Legal Clinic with Innes Smolansky: Legal & Business Considerations During Production

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Mon, 05/03/2010 - 7:30pm
DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street, NYC

Making an independent film today requires more than a creative vision. Equally important is the filmmaker’s understanding of the business and legal aspects of the filmmaking process.

Join us as entertainment attorney Innes Smolansky & special industry guests lead this highly informative seminar that will cover: forming a legal entity and getting adequate insurance coverage; structuring deals with crew and talent without jeopardizing your financing deals; securing rights and clearances; how to get a clear chain of title; as well as work for hire agreements, licensing agreements, and independent contractor agreements.

Attendees will leave this seminar with sample agreements and useful legal clauses.

Innes Smolansky is a New York based entertainment attorney specializing in representing producers, production companies, writers, authors, directors, performers and composers in independent motion picture production, documentaries, television and business and personal management deals. Her extensive and wide-ranging experience in drafting, reviewing, negotiating and counseling clients on development, financing, production, talent, employment, music, management and distribution deals has earned her a reputation as a skilled, savvy, and well-respected attorney in the entertainment industry. Ms. Smolansky was born in St. Petersburg Russia and studied at Brown University (B.A. magna cum laude); University of Pennsylvania (J.D.); University of Paris X (Diploma D'Etude Juridique Europeenes).

Stephen Carroll is a Vice President with Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services Inc., the industry's largest Entertainment Insurance Brokerage. Mr. Carroll has been an insurance broker specializing in the designing, placement and servicing of insurance programs for the entertainment industry since 1980. Mr. Carroll has clients both domestic and international in virtually every sector of the entertainment industry including but not limited to film & television production companies (both studio & independent), TV commercial producers, documentary producers, Broadway shows, live tours, cable systems and networks, music companies and film & television distributors. He has extensive experience with all types of insurance including production insurance, property & casualty insurance, worker's compensation, event cancellation, specialty coverages (aircraft, watercraft, stunts) and in particular errors & omissions insurance. He has consulted with many insurance companies to revise their policy forms to recognize and adapt to provide coverage for an industry that is subject to constant advancements in technology and distribution options. He lives and works in New York.

Fred Siegel is an Independent Film Specialist and the founder and owner of Fred Siegel, CPA, a full service public accounting and consulting firm located in New York City specializing in working with independent filmmakers and their development and production companies in both the narrative feature and documentary worlds. The focus of the firm is to provide business navigation services, helping filmmakers get from here to there, from pre-development to post-distribution, with services offered in a wide range of specialized areas such as structuring deals and cash flows; film production tax credits and financing; choice of business entity; film taxation and accounting, including limited production accounting, reporting and payroll services;  distribution and participation accounting/ collection agency; tax planning and return preparation, business management and planning; and a full range of traditional tax and accounting services. A former jazz musician and entrepreneur, Fred is a graduate of Columbia University, (B.A. Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude) and also attended New York University's Stern Graduate School of Business (accounting; taxation). Fred has worked with both established and emerging independent filmmakers for over seventeen years, including such well-known filmmakers as Christine Vachon and Killer Films (Boys Don't CryFar From Heaven);  Ira Deutchman and Emerging Pictures (digital theatre network); Paul Mezey and Journeyman Pictures (Maria Full of GraceHalf Nelson); Debra Granik (Winter's Bone - 2010 Sundance jury prize winner; Down to the Bone); Jeff Mandel (Monogamy - 2010 Tribeca award for best NY narrative; Murderball); Chris Smith and Bluemark Pictures (CollapseAmerican Movie and The Yes Men);  Good Machine (Happiness, Todd Solodnz and Safe, Todd Haynes).

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