Filmmakers often wonder, “Do I really need a lawyer to get my projects made?” They search long and hard for an agent and a manager but don’t realize the importance of a lawyer.
Lawyers do a TON! We have your back and are generally with you for the long run. When it is time to pick a lawyer, ask WHAT they specialize in and WHY. Some lawyers represent talent (writers, directors, and actors) in their negotiations with production companies, studios, etc. Others work primarily with producers and production companies. They advise the producer (or production company), draft cast, crew, vendor, and location agreements, clear the script, and the completed film. They fully secure the necessary rights needed to distribute the film.
Many independent filmmakers try to save money by not retaining an attorney. They rely on Google or forms from other productions and assume they will suffice. Sometimes they are lucky. However, generally, the forms are not properly tailored for the circumstances. This is where trouble arises. If a producer does not have the right documents, they may not have adequately secured the rights and will be unable to sell their project to a distributor.
Make sure you have the right team in place BEFORE you start your next project.