The process of producing an independent motion picture can be long and arduous, yet eminently rewarding. The aid of legal counsel can significantly impact not only the success of a film, but also the quality of experience that all those involved have before, during, and after production. At Pinnacle Law Firm, we help both emerging and seasoned producers in every stage of production by keeping track of legal details so that all other parties can focus on their own tasks, the creative and technical aspects of film production. Although the kind of services required will vary in each unique case, we can advise you as to which legal steps are necessary to avoid unnecessary stress and delays.


Before a film can go into the first stages of production, a story is chosen and developed by writers in tandem with the producer. Legal counsel can help the producer secure the intellectual property rights to a story and ensure that the material does not infringe upon other stories. Once the story is comprehensively developed, the film will then usually be pitched to financiers. In most cases of independent film production, it is advisable for the producers to form a film production company. An attorney can help supervise the formation of a management team and assure that all necessary forms are completed.


Pre-production is one of the most complex stages of film production, and it is therefore vital that all legal aspects are thoroughly delineated before any filming takes place. Planning and foresight can eliminate the majority of legal issues that stall the release of a film in later stages. Pinnacle Law Firm offers a variety of services necessary during pre-production including the negotiation of union agreements, copyright owner agreements, actor or performer contracts and release forms, and the oversight of injury, illness, and grievance reports, among many other things. Legal relationships with contractors, permitting bodies for filming on location, and insurance companies are all necessary to establish during this stage of production.


Filming a movie comes with its own set of challenges, but should run fairly smoothly if the way has been comprehensively prepared by the producer, director, and legal counsel. In the case of setbacks, however, an attorney can stand ready to address personnel disagreements, equipment malfunctions, and any accidents at the production site.


Once filming is completed, the material will be handed over to another set of professionals for editing, scoring, and possibly the addition of special effects. A lawyer can help review contracts with all of these service providers. They can also help by reviewing film credits and checking the final cut of the film for any potential legal issues to catch before distribution. Pinnacle Law Firm can help make sure that all legal hurdles are cleared before the release date of the film.