Tuesday, September 26, 2006


UCLA, Risky Business. October 28 and 29.

All day Saturday, half day Sunday. X 403.22 Management, Reg# S2964U
This comprehensive seminar explores 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. How filmmakers can protect their interest by watering down warranties, getting added to the E & O policy, using lab access letters to retain possession of the negatives, and utilizing termination and arbitration clauses. Other topics include:

- Criteria for selection of a distributor
- Collaborations and co-productions
- Building interest with film festivals
- How distributors evaluate a film
- Orchestrating the release of your film
- Compliance with security laws when seeking investors

Registration and General Information
(310) 825-9971 or (818) 784-7006


University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. November 18 & 19.

Saturday, Self Defense for Writers and Filmmakers. Sunday, Financing and Distributing Independent Features. Call 808-956-8400 to register. More info:


Film Business & Law Seminar, California Lawyers for the Arts at Loyola Law School. September 30, 2006.

Mark will give the keynote address on finding distribution for independent films. Seminar is on Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Fee includes breakfast and seminar handbook. Lawyers can obtain MCLE credit. To enroll call (310) 998-5590.

FTX West Film & Television Expo, Vancouver, Canada, October 12-15.

This Trade Show and Conference will be held in the world-class Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre and consist of 106 booths and over 65 exhibitors from across North America. There will be an estimated 5000 attendees expected during the event, gathering from across North America to see the latest and greatest technologies in the film, television and gaming industries. Mark will be teaching several classes:
Risky Business, Part 1, Financing 1 – 3 PM, and Risky Business Part 2, Distribution, 5:30 to 7:30 PM. October 13, 2006. See description below.

Self Defense for Writer's & Filmmakers, 9 to 1 PM, October 14, 2006. Writers and filmmakers need to understand their legal rights and how to defend themselves from those who may seek to exploit them. Production companies and distributors often know all the tricks of the trade, while writers and filmmakers know little about how to protect themselves. This seminar explains how writers and filmmakers can prevent problems from arising by properly securing underlying rights, and by encouraging the other party to live up to agreements by adding performance incentives, default penalties and arbitration clauses. In the event of a dispute, participants learn what remedies are available to enforce their rights. Related topics include creative approvals, typical compensation and terms of studio contracts, merchandising deals, and negotiat-ing tactics and strategies. The seminar includes more than 100 pages of useful contracts, checklists, forms and materials.



Congratulations to our client The Retirement Living Network on their launch. The channel is available M-F from 12-4pm in over 1,500 communities served by Comcast Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Retirement Living has programs on health, lifestyle, finance, and politics including: The Daily Apple explores the important wellness issues. The Art of Living celebrates ordinary people from around the country who are living extraordinary lives doing what they love to do. The Prudent Advisor informs viewers how to get the most for your money, in everything from health care to travel deals to beauty aids. The Informed Citizen recognizes that retirees are the most active citizens when it comes to involvement in the political process. Healthline is a thirty-minute health and medical program equips you with the tools you need to take better control of your own health care. http://www.rl.tv/OurShows.aspx?channel=6


Congratulations to our client Stephen Purvis, whose film EL CORTEZ opens in NY and LA, followed by exclusive engagements in each city.

New York
Harlem International Film Festival - World Premiere
"El Cortez" Red Carpet: 7pm Thursday, October 5, 2006
at AMC Magic Johnson Theatre at 125th & Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave.)

EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT - Opens Friday, October 6, 2006
34 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Los Angeles
ACT TODAY! (Autism Care & Treatment Today!) BENEFIT Premiere
6pm Saturday, October 14, 2006
Pacific Design Center - SilverScreen Theatre
8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069

EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT - Opens Friday, October 20, 2006
9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

You can view a trailer at www.elcortezthemovie.com

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Screenwriter loses implied contract suit against Miramax

Miramax has prevailed in an implied contract case filed by screenwriter Jeff Grosso concerning the Miramax movie “Rounders” which Grasso claimed copied ideas from his script.

The case was first dismissed when a federal District Court ruled that Grosso’s contract claim was preempted by federal copyright law. But this decision was overturned by a federal Court of Appeals which held that an implied contract claim is not preempted.

The California Superior Court granted summary judgment to Miramax on the grounds that Grosso did not submit the script to Miramax to Gotham Entertainment Group which was not a defendant in the lawsuit.

The court rejected Grosso’s claim based on a “First Look/Last Matching Right” deal between Gotham and Miramax.

Grosso v. Miramax Film Corp., Case No. BC215947 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2006) (read case at www.EntertainmentLawReporter.com/decisions/Grosso_v_Miramax.pdf)


Congratulations to our client Phil Nibbelink whose animated family film, Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss opens on October 27, 2006 on numerous screens. In the Los Angeles region the film will be shown at such theaters as AMC Burbank 16, Beverly Center 13 Cinemas, Culver Plaza 6, Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15, Mann's Plant 16, Regal Valencia Stadium 12, UA La Canada 8, Civic Center Stadium 16, and the AMC Ontario Mills 30. The film will be shown on 5 different screens in SAN DIEGO and 5 screens in SAN FRANCISCO.

The picture is being released by Indican Pictures. Additional information and the trailer can be viewed at: http://www.indicanpictures.com/noTrailer.htm

“Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss” is a fantasy about two star crossed seals from warring families that fall in love against their parents’ wishes. When Juliet’s father gives her hand in marriage to the monstrous elephant seal Prince, Juliet must fake her death in order to be reunited with Romeo. But the plan goes afoul and it’s a desperate race to the end. With the help of their friends Friar Lawrence and Kissy, the kissing fish, the young lovers are reunited with a happy ending. The picture was written, directed and animated by Phil Nibbelink who has been a writer, director and animator on numerous films including The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Casper and An American Tail-Fievel Goes West.