Script Clearance and Title Search Report Cost

Posted by Anne Marie Murphy on Jan 20, 2020 8:31:01 AM

SCRIPT CLEARANCE and TITLE SEARCH REPORT COST

SCRIPT CLEARANCE REPORT COST

SCRIPT CLEARANCE REPORT COST

Script clearance reports give you a detailed list of all the story elements in your project that might cause problems in any of these categories:

A "clearance" or "script clearance" company will read the script and make a list ("clearance report") of all the places in it where there could be legal trouble. Then, they'll research all those items and present you with notes on what looks safe ("clear") to use and what might get you into some problems ("not clear"). Look for a company that will suggest solutions as well, among them providing contact information for rights holders and presenting you with "clear" alternatives for scripted items that are problematic.

As in most industries, the faster you need the work done, the more it will cost. Most script clearance companies have a range of turnaround options for a feature film report, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for the first full report on a feature film script, depending on the turnaround you need and the company you hire.

Additional billing often follows when more requests come from both the art department (names to use on signage and props) and the story department (revised drafts and/or one-off name changes to be checked).  Script clearance companies bill in different ways for that follow-up work (by the hour, by the item), so consult with them regarding procedures to find the best way forward for the way you work. 

A theatrical feature that is heavy on art department requests + has many rewrites that need review can run up a bill of well over $5000 for clearance work.

Clearance reports for a TV series are not typically prepared in the same short time period as they are for a feature film report (during a weeks-long shoot).  A television series can have a production schedule that stretches for many months and the script clearance reports will be generated when each episode goes into production. Here too, there can be many sets of revisions and many art department requests.  The art department clearances for episodic series work can be much heavier in the first season of the show when set dressing is going up for the first time.

The cost for these series reports is usually billed per episode (rather than for a full season) and vary depending on the length of the script. You might pay $100 for a report on a short 10-page web series or kids' animated show, but on the other end of the spectrum, a one-hour episode script might run you closer to $1000. Another added cost for series work is if you need your reports done faster than the usual promised turnaround times; that can add 50% to the price. This sometimes comes into play with web series projects that might not be aware of the E&O requirement for script clearance reports until just before they start shooting.

There are several script clearance companies based in Canada and plenty in the U.S., where the reports were first developed in the early 1950s. You'll have plenty of options for finding a company that offers what you need. Most clearance companies have a rate sheet they'll share upon request while others  will only quote on a per-project basis. You'll obviously want a company that has a good track record over a long period of time and probably one that has its own E&O coverage.

Another thing to ask for if your project will be on a streaming service is, "have you worked already for [Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, etc.]?" Some of those companies have a long-ish vetting process for service providers with whom they are unfamiliar. That's something to keep in mind.

Sometimes a project doesn't need an entire script "cleared" but instead has just a few names that need to be researched. Depending on the company, this type of request is billed at either an hourly or a per-item rate. This approach can work well for a cash-strapped project that has experienced production personnel who can read the script and send the notes needed for the clearance house to do their work. Assuming that the art department personnel are well aware of the intellectual property issues involved in dressing a set, sending only a short list of character names out for clearances can be an excellent low-budget solution.

TITLE SEARCH REPORT COST

Pricing on title search reports is a lot less complicated than for script clearances. Simply stated: for any given title, you'll need to select the turnaround time and the geographic scope of the report. Again, the faster you need the work done, the more it will cost. Unlike a script clearance report – in which the scope of the search is determined by the geographic setting of the story – the production's distribution plan dictates the scope of the title search.

If production counsel feels strongly that the broadest possible scope is needed, then that will add to the cost of the report. The broader the scope, the more sources are consulted and the cost increases with additional research time involved. 

A title search report of limited scope at a longer turnaround time might come in at less than $300. However, once you add in a speedier delivery and your lawyer or broker's insistence on a more robust geographic scope, a title search report can cost upward of $3000.

