- Paperback: 472 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (January 8, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240813189
- ISBN-13: 978-0240813189
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers Paperback – January 8, 2011
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"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 the Digital edition.
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Top customer reviews
I thought the law and contracts were all about precise language. And we've all heard of outcomes that were determined because a contract said "and" instead of "or" and so forth.
So why was such a slipshod job done when proofing this book?
I found a good deal of useful information here, but I trust it all slightly less knowing that it was put out by a person or persons that either don't speak the language well or simply couldn't be bothered to check the work.
Something I thought was rather interesting about this title can be found on page 262. In the grey box, he reminds the reader that while it's typical to have post production assigned a share of the take for a film, that you need to watch out for those contracts that try to sneak in language that assigns the copyright as well...essentially the post production house legally steals your film.
It's also not a boilerplate contract book. This actually breaks down what the elements of a production company is; he goes into how to write language that actually protects the "idea", and the film, so that along the way it can't be wrested from you at distribution.
Another example is on page 92, he goes into the bullet points of Ownership Rights, and asks who is responsible for what part, and in turn-what part does that person own of the finished product you produce. There is also an explanation of why it's so critically important on the larger projects to invest your time, and create a production company to lock it all down.
It's in plain English, and for those with legal exposure or training, you'll be happy to know that where needed, he cites why explicitly, and references the chapter and verse.
So rather than a cookie cutter one size fits all approach, you actually learn what you need to choose what's important to your project, and set things up from the start to keep things aligned with your vision, and establish relationships that are all focused on the bringing of the idea to the screen-without making you feel like you've just sold yourself down the river.
It also does well in being a legal reference for your permissions on location shooting.