When To Hire A Lawyer As An Indie Filmmaker with Toni Y. Long, Esq.
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About the Event
As indie filmmakers, we are usually juggling many roles that would be divided among various people on a studio film. When you call on that family member or friend who happens to own a bunch of camera gear that is just sitting in a closet, it is easy to forget to do your due diligence when it comes to contracts, deal memos, and paperwork in general. What happens when you write and shoot that short film based on that awesome idea that your best friend’s cousin had, and that short gets distribution or funding to make a feature. Or, when you hired a friend to write a script for you based on your idea and now you love the script and you want to shop it. You have nothing in place to protect your interest or theirs because you didn’t do a contract. Maybe you did do a contract to be the writer on a film but now you have taken on the hat of the producer and director. You find yourself doing most of the work but you never updated the contract between you and your friend when the terms of your agreement started to change. Now you have a sales agent interested in your film but your paperwork is not in order. These scenarios may sound far-fetched or like they couldn’t possibly happen because maybe this is just your first or second film but I can tell you this happens all the time to indie filmmakers. Why??? Because usually seeking legal counsel is not high on our to-do list. We think a lawyer is something we need after the film is complete not before we start pre-production. So when do you need a lawyer as an indie filmmaker??? Toni Y Long, Esq. is going to share with us when you need to seek legal counsel as a filmmaker. Toni is the Managing Partner and the founder of The Long Law Group, PC, her entertainment practice focuses on several areas, including production, talent representation, motion picture, television and new media development, distribution, licensing, and private equity investment. Her clients include award-winning writers, directors, producers, and production companies, and several best-selling authors. Toni’s practice covers a variety of media within the entertainment industry, including film, television, gaming, publishing, music, new media, and eCommerce, to name a few. She offers legal representation at all stages of production. Toni also serves as production counsel for many indie film projects. Prior to starting her own firm, Toni was a corporate and litigation associate, acting as counsel to public and private companies and giving advice on complex legal matters. Additionally, Toni served as the Director of Business and Legal Affairs for an international film distribution company, where she oversaw the acquisition and distribution of over 25 films and drafted and negotiated various contracts for domestic and international theatrical, television, and home video acquisition and distribution. She has a BA from Stanford University, JD from UCLA School of Law, and is recognized as a “Top Attorney” for Corporate Law by Pasadena Magazine as well as a “Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine.