What are the essential business and organizational issues to consider as you plan your documentary film? What can you do now to avoid problems later? Do you need an LLC? What is E&O insurance? This session covers issues of legal rights and clearances, business basics for filmmakers, budgeting, structuring agreements for talent and crew, and more.
Anne Kennedy McGuire (Loeb & Loeb LLP) focuses her practice in the areas of television and film as well as traditional and branded entertainment. She is involved in evaluating, negotiating and drafting talent, development, production and licensing agreements, primarily for non-scripted programming and documentary films. She has negotiated domestic and international distribution agreements for significant television and documentary film projects as well as music specials. She is also experienced with negotiating sophisticated product and brand integration and placement agreements on behalf of both advertisers and entertainment companies. In the television and film industries, her clients include writers, directors, producers and production companies.
Yael Melamede is a co-founder of SALTY Features – an independent production company based in NYC whose goal is to create media that is vital and enhances the world. Melamede’s producer credits include: INOCENTE, the Academy Award winning documentary directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine; BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN, written and directed by John Krasinski, based on the book by David Foster Wallace; THE INNER LIFE OF MARTIN FROST, written and directed by Paul Auster; and MY ARCHITECT, directed by Nathaniel Kahn and nominated for an Academy Award. Melamede was trained and worked as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.
Penny Lane has been making award-winning documentaries and essay films since 2002. Our Nixon is her first feature-length documentary, which world premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. She is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Her films have screened at Rotterdam, AFI FEST, Hot Docs, Full Frame, Rooftop Films, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and many other venues. She has been awarded grants from Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. She has taught video and new media arts at Hampshire, Williams and Bard Colleges.
A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the beginning or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals @ UnionDocs is six-week course culminating in a certificate of completion. Registrants can also attend individual sessions. This curriculum developed out of our experience hearing what fundamentals documentarians need to understand to plan, produce, and release an independent documentary today.
Hosted by filmmaker and educator Penny Lane (Our Nixon), Documentary Fundamentals
is essential learning for the documentary filmmaker, covering business basics, fundraising and financing, production and post-production strategies, transmedia campaigns, sales and distribution models. Each session features guest speakers sharing tips and secrets of the trade, with an emphasis on real-life case studies and best practices. Guests include Oscar-winning filmmakers and producers (Yael Melamede, My Architect, Inocente); Emmy-winning editors and sound designers (Andy Grieve, Standard Operating Procedure, The Carter; Tom Paul, Under African Skies,The Fog of War); and representatives from top funders, film sales companies, distributors and more.
Documentary Fundamentals is designed for beginning or intermediate filmmakers with projects in any stage of development or production (even the daydreaming stage!). Sessions combine formal presentations with extensive time for in-depth discussions with participants.
Registrants completing all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion, and will have special opportunities to promote their projects within the UnionDocs network. Specific guests and topics are subject to change. Doors will closed at 7:15 and we will being each session promptly at 7:30pm.
4/21 | Planning Your Documentary
4/28 | Financing Your Documentary
5/12 | Editing Your Documentary
5/19 | Your Transmedia Campaign