A Guide to Film Agreements: Part 2

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

This is part two of the article. of Ready to produce a film, but don't know how to navigate the legal process? How many types of agreements would you require while producing a film? Get to know about the kinds of agreements in our expansive guide on Film Agreements.

Almost like the Use of Music Agreements are the Film clip and photography agreements. Detailed right up to the last seconds, the places of their use, manner, length, number of times, jurisdictions, geographical areas, media, period to be used and payment terms to the correct right owner, are all extremely important.

Product placement agreements are very popular these days. Often signed with companies and corporates, these are detailed. If you are placing a commercial product, say a toothpaste or beer in a film, then such agreements are signed. Of course, producers do secure revenues from such companies for such displays in the films.

These agreements detail specific obligations of the parties involved including permission to use elements of the manufacturer’s IP assets, such as the trademark or logo etc.

You must have read this very popular sentence in films that any resemblance to any per person or product is incidental and not intended. These are called Name and likeness agreements. If you use a name, phone number, or photograph of an individual, business or organization in your film, it is advised that you secure permission. Drafting these license agreements is a very important part because countries have different sets of Laws.

Never forget this important agreement, the Insurance. Studios and Distributors often ask producers to cover themselves with ‘Errors and omissions insurance’ to safeguard against problems with rights acquisition. Most distribution deals depend on this as the Distributors cannot be expected to shoulder the liability of a potential copyright violation when they start distributing a film.

Lastly, the Distribution agreements are signed once you close the deal with a Distributor to start licensing your film. This deal can be signed before, mid-way or after the film is made. This agreement details payment, stages of payments, rights secured, period, media, geographical area covered, licensing or assignment, types of rights, execution of distribution agreement, festival participation, awards and award monies etc.

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