There are even more options for providers of title search reports in North America than there are for script clearance reports, so shopping around would be wise. When in doubt, the wisest route is often picking the company that comes best recommended to you. As with any professional service provider, a referral from a company that has a long and solid track record with another company is invaluable.

Another difference between title search reports and script clearance reports is the opinion factor. Good clearance reports offer plenty of opinions about what is and is not "clear." Title searches, on the other hand, have "just the facts, ma'am." The research company is not authorized to provide you an opinion on whether the title is clear for use. That has to come from a lawyer.

SCRIPT CLEARANCE RESEARCHER / TITLE SEARCH COMPANY

Eastern Script specializes in providing research services for the entertainment industry, including script clearances and title searches. Visit their website here: https://www.easternscript.com/

Guest post by Anne Marie Murphy
amm@easternscript.com
(844) 842-3999

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Topics: Entertainment Insurance, E&O Insurance, Title reports, Script Clearance reports

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 8, 2020 10:50:01 AM

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

what are lawyers looking for in the responses?

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: Certain questions are asked on an E&O insurance application to help the insurance company or their counsel to gauge whether the production may be riskier than others. On the one hand, it’s a risk assessment but on the other hand, it’s also a way to check to make sure that the way that they’ve answered the question reflects that they’re aware of what the clearance procedures are and that they will follow them.

Sometimes, the entertainment lawyer who is clearance counsel for the production also signs the application or there’s a place where that lawyer has to acknowledge that they’ve seen the application. But, no surprise, it’s just a way to figure out who might think that they don’t need to comply with some of the clearance questions.

So, one of the E&O application questions is: “Is there a possibility that a living person could claim (without regard to the merits of such claim) to be identifiable in the Insured Production, whether or not that person’s name or likeness is used in it or whether or not the Insured purports it to be fictional? If “yes” has a release been obtained from such person?”

Well, if there is a possibility of something like that, we want to know about it upfront but also, that question tends to segue into: “are you getting releases? Is production doing what it needs to do to make sure that the folks who are appearing on screen (usually documentary, but also for dramas where you need performer agreements) are following what production says they will follow?"

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, E&O Insurance, Title reports, Film Production Companies

How can a film producer protect themselves from an E&O claim?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 6, 2020 8:53:11 AM

How can a film producer protect themselves from an E&O claim?

FOLLOW THE E&O CLEARANCE PROCEDURES

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: A film producer can protect himself, herself or itself (because most producers incorporate) by following the clearance procedures that are included with your E&O application and/or E&O policy.

So, get yourself an entertainment lawyer, take a look at those clearance procedures, make sure you’re following them and you will avoid claims forever. The other thing you should do is get friendly with your insurance broker – they’re very helpful.

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, E&O Insurance, Title reports

Why Does a Film Producer Need E&O Insurance?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Jan 3, 2020 6:35:17 AM

Why does a film producer need Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance?

Why is E&O necessary from a legal perspective?

E&O insurance film | errors and omissions insurance film:


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: The reality of the North American market, at the very least, is that E&O insurance is required and producers must obtain it because broadcasters, distributors, public sector financiers, etc. will require it.

So, why is it a good idea for a producer to get E&O insurance apart from the fact that they have to? It protects them in case of a claim under trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation issues and these claims can be very expensive and costs can rise quickly. Having the E&O insurance in place will allow you to cover those costs.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: E&O Insurance, Script Clearance reports, defamation insurance, Trademark

E&O: Are There Different Things Needed for a Documentary vs. a Drama?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Dec 16, 2019 11:43:55 AM

From an E&O perspective, are there different things needed for a Documentary vs. a Drama?


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: From an errors and omissions (E&O) perspective, you have to look at the project based on what challenges it presents. So, a documentary will have different legal concerns than a drama.

