You will not need any of the below paperwork when entering your project into Film-Com; however, when presenting your project to prospective distributors or financing partners, you will eventually need to have appropriate paperwork prior to any sort of deals being constructed and finalized.
Depending upon the phase of your project; i.e., from screenplay with some project elements, to fully completed film seeking distribution, you should have appropriate clearances and paperwork ready when presenting projects at Film-Com in April 2010. If you are very early in the project process, much of the below may not yet apply; however, if your project is ready to be shot, is partially shot, completely shot / needing post-production, or is finished and ready for distribution, then paperwork should include some or all of the below, as applicable:
- Chain-of-title documentation, proving authorship of screenplay and authorization to use any underlying story, book, short story or article upon which the screenplay is based
- Copyright registration # of screenplay with WGAe, WGAw or Library of Congress
- Incorporation documentation; i.e., project LLC, S Corp, C Corp etc
- Clearances for all music used in the project
- Clearance for any copyrighted visual images that may appear on camera, such as the Mona Lisa, Warhol paintings, illustrations for magazines etc
- Clearances for any trademarks that may appear on camera, such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s etc [this may not apply to a non-fiction work of investigative journalism where “fair use” can be legally claimed – consult a copyright attorney for this]
- E&O [Errors & Omissions] Insurance
- Letters certifying any attachments of talent, director etc
- Completion Bond
- A letter from you stipulating that there are no lawsuits or liens of any kind pending against either the project or the entity/ies involved in producing the project, which may in any way provide encumbrances for distributors or other financial partners who may get involved in the property.
Again, you do not need to have any of this ready when submitting your entry. All all of the above may or may not be necessary depending upon the phase of your project; however, be advised that when you present your project to any entity for funding or distribution, all such paperwork will need to be completed, and all claims made in your Film-Com Project Status Form about attachments would need to be verifiable. Any feature film, television property or documentary seeking financing and distribution is a legal business entity, and it must be dealt with as such.