Producers E&O: Avatar Producer Receives Credit Where Credit Is Earned

Posted by David Hamilton on May 26, 2015 11:53:00 AM

James Cameron's Avatar and E&O Insurance

Producers E&O and AvatarShutterstock: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 698349049

TV and Film Producers E&O protects producers from unfounded claims ALLEGING misappropriation of film story ideas.

Avatar is a movie that was released in 2009. Most people think James Cameron came up with it, including James Cameron. Until one day a man spoke out and claimed that he pitched this multi-award winning movie to Cameron. Sounds like a case where Producer’s Errors & Omissions insurance might come into play.

Apparently the two had a meeting in the early nineties, and it was at this meeting that Cameron, also known as the director of The Terminator, decided to start getting movie ideas from someone he barely knew. Not likely! As the judge put it: Cameron’s ideas before 1991 included “transporting consciousness to another form, evil mercenaries attempting to exploit resources in a jungle-like setting, a jungle containing bioluminescent plants and unusual animals, a protagonist fighting alongside natives against a superior fighting force and a sentient planet.”

Since the plaintiffs claims appear to be somewhat frivolous, let’s take a look at Producer’s Errors & Omissions Insurance and see how it would help in this situation. E&O Insurance covers legal liability and defense for the production company against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition, breach of contract (implied-in-fact). It also protects against alleged libel, slander, defamation of character and invasion of privacy. This coverage will usually be required by a distributor, broadcaster or financier prior to the release of any theatrical or television production.

Production financing will usually not flow until E&O coverage is in force. When quoting Producer’s Errors and Omissions Insurance on a film project, we always ask if the producers have “Title Clearance” and if they have done their legal due diligence to make sure they aren’t engaging in copyright infringement. In the case of Avatar, Cameron would have had to represent on the E&O application that to the best of his knowledge, he was not willfully copying someone else’s work. In the event of a lawsuit, the insurance carrier will cover defense costs associated with the suit.

In addition, Producer's E&O will even pay for rulings against the E&O policy holder. If, however, the client has misrepresented a fact or committed a crime, the Producer’s Errors and Omissions policy becomes void. Film & TV Producer's Errors and Omissions Insurance is a worthwhile investment if you're a film producer.

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Title reports

Film production cast insurance and artists' hobbies/outside interests

Posted by David Hamilton on May 20, 2015 10:24:00 AM


FILM PRODUCTION CAST INSURANCE - FLYINGPhoto credit: Shutterstock Royalty-free stock photo ID: 502977010

Harrison Ford and film production insurance. These terms go together like peanut butter and nuclear warfare.

Han Solo is at it again. After being injured on the set of Star Wars, Ford was injured again in a minor plane crash in 2015. While flying his vintage plane, he experienced engine trouble and crashed on a Venice, California golf course. Hopefully, next time he'll have the decency to yell "FORE" before impact. How will his future film projects be affected? One thing's for sure, the insurance industry is taking note.

It has already been reported that insurance carriers associated with Ford’s future film projects may put it in writing that he is forbidden to fly recreationally so long as they carry the film production insurance on his movies.

Cast Insurance Coverage reimburses the production company for any extra expense or cost necessary to complete the principle photography of a covered production due to injury of any covered performer or director. However, most film insurance policies have an exclusion under the Cast Coverage for any covered cast member taking part in flying other than as a passenger. 

It is very important for a production to obtain details on their artists' hobbies/outside interests when signing them onto a project, as these types of policy exclusions can become very expensive issues down the line.

Lloyd's of London might be inclined to write a policy that would protect Ford even if he were to fly during production; however, the premiums would be above and beyond the cost of the primary film insurance package.

It looks like if Ford wants production insurance, he may have to stick to flying the Millennium Falcon on set. Don't fly, Harrison! Don't fly!


Topics: Cast Insurance

Power/Rangers and Producer's E&O Insurance | E&O for Parody Filmmakers

Posted by David Hamilton on May 13, 2015 2:51:00 PM

Power/Rangers and E&O Insurance

E&O for Parody Filmmakers | The Issue of Parody:

The 2015 fan short film Power/Rangers likely didn’t have producers errors & omissions insurance. A music video director by the name of Joseph Kahn posted a 14-minute Power Rangers parody on YouTube and it quickly went viral, garnering 1.4 million views.

POWER/RANGERS movieAll was not well, however, as Kahn said he was harassed by the owners of Power Rangers to take the video down because they said he was willfully engaging in copyright infringement. This is what producers errors & omissions insurance is for!

When you embark on a parody production you are immediately on shaky ground in terms of copyright infringement. If, however, Mr. Kahn had purchased producer’s errors & omissions insurance, the in-house legal counsel would have run title clearance to make sure that he was not doing what he is currently being accused of.

In short, it likely would have been impossible for Kahn to get insurance had he disclosed that he was using the intellectual property of Power Rangers without written consent. If this is true and he wasn’t able to get insurance, then he would be financially responsible for any court-ordered restitution he is ordered to pay to the IP holders. All hope is not lost, however.

Legal experts are saying there is a gray area where fan fiction is concerned. Usually it’s done by a little guy with not a heck of a lot of scratch and is a judge really going to side with a billion dollar studio over “Fred from his parent’s basement?” Doubtful. In any case, if purchased, producer’s errors & omissions insurance will cover court costs and settlements where the copyright infringement was proven unintentional. Having said this, it is important for content creators to do their own due diligence.

Otherwise, not even the Power Rangers will be able to save them once the blank hits the fan. The fan of Power Rangers.

photo source: u/InitialP |

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance

Canada's largest film insurance broker acquires cultureONE Inc.

Posted by David Hamilton on May 1, 2015 12:11:00 PM

Vancouver, Canada - - May 1, 2015 - - Front Row is pleased to announce the acquisition of cultureONE.

As the leading brokerage in the Canadian performing arts scene, cultureONE provides innovative insurance solutions for theatre, dance, and opera producers and protects iconic Canadian venues such as Massey Hall, the Four Seasons Centre and Roy Thomson Hall.  They proudly insure producers such as the Shaw Festival, Canadian Opera Company and Soulpepper Theatre Company.  Their actONE program has been protecting producers for years and the launch of the PACT Bond Program made it easier for Canadian producers to finance the cash flow demands of their productions. 

With their ONE-2-3D program for animation, VFX, DM and post-production companies, cultureONE created new options for companies like SOHO VFX, Redlab, Intelligent Creatures, Rocket Science VFX, ToonBox and Keyframe Digital.

Front Row President, David Hamilton commented, “As we spent time getting know Steve and his team, it became clear that we shared a simple, yet powerful, philosophy; put the client first and the rest of the business will take care of itself.”

"We saw this as an incredible opportunity to build on the work we were doing for our clients in arts, culture and heritage.  I have always had the utmost respect for Front Row and when presented with the opportunity to combine our resources I knew we could build something really special.” said Steve Beatty, President of cultureONE.

The combined company is licensed and registered in all Canadian provinces and works extensively with the leading insurance companies for entertainment insurance, such as Travelers, Chubb, Allianz and Everest.

Front Row is an independent, Canadian-owned brokerage, specializing in film & television insurance.  The brokerage works with Canada’s top producers of live action and digital media  and has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.  Their technical expertise, market leverage and commitment to fair and timely claims settlements always sets them apart from their competitors.

cultureONE staff will move into the Toronto Front Row head office location.