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Review of Clearance Procedures3 Ways a Review of Clearance Procedures Protects Your Film

Producing a film is no small investment, either in time, talent, or money. And if you want to protect what you’ve poured into your film, you’ll need to avoid the threat of a lawsuit. That’s where a Review of Clearance Procedures comes into play.

Mitigating your risk begins with securing a Title Report, Script Clearance Report, and (as they say in the Gilligan’s Island theme) the rest. After all, film industry lawsuits don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Even with appropriate due diligence at the start of the project, once your film finishes post-production, there’s still one final and important step.

Before you begin glad-handing distributors at festivals or start dialing your contact list, protect your finished product with a Review of Clearance Procedures. Here’s why you need a legal review and what it can do for your film.

Why You Need a Legal Review of Clearance Procedures

Developing a film or TV project is a staggeringly complex process, which means that it’s almost a given changes were made during production and post-production.

Those changes—whether it’s a minor change in location, new information filmed on location for your documentary, or a character added during a rewrite—can impact your legal risks.

A Review of Clearance Procedures will compare the finished project to the documents you have in hand, and let you know of any potential pitfalls before they become a sticking point in distribution negotiations.

A Legal Review of Clearance Procedures Locates Missing Documents

If you’re close to wrapping up your film, your paper file should be massive. After all, it must contain releases for every PA, extra, actor, crew member, musician, location, writer, and—of course—the artist who painted the mural in the background of the climax.

Ask yourself if you have each of those necessary documents. Consider whether you even know the answer to that question.

Your Review of Clearance Procedures is the answer, as it will not only ease your mind about the legal strength of your film, but it will also help you acquire the E & O Insurance necessary for distribution.

A Legal Review Can Spot a Faulty Chain of Title

The chain of title is the complex set of agreements which determines who owns what in a film. Even films that have been released for years can have lawsuits over ownership claims.

Don’t let your successful film get mired in competing claims of ownership.

The Review of Clearance Procedures will identify where claims of ownership may be questionable. While the purpose of the review is different than that of a chain of title opinion, which focuses solely on the chain of title documentation, the review of clearance procedures can still find gaps in your chain of title and help set them straight.  This gives you the opportunity to correct or update the issue before the film is released.

This means a much stronger negotiating position for you, not only financially but for future opportunities (think sequels) should the film succeed.

A Review Bolsters Your Film with a Legal Opinion.

A legal review of clearance procedures also gives your film another powerful tool to compete in the marketplace—a legal opinion.

You are already familiar with how film festivals program. They have a certain number of slots to fill and compare competing films based on how they fit into those slots.

Think of distributors in the same way. They have a finite number of projects they can take on and must compare their options not only on artistic merit but financial and legal considerations as well.

Consider a situation where you and another film are trying to attract a distributor after both showing in a big-name festival. Your film is obviously the better story, but the other film already has a legal opinion on clearance procedures.

It is ready, legally speaking, to be shown. But your film hasn’t been independently reviewed to ensure it’s not at risk for lawsuits, giving your competitor the edge.

Producing a film doesn’t end when you call “Wrap!” on set, or high-five in the color correction suite. Likewise, the legal side of the project doesn’t stop with collecting paperwork.

Protect yourself, protect your film, and give yourself the best standing to get seen with a Review of Clearance Procedures. It’s part of your film’s happily ever after.