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Legal Considerations in Financing

Yes, you’ll probably need to put in a call to your friendly neighborhood production lawyer as well. The best case scenario is to have a media lawyer with producing experience. Novice producers can forget about things like the chain of title, which will make your project dead on arrival if anything here is out of place. You should ask your lawyer to draft a Development Services Agreement for everyone involved.

Photo: Public Domain | U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee

Chain of Title

So who owns your project? Sure, you probably own a big part of it. Or maybe the legal entity serving as your avatar owns it. Or maybe you actually don’t own as much as you think. Because other people, like investors, probably think they have a claim as well. Especially if there are multiple people involved early on, have your lawyer make it clear what the chain of title is on the project.

LLC - Limited Liability Company

Remember that legal entity that’s sort of you but legally sort of not? That’s your LLC, which protects you from liability. If you haven’t set this up, do it now. Seriously, right now. Your lawyer can set it up for you, but all it really requires is filling out some template forms. Unless your project is a courtroom drama, the last place you want to end up is in court. Your LLC can prevent this.

CAM - Collection Account Management

When money actually starts to come in, you need someone you can trust to manage it for the project. There are collection agencies that will do this. A waterfall document can be a good idea to make sure the process runs smoothly. If you don’t know how to do this, have your lawyer, accountant or collection manager do it for you.

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