Thursday
Sep022010

Motion Picture Production Law (2 units)

Motion Picture Production Law will arm the practioner with the tools necessary to negotiate in this unique and complex environment

The development and production of a theatrical motion picture is effected through the application of a rich, colorful and highly-evolved palette of laws, collective bargaining agreements and business practices, the various elements and aspects of which can at once be described as theoretical and concrete, precise and ambiguous, linear and multidimensional.  This course is designed to provide a detailed examination of the gauntlet of challenges confronting the development and production of a theatrical motion picture, and to equip the legal practitioner with a complement of tools with which to negotiate the often highly complex terrain.  

COURSE OBJECTIVES - click to expand

  • At the completion of the Motion Picture Production Law course, the student will be able to:
  • draft contracts from either side of the negotiating table and will understand the competing issues which arise between the parties;
  • incorporate drafting and negotiation techniques in connection with a variety of motion picture industry contracts, including option/purchase agreements, writer agreements, producer agreements, director agreements, and performer agreements; and
  • utilize the “practice tips” provided throughout the course in the student’s day-to-day operations at a motion picture production company. 

GRADING POLICY - click to expand

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  • This course includes four open book drafting assignments throughout the course (each assignment counting for 10% -- for a total of 40% of the overall course grade) and one open book final drafting assignment (that counts for 60% of the overall course grade) that simulate the drafting typically rendered by in-house counsel at a motion picture production company. “Open book” means that students may use any of the assigned course materials as well as their own notes and outlines that they have created themselves from course materials.
  • If the student receives less than 70% on a regular drafting assignment, the student must take a back up drafting assignment; in such case, the final score given for that assignment will be the weighted average of the original and backup drafting assignment.
  • All of the drafting assignments (the four that are scheduled throughout the course as well as the final drafting assignment at the end of the course) will be graded based on criteria applicable to “real world” work product. This includes, but is not limited to: general organization; ability to clearly identify and address the appropriate legal and factual issues; spelling; grammar; punctuation; and choice of wording and emphasis on the importance of the issues addressed by the student. Each drafting assignment will be weighted as follows: 70% for the application of the deal order instructions to the initial draft, and 30% for drafting organization, clarity, style, and overall impact.