January 16, 2018 at 8:34PM


The legal fees to start a film

Im going to do a feature film on a micro budget, im funding it. A handful of actors (friends), and 2 locations (the woods and a house). I pretty much have everything to shoot the film, script, crew and tons of time. Besides permits and E&O insurance, what do i need on the legal side? I heard LLC, copywrite on the script and permission forms for the crew and actors. Do i need to go through a lawyer for all this. I live in Oregon and i could use some insight. Please.


Hey Andrew, you may be able to differ the E&O insurance for the time being as that's a requirement for the distribution phase. Be sure to avoid logos or any other copyrighted material when filming to make the E&O process smoother. Recently sold a short to a network and they covered the cost.

January 23, 2018 at 1:58PM, Edited January 23, 1:58PM


Hey Darren, thanks for the advice. Another thing I wanted to ask, I'm going to be filming this with pretty much no distractions -- in the woods. If I can get the entire thing filmed without E&O insurance, can I still obtain E&O insurance afterwards or during post so that I can enter film festivals? I know it's a long shot, but I want to try and get traditional distribution first before I look into other avenues like ITunes or Distribbor. Any advice on this would be great.

Andrew Brown

May 13, 2018 at 8:09AM

E&O Article that has a downloadable PDF of what E&O info needed: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/08/fimmaker-must-read-attorney-take-on-err...

Other than that man just go and do it. The more red tape added to a film, the less cool filmmaking becomes. Permits and permission are gross, just hide logos/labels (or make your own brands a la QT with Red Apples) and just go.

If you have crew, assign one person to be the look out. Wear t-shirts/hoodies from your local college and if a cop tries to give you trouble, say its for a school project. Only a punk ass cop will try to take your footage, but in my experience, they'll just tell you to kick rocks and get out of here. If this park you're filming in is a national park, just be cautious of the warning/trail signs.

Since its a feature film, watermark your finalized script and email it to yourself via file attachment, then leave it unread (star it if you use gmail for quick reference). Then the next step would be submitting a PDF copy of the script to the Writers Guild of America (WGA). You'll end up getting a diploma-esque form in the mail a few weeks later from WGA saying your script has been processed. Then boom, you'll have proof of copyright.

Other than that just go film the damn thing. Show no mercy. Its hard as fuck making a short film and damn near impossible to make a feature. If you're already about to press record, do that shit and see you at the film festivals.

Best of luck!

January 29, 2018 at 2:38PM


Hey Johnny, I appreciate the advice. Another question though, to get into the film festivals, don't you need E&O insurance? Can I obtain the E&O insurance after i shoot my film, to keep the cost down? Any advice?

May 13, 2018 at 8:11AM


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