“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

—Sam Goldwyn

As the business and administrative head of the visual effects department, the VFX Producer frequently has to deal with matters that have a legal component to them. Most of the time the legal component is quite simple and innocent, and we don’t need to give it a second thought. At other times, however, the VFX Producer may be deeply involved in quasi-legal dealings. It is helpful, therefore, to understand a few basic ideas about legal matters that affect how she does her job.

What Sam Goldwyn was saying in his inimitable way was, get it in writing. Most of our dealings with crew people, rental houses, vendors, and others who provide services are conducted ...

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