E&O Insurance and Documentaries

For documentary, we’ll mostly be looking at privacy issues, potential defamation issues and – more and more now – just because budgets are being cut and the price of archives is going up – filmmakers are using the copyright exception of fair use (fair dealing under Canadian law) to use clips, lawfully, without having to clear them with rights holders. So, obviously, this brings some challenges from a legal perspective that are not exclusive to documentary but clearly appear more in documentary settings than they do in fiction.

E&O Insurance and Fiction Films

For fiction, most of it will be based on copyright issues, trademark and consideration as to what the characters are saying because you could cross that line into defamation. Those would be the major differences – you cover all legal bases but the emphasis is put on different areas, depending on the nature of the project.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Script Clearance reports, defamation insurance, Trademark, Fair Use Doctrine

Our winter newsletter is here!

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 12, 2019 12:10:27 PM

pug-1210025_1920 (stay warm)

CLICK HERE to see the latest news from Front Row. 

Topics: Film Insurance, E&O Insurance, DICE Insurance, event insurance, art school insurance, Actor body insurance

PROTÉGÉ: Insurance custom-made for arts education

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 5, 2019 4:49:03 PM

ballet photo

Protégé: Insurance for Art Schools

Does your art school work with an insurance brokerage that has specialized knowledge of the arts and entertainment community, and that understands the specific needs of an arts organization?

Protégé is an insurance product custom-designed for art schools by Front Row Insurance Brokers. The program grew organically out of our longstanding engagement with the arts community. We realized that creators are also educators, and that our clients needed an insurance product that could cover their workshops, summer camps, and training seminars. We wanted to create a policy that helps foster creative expression, one that protects teachers and students alike, that helps create safe spaces to learn, where students can take risks, challenge each other, and grow with confidence.

Coverages available include:

  • Studio Property
  • Business Continuity
  • Bodily injury & Property Damage Liability
  • Educators Errors & Omissions
  • Property off Premise
  • Event Cancellation
  • Abuse Liability

Protégé is one of the few policies to offer abuse coverage. Should the unthinkable occur, we have a team of experts in crisis management that can help you navigate the difficult legal and emotional challenges of allegations of misconduct. But more importantly, we’re proactive. We work with you to develop risk management strategies. For example, we can consult on background checks, or the spatial arrangement of rooms, traffic flows, or scheduling. We want to prevent potential hazards from ever happening in the first place, so that students, staff, and parents can build confidence and trust in each other.

That’s why we partnered with Ecclesiastical, one of the top Insurers worldwide for private schools and cultural institutions. They are an insurance company notable for their outstanding goodwill. Owned by a charitable trust, they donate all their annual profits to charities. They have over 120 years of experience, and world-class resources that are made available to you through Protégé.

Protégé is insurance made for creatives by creatives. What? Insurance can be creative! At Front Row, we like to think of ourselves as part of the ecology of arts and entertainment. We don’t just provide services to the arts community – we’re an integral part of it. Give us a call and find out how Protégé can help protect your most valuable asset: the next generation of artists.

Pricing begins at $600 for a small school. To learn more, click here.

About Front Row Insurance Brokers
Front Row Insurance is an independent, Canadian-owned brokerage, specializing in film, television and performing arts insurance. The brokerage has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, LA and Nashville. Their technical expertise, market leverage and commitment to fair and timely claims settlements has always set them apart from their competitors. http://www.frontrowinsurance.com

Topics: E&O Insurance, music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance, abuse insurance

E&O: What Filmmakers Need to Know

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 9, 2019 4:59:44 PM

E&O: WHAT FILMMAKERS NEED TO KNOW

E&O insurance

As a filmmaker your top priority is likely bringing your next production to life and maintaining creative inspiration, but you also know how important the business side of film production is.

This includes understanding the legal and insurance requirements needed to protect your next film. Insurance is a critical part of the film business, especially E&O (Errors and Omissions). If you understand what E&O is and how it can actually serve your production needs, you’ll set your next film up for even greater success.

