Sunday, January 20, 2013

Seminar Clips Now Online    

Clips from Mark's seminar last May  for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York are now on-line for public viewing at YouTube. 
Link to Videos

The clips cover the following topics:

1)     Termination clauses, Performance Milestones, and Sales Agents
2)     Importance of E & O insurance 
3)     Film Markets  
5)     Why Festivals are Important
6)     The Risky Nature  of Filmmaking 
7)     Importance of Chain of Title
8)     Home video Deals      

Sundance 2013

As Sundance 2013 launches, it is a good time to review how well last year's titles performed.  Indiewire recently published a review by Peter Knegt that listed the 40 films in Sundance that were acquired for distribution last year. Of that slate, only three films grossed more than $6 million at the domestic box office. Those films were Beasts of the Southern Wild, Arbitrage, and The Words.

Many of last year's most successful indie films did not premiere at Sundance. 14 indie films surpassed $6 million mark. Some of these titles included The Best Exotic Margiold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) - $46,385,112, Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) - $45,512,466, Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein Company) - $28,682,072, The Master (Weinstein Company) - $15,956,662, and Friends With Kids (Roadside) $7,251,073. And, the right-wing attack documentary 2016 Obama's America (Rocky Mountain) grossed $33,449,086.    

Thus, for those filmmakers whose work was not accepted by Sundance, all is not lost. I just returned from the Palm Springs International Film Festivalwhere I saw many great films including Jackpot, 80 Million, Beware of Mr. Baker, A Royal Affair, War Witch, and Kon-Tiki. Palm Springs is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The festival is especially known for screening many of the Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film. This year the festival screened 8 of the 9 films on the shortlist of films competing for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards. 

SXSW has also become a magnet for industry insiders. Last year 132 features screened, with 74 world premieres. At least three films shown there were acquired: Girls Against Boys(Anchor Bay),The Tall Man(Image), and Gimme the Loot (Sundance Selects). 

Mark joins faculty at U.S.C Gould School of Law

Mark  has  joined the adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law where he is teaching a class titled Legal Issues in the Motion Picture Industry.  The class is one of the key courses in the school's Certificate in Entertainment Law curriculum.  Mark has previously taught entertainment law courses at Loyola Law School and U.C.L.A.  The U.S.C. Gould School of Law is considered one  of the top law schools in the nation.