. I learned all kinds of new things here. So go out and pick this up now producers as it will be invaluable to you, order it now.
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More About the Author

THOMAS A. CROWELL, ESQ. is a writer, attorney, and educator with a background in film, television, and the arts. He is the series editor of Focal Press "Pocket Lawyer for . . ." series, and author of The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers (Focal Press, 2ed. 2011), a best-selling legal guide for independent film and television producers. The book has been adopted as a core textbook in film and law schools across the United States.

Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, in practice areas which range from comic book publishing, film, television, music, and the graphic arts.

He has taught courses in film and media law at Cardozo Law School, Seton Hall Law School, and the School of Visual Arts. A frequent lecturer on entertainment law topics, Mr. Crowell has taught legal seminars to comic book professionals at New York Comic Con since 2007. In 2011, he became the Director of Cardozo Law School's "Indie Film Clinic." He is the Executive Director emeritus of the New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and an honorary member of the Graphic Artists Guild.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Crowell earned a living as both a television producer and an art director. Most notably, he was the head of development for the Science Technology Network. His children's home video series, Professor Potto's Videolabs, was awarded a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.

Mr. Crowell received his Juris Doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude and was awarded membership in the Order of the Coif, the national legal honors society. Mr. Crowell earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Film and Television Production. He is admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more information about Mr. Crowell, please see his website: www.thomascrowell.com

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