Sunday, March 12, 2006

Product Placement Article in Delaware Lawyer

Mark has written an in-depth article about product placement in this month’s Delaware Lawyer magazine.

What do the blockbuster movies “Star Wars” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” have in common with television shows such as “American Idol?” They are classic examples of product placement – the practice of advertisers inserting their products in movies and television shows in order to build brand awareness and increase sales. The product placement market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 14.9% from 2004 to 2009, reaching an estimated $6.94 billion.

By tying licensing and merchandising opportunities directly into movies and TV shows, product placement blurs the line between entertainment and advertising. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish commercial speech (i.e., speech that proposes a commercial transaction) from non-commercial speech (i.e., speech with artistic or political content).

Traditionally courts have extended greater protection to non-commercial speech, although restrictions on commercial speech may be invalidated if they unconstitutionally limit dissemination of information to the public. This article explores the legal implications of the increasingly intertwined relationship between advertising and entertainment.

To read the full article, go to:


Mark will be bringing his one day Risky Business seminar to Dallas on April 8 at Southern Methodist University.

Those who attend this comprehensive all day 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.

This seminar is being organized by Random Order Entertainment and is co-sponsored by the Dallas Producers Association, Indie Slate magazine, MLD Equipment, MPS Studios, Texas Association of Film/Tape Professionals (TAFTP) and Women in Film - Dallas.

The cost to attend the seminar is $99, $65 for students and $79 for DPA, TAFTP and WIF members. For more info go to:


Congratulations to our clients whose films were selected for the upcoming Method Fest film festival. This year three clients have had their films selected to show at Method Fest.

The 8th annual The Method Fest independent film festival will take place March 31 - April 7 in Calabasas. The Method Fest is the only film festival in America that puts its focus on the actor. The Method Fest is a festival of discovery, seeking story-driven films showcasing breakout acting performances by emerging stars and career-defining roles by established actors.

Our clients’ films are:


Director: Stefan Schaefer
Writer: Stefan Schaefer
Producer: Benjamin Odell, Jonathan Stern
Starring: Eugene Byrd, Ali Larter, Melissa Leo, Glenn Fitzgerald, William Sadler

CONFESS charts the exploits of disillusioned ex-hacker Terell Lessor (Eugene Byrd). Employing strategically placed spy-cams, he captures compromising footage of those who slighted him in the past, broadcasting edits via the internet. Recognizing the power of this model, and working in tandem with accomplice Olivia (Ali Larter), he targets CEOs, politicians, and members of the power elite. Soon Terell's every action is front-page news, law enforcement has labeled him a new breed of terrorist, and the movement he spawned is spiraling out of control.


USA, 104 MIN
Director: Jamin Winans
Writer: Jamin Winans
Producer: Joe Sekiya

Starring: Raymond Andrew Bailey, Laura Fuller, Megan Heffernan, Liz Cunningham, Chris Kelly, Hayz II, Rosa Vasquez

A jaded news photojournalist, Aaaron Dougherty, has just broken the national news story of the year. After suddenly waking up in a field in the middle of nowhere, with no recollection of the past 24 hours, Aaron is forced to reexamine his life before understanding the mysterious events of his lost time.

The Way Back Home

USA, 93 MIN,
Director: Reza Badiyi
Writer: Michael Houston King
Producer: Michael Houston King, Paul Sirmons
Starring: Michael Houston King, Julie Harris, Tessie Santiago, Ruby Dee, Danny Nucci, Deezer D, Amy Landers

Spencer Krane has it all, the great job, the model wife, the great NY lifestyle. But after the sudden death of his wife he returns to a small southern town to take care of his grandmother who has suffered a stroke. Over the course of a summer back home in this small Florida town he reevaluates his life and develops a sense of hope for his future.

The film schedule and additional information is available at: