Mark will once again present his yearly "Risky Business: Financing & Distributing Independent Films" all day seminar at the UCLA campus on February 21, 2009. Those who attend this comprehensive seminar will learn how independent films are financed and distributed. Topics include organizing your company, raising financing via pre-sales, debt and limited partnerships, negotiating tactics, principal terms of the acquisition/distribution agreement, cross-collateralization and creative accounting.
Particular attention is paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect their interests by watering down warranties, getting added to the E& O policy, using lab access letter to retain possession of the negative, and utilizing termination and arbitration clauses.
The seminar is all day Saturday. There is limited enrollment so enroll early to assure a place.
Registration number: U6442. Attorneys may receive 7 hours of MCLE credit.
More info at: https://www.uclaextension.edu/index.cfm
An extensive handout accompanies the course. The handout covers:
SELF DEFENSE CHECKLIST
ORGANIZING YOUR COMPANY
Choice of Business Entity
Company Formation Checklist
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Comparison of Entity Choices
COLLABORATIONS AND CO-PRODUCTIONS
Contract: IFTA International Schedule of Definitions
Entertainment Finance Companies
TACTICS AND STRATEGY IN ARRANGING DISTRIBUTION
How Much is My Film Worth?
How Distributors Evaluate a Film
Sources of Revenue
Increasing Your Leverage
Working the Festival Circuit
Balancing Risks and Rewards
The Acquisition/Distribution Agreement
Tactics and Strategy
Markets and Festivals
Investigate the Distributor
PRINCIPAL TERMS OF THE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT
Distribution and Marketing Expenses
Advances and Guarantees
Warranties and Representations
Allocation of Package Revenue
Retain Your Masters
Return of Materials
Contract: Lab Access Letter
Contract: IFTA Rider to International Distribution Agreement
WHEN A DISTRIBUTOR DEFAULTS
Selecting a Distributor
Conducting an Audit
How Revenue is divided
Creative Accounting Pitfalls
COPYRIGHT OFFICE INSTITUTES ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The copyright office has joined the internet revolution and now prefers that you register your work online through the Copyright Office online system (eCO). This is now the primary method to register works.
The advantages of this new system include a lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim, faster processing time, online status tracking, secure payment by credit card or electronic means and the ability to upload certain deposits directly into the system as electronic files.
For works that require a hard-copy deposit, one may submit an application, make a payment online, and then send copies to the Copyright Office via mail or express courier.
For the registration of motion pictures there are two other methods. There is now a new fill-in Form CO. Using 2-d barcode scanning technology, the Copyright processes these forms much faster and more efficiently than paper forms completed manually. Simply complete Form CO on your personal computer, print it out, and mail it along with a check or money order and your deposit. To access Form CO, go the Copyright Office website and click on Forms.
One can still rely on traditional paper Form PA (performing arts works, including motion pictures). However, these forms are no longer downloadable from the Copyright Office website. One has to request that they be mailed to you.
SUPREME COURT TO HEAR APPEAL OVER ANTI HILLARY CLINTON FILM
The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a conservative group that wanted to promote its anti-Hillary Clinton movie without complying with the campaign finance law. The McCain-Feingold Act forbids corporate-funded broadcast ads that attack a candidate within a month of a primary or general election. Moreover, political groups are required to disclose who paid for the advertisements.
The Federal Election Commission found that the group could not broadcast the film on television or air ads close to the election. A lower court ruled that the 90-minute "Hillary: The Movie" was clearly intended to influence people to vote against Clinton in her run for the presidency. A three-judge court in Washington said the group had to attach a disclaimer and disclose its donors in order to run ads promoting the movie.
Attorneys for the conservative group Citizens United claim the law limits "core political speech rights" and is unconstitutional. Citizens United v. FEC, 08-205.
MARK CUBAN ACCUSED OF INSIDER TRADING
The SEC has charged the dot-com billionaire Mark Cuban and owner of 2929 Entertainment with insider trading. Cuban also has interests in HDNet and Landmark Theatres, a chain of arthouse movie theaters.
The complaint arises from Cuban's sale in 2004 of 600,000 shares in the search engine company mamma.com (aka Copernic, Inc.). The SEC claims that Cuban dumped all of his shares the evening and day after he received material non-public information from the company's CEO, avoiding a loss in excess of $750,000.