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Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films

  • Saturday, March 31, 2012
  • 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • West Los Angeles College, Fine Arts Auditorium, 9000 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230 (Free parking is available in the campus parking structure.)


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Registration is closed

Click here for list of handouts and parking directions.

  • Online registration closes at 11:59PM, Friday, March 30, 2012.
  • An optional $10 lunch option is available for purchase during the online registration process.
  • Participants requesting lunch must register by 5pm Thursday, March 29, 2012.
  • Lunch option not available for walk-in registrations.

Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films
with Mark Litwak, Esq.

This comprehensive seminar—for new attorneys, attorneys transitioning to entertainment law, and filmmakers—explores how independent films are financed and distributed. Topics include financing via pre-sales, debt and equity investors, negotiating tactics, typical contract terms, cross-collateralization, and creative accounting. Particular attention will be paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect themselves by: investigating distributors; watering down warranties; adding contract provisions covering performance, termination, and alternative dispute resolution; getting errors and omissions (E&O) insurance; and using lab access letters and schedules of minimums. Other topics will include: criteria for selecting a distributor; new media distribution; which contract terms are negotiable; compliance with state and federal laws regarding investors; retaining an attorney, producer reps and publicists; and confirming awards and enforcing judgments. Extensive handouts will be made available exclusively online for download, including a distribution contract, articles, and a self-defense checklist. Finally, the lunch hour will provide a great opportunity for networking.

Mark Litwak is a veteran entertainment attorney based in Beverly Hills. He has lectured at UCLA Extension for more than 20 years, and at Harvard and other top universities. He is the author of six books including: Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood, Dealmaking in the Film & Television Industry (winner of the 1996 Krazna-Kranz award for best book in the world on the film business), Contracts for the Film & Television Industry, and Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films. He has executive produced 6 feature films and successfully arranged for the distribution of more than 50 features as well as serving as production counsel on several TV series. Mark also functions as a producer rep, assisting filmmakers in the financing, marketing, and distribution of their films. He is AV Peer Review Rated and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer multiple times.  

These workshops are made possible, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the California Community Foundation. Additional support provided by the California Arts Council.



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

MCLE Provider # 1248.

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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