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Understanding the Business of Entertainment

Book Description

Understanding the Business of Entertainment: The Legal and Business Essentials All Filmmakers Should Know is an indispensable guide to the business aspects of the entertainment industry, providing the legal expertise you need to break in and to succeed.  Written in a clear and engaging tone, this book covers the essential topics in a thorough but reader-friendly manner and includes plenty of real-world examples that bring business and legal concepts to life. Whether you want to direct, produce, write, edit, photograph or act in movies, this book covers how to find work in your chosen field and examines the key provisions in employment agreements for creative personnel.  If you want to make films independently, you’ll find advice on where to look for financing, what kinds of deals might be made in the course of production, and important information on insurance, releases, and licenses. 


Other topics covered include:

  • Hollywood’s growth and the current conglomerates that own most of the media
  • How specific entertainment companies operate, including facts about particular studios and employee tasks.
  • How studios develop projects, manage production, seek out independent films, and engage in marketing and distribution
  • The kinds of revenues studios earn and how they account for these revenues
  • How television networks and new media-delivery companies like Netflix operate and where the digital revolution might take those who will one day work in the film and TV business

As an award- winning screenwriter and entertainment attorney, Gregory Bernstein give us an inside look at the business of entertainment. He proves that knowing what is behind filmmaking is just as important as the film itself.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  8. SECTION 1 Law and Entertainment
    1. Chapter 1 Copyright Law
      1. Introduction
      2. In the Beginning
      3. What Works Qualify for Copyright Protection?
      4. What Can’t Be Copyrighted?
      5. When Does Copyright Ownership Begin, and What Do You Have to Do to Secure Copyright Ownership?
      6. What Specific Rights Do Copyright Owners Receive?
      7. Joint Works
      8. Work for Hire
      9. How Long Does Copyright Last?
      10. Copyright Infringement
      11. Fair Use
    2. Chapter 2 Music Copyright
      1. Introduction
      2. Music and Copyright Law
      3. Music Publishing
      4. Licenses
    3. Chapter 3 Copyright and Piracy
      1. Introduction
      2. The Betamax Case
      3. Napster and Grokster
      4. YouTube and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
      5. Morality and Digital Piracy
    4. Chapter 4 International Copyright
      1. The Berne Convention
      2. Moral Rights
    5. Chapter 5 First Amendment Law
      1. Introduction
      2. Entertainment and “Speech”
      3. Obscenity
      4. Indecent Speech
      5. The Internet and Indecent Speech
      6. Violence in Entertainment
      7. Voluntary Censorship
      8. Libel and Slander
      9. Invasion of Privacy
      10. Defamation and Invasion of Privacy: Life Rights Agreements
  9. SECTION 2 Entertainment Companies: Growth and Power
    1. Chapter 6 The FCC and Government Regulation of the Media
      1. Introduction
      2. Vertical and Horizontal Integration
      3. The FCC: Basics
      4. The Right to Broadcast
      5. FCC Media Ownership Rules: 1934–1980
      6. Film Regulation: 1934–1980
      7. TV and Film Regulation Since 1980
      8. Regulation: Where We Are Today
    2. Chapter 7 Media Growth and Ownership
      1. Introduction
      2. Film: The First Few Decades
      3. The Early Days of Radio and Television
      4. Media Conglomeration
      5. Media Ownership Today
      6. The Impact of Media Conglomeration
    3. Chapter 8 Unions, Agents and Managers
      1. Entertainment Unions
      2. Agents and Managers
  10. SECTION 3 What Studios Do
    1. Chapter 9 Development
      1. Choosing Ideas
      2. Studio Film Development
      3. Television Development
      4. Some Thoughts About Development Hell
      5. The End of Development
      6. Which Studio Departments Manage Development?
      7. Production and Post-Production: The Filmmakers Take Over
    2. Chapter 10 Distribution
      1. Introduction
      2. The Cost of Film Distribution
      3. Distribution Strategy
      4. Distribution Personnel and Activities
      5. Following the Money
      6. The Impact of High Distribution Costs
      7. Television Distribution
      8. Internet Distribution
      9. Other Studio Departments
  11. SECTION 4 Money and Contracts
    1. A Few Words About the Negotiating Process
    2. Chapter 11 Gross and Net Proceeds
      1. Introduction
      2. Film Accounting: When is a Film “Profitable”?
      3. Gross Proceeds and Net Proceeds
    3. Chapter 12 Entertainment Contracts
      1. Introduction
      2. Rights Agreements: Option/Purchase Contracts
      3. Agreements for Screenwriters
      4. Agreements for Directors
      5. Agreements for Actors
      6. Agreements for Producers
    4. Chapter 13 Independent Film Development, Financing, Contracts and Distribution
      1. Introduction
      2. Development
      3. Film Financing
      4. Television Financing
      5. Negotiating Contracts with Independent Filmmakers
      6. Film Distribution
      7. Film Finance and Distribution Deals
  12. SECTION 5 Voices
    1. Chapter 14 Making It Into the Business
      1. Michael Poryes
      2. Cynthia Kanner
      3. Mike Knobloch
      4. Hamilton Sterling
      5. Dana Lustig
      6. Maureen Tunney
  13. INDEX