Timing of clearance procedures is everything when it comes to film and television projects—and it’s also true for clearance procedures. Understanding when to procure your reports and clearance helps keep your project on track and minimizes the risk of legal exposure or unnecessary downtime.
When you finish your shooting script, you should submit it for a clearance review. This ensures the filmmaker has obtained all the necessary rights required to film it—and the resulting script clearance will identify any script elements that may give rise to third-party claims. In this instance, you should take care of script clearance before production begins.
It’s vital that you protect your title and ensure it doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks, registered or not. As soon as you settle on a title, it’s best to procure a title report and a title opinion letter to satisfy your E&O carrier. This means handling your title before post-production starts.
Documenting the ownership of rights related to your project is the best way to reduce legal exposure. It is vital to record the waiver or reassignment of contributors’ rights to avoid third-party ownership claims. When post-production is completed, procure your chain of title review and opinion.
Proactive clearance procedures are the simplest way to ensure your project remains on course, and understanding the optimal time for each one is essential in being proactive.
For a truly proactive approach, contact The Clearance Lab for all your project’s clearance needs.