LEGAL / SAG

"[Lawyers] They do tricks even I can't figure out."

~ Harry Houdini

A curation of articles, podcasts, videos, and courses to help you with your legal understanding of the filmmaking adventure, including how to work with the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG).

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*Disclaimer*

I am not a lawyer, please seek professional counsel for your filmmaking needs

DOWNLOADS

A collection of FREE forms, templates, and questionnaires:

GENERAL AGREEMENT

Here is a simple one-sheet template that can get you started in keeping a paper trail of all your agreements.

Download DOC

RELEASE FORM

Here is a simple release form for your talent and crew.

Download DOC

OPTION AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT

Here's a template from Sonyboo to help with optioning that next great story or script.

Download PDF

LOCATION RELEASE

Grab this FREE location release form from Premium Beat.

Download PDF

BOOKS

A collection of books that focus on the legal aspects of the film business. (*These are affiliate links)

The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers

This no-nonsense reference provides fast answers in plain English-no law degree required! Arm yourself with the practical advice of author Thomas Crowell, a TV-producer-turned-entertainment-lawyer.

Buy on Amazon

The Biz: The Basic Business, Legal and Financial Aspects of the Film Industry

Today's film industry is a legal and financial obstacle course that all independent filmmakers must learn to master. The most comprehensive guide to negotiating that obstacle course is The Biz, a highly accessible overview of the industry's important business, legal and financial aspect.

Buy on Amazon

Contracts for the Film & Television Industry

Contracts for the Film and Television Industry is an invaluable collection of sample entertainment contracts accompanied by legalese-free discussions of their key concepts and terms.

Buy on Amazon

Clearance & Copyright, 4th Edition: Everything You Need to Know for Film and Television

Clearance and Copyright is the industry-standard guide to almost every conceivable rights issue that filmmakers, videomakers, television producers, and Internet content creators might encounter.

Buy on Amazon

ARTICLES

A collection of articles to help guide you through the legal process for your film.

Legal Advice: 6 Tips for Filmmakers Making Their First Feature Film

Robert Heske is a Boston-based entertainment lawyer, literary manager and producer. He provides production counsel for films, documentaries and reality TV shows from development through distribution. His guest post on Indie Film Hustle helps answers a few simple questions.

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Free Production Legal Services for Indie Filmmakers

SAGindie is on the lookout for resources that help low-budget filmmakers, read this article to see what they've found ...

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LEGAL EASE: An Entertainment Attorney Answers Filmmakers’ Most Burning Questions

Entertainment attorney Matt Galsor from the firm Greenberg Glusker gave an interactive talk to Film Independent Members, including producers, directors, cinematographers and writers. Here are the top take-aways from the Q&A:

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8 Legal Tips for Documentary Filmmakers

Orly Ravid has both been the founder of The Film Collaborative and an attorney in private practice at Early Sullivan, she has noticed a lack of understanding by filmmakers regarding the law and documentary film distribution.  This article may help ...

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PODCASTS

A collection of podcasts and podcast episodes that cover different aspects of entertainment law for filmmakers.

Women's Film Institute

In this podcast episode, Scarlett Shepard (Founder of the Women’s Film Institute) has an in-depth conversation with Thomas A. Crowell, TV-producer-turned-entertainment-lawyer and Author of The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers.

Listen to Podcast

Indie Film Academy

In this episode of the IFA Podcast, Jason Buff talks with Entertainment Attorney Mark Litwak about the legal aspects of making a film and things filmmakers need to do to protect themselves.

Listen to Podcast

Entertainment Law Update

Entertainment Lawyer Gordon Firemark's monthly roundup of entertainment law cases, news and commentary. Continuing Legal Education credit available for California attorneys.

Listen on iTunes

Laws of Entertainment

The Laws of Entertainment provides an insightful look at the laws, trends and topical issues of all things entertainment. Hosted by Lisa Bonner, an uber opinionated 19 year veteran of entertainment and media law, Lisa and her guests take you on a fun, entertaining, behind the scenes look at this business of entertainment.

Listen on iTunes

VIDEOS

A collection of videos that will help guide you in your legal understanding of the film business.

This event will provide information on legal questions every filmmaker should ask when creating a feature film, a short, or other media.

Fears Filmmakers Have Hiring An Entertainment Attorney by Michael C. Donaldson & Lisa A. Callif.

Common Legal Pitfalls in the Entertainment Business: Basic Terms in an Entertainment Contract.

What is Fair Use in a Documentary Film? with Entertainment Lawyer, Michael C. Donaldson.

The Ultimate Guide to SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Film Signatory Agreements for Indie Filmmakers.

Part 1

Part 2

The ABC’s of SAG Exhibit G: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide from Studio Binder.

Go to Studio Binder

Make Movies Vlog (Day 85) - How to Cast SAG Actors in your Independent Film.

Make Movies Vlog (Day 87) - Dealing with SAG in Production (SAG SERIES Part2).

SERVICES

A collection of legal services to help with your filmmaking efforts.

Legal Zoom

Before you record your first scene as an independent filmmaker, you should know some basics about the law and how to protect your rights.  Let Legal Zoom help you get there.

Go to Legal Zoom

Entertainment Law Resources

The Law Offices of Mark Litwak and Associates has offered its clients high quality legal and business solutions for more than twenty-five years.

Go to Mark Litwak

California Lawyers for the Arts

California Lawyers for the Arts is a State Bar of California Certified Lawyer Referral & Information Service [LRIS]. If you're a creative artist, arts organization, independent inventor — or someone with a creative arts legal matter — they can match you with a qualified attorney.

Go to Website

New York Volunteer Lawyers for Artists

VLA provides pro bono arts-related legal representation and education to low-income artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

Go to Website

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*AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

In most cases, I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend within any of my blog posts, video blogs, and audio podcasts.

What does this mean?

If you purchase items through my links I will earn a commission.  You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.  This is the way a lot of bloggers make little bits of money.

So, if you feel inclined to purchase any of the goods or services that I provide links to, then you can say to yourself, "Hey, I know that by using this affiliate link when making my purchase, it'll help Scott out."

This helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.  🙂   Thank you, in advance for your support!