Here’s how:

GETTING TO KNOW E&O

Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance covers all of the potential legal liabilities and defense costs against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or privacy, and breach of contract. It also protects against alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. Errors & Omissions is a requirement for distribution deals with studios, television, cable networks, DVD and Internet sites prior to the release of any film production. In fact, if you haven’t released a film yet, you’ll discover that production financing will probably not flow until your E&O coverage is in force.

HOW IT WORKS

Consider the risks: You’ve released a film that is a HUGE success, and someone accuses you of stealing their idea, or script. No surprise, this happens a lot. For example, after AVATAR was released in 2009, a man spoke out and claimed that he had actually pitched this multi award winning movie to AVATAR Producer, James Cameron a few years earlier. An E&O policy would provide a lawyer in this instance and would pay the legal fees and judgement costs if the filmmaker lost.

Planning an online production? YouTube is a hot bed for E&O disputes. A while back, a music video director posted a parody of a well known movie that went viral, garnering over 1 million views, but unfortunately he didn’t have E&O and the video was taken down as he could not afford the legal costs. A big loss for him and one he could have avoided if he had obtained E&O coverage.

WHAT E&O COSTS

Premiums for E&O vary based on the content of the production. A straight forward documentary typically cost $2,500 to $4,000 while you can expect to pay $3,500 to $8,000 for a feature film for the industry standard 3-5 year policy term. Every project is unique and requires a custom E&O policy. Standard limits are $1,000,000 per claim/$3,000,000 aggregate with a deductible of $10,000. Ideally, speak to an E&O insurance expert who can advise on the risks related to your particular film. We’d love to help with that.

YOUR NEXT STEPS

  1. The first thing an insurance provider will ask you is: Do you have “Title and script Clearance”? This is a way to discover if you’ve done your legal due diligence to make sure you aren’t engaging in copyright infringement and that you have the right to use the story and title. As you set out to obtain E&O, as a filmmaker you must begin clearance work prior to principal photography, continue during filming and complete it at final cut. Note: It can take up to 10 working days for a project to be cleared and coverage to be in place so you’ll want to start the E&O process early to ensure that your cash flow is not impacted.
  2. Once obtained, be sure to check your production/distribution/financing agreements regarding the start date for your coverage, as some financiers require Errors & Omissions coverage to be in place for the first day of production before they will provide the first cheque that allows you to start production.
  3. Your E&O policy will provide defense costs if the producer is sued and will pay the judgment costs if the producer is found liable. Until a lawsuit happens, enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ve got the right coverage in place.

About the contributor: David Hamilton is President + CEO of Front Row Insurance, one of the world’s largest entertainment insurance brokers. Front Row offers E&O insurance for filmmakers. E&O Policies start at $1,250 and certificates proving insurance coverage are provided immediately at no cost.

 

RELATED LINKS:

E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: E&O Insurance

ART SCHOOL INSURANCE THAT PROTECTS STUDENTS FROM ABUSE? PROTÉGÉ.

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 27, 2018 11:56:13 AM

ART SCHOOL INSURANCE THAT PROTECTS STUDENTS FROM ABUSE: PROTÉGÉ

Abuse liability - art schools

If you’re running an art school, then we don’t need to tell you the amount of passion, drive, and dedication required to run a school and coach students to success. We probably don’t need to tell you this also brings a huge amount of responsibility for the well-being of your students, who are often young and in close relationships with their teachers.

As you consider how to run your school in a way that BEST protects your students from physical and sexual abuse, consider our Protégé program.

Protégé is the only insurance program of its kind that goes the extra mile to protect art schools AND their students from situations related to sexual and physical abuse. Along with all of the other insurance requirements your school needs, Protégé provides the highest level of support and protection for your students. This is our passion.

We’ve become known for our expertise in guiding many arts organizations through difficult claims involving abuse, and helping schools implement measures that prevent situations of abuse in the first place. Here’s how our Protégé program goes the extra mile for schools and students:

  1. In situations where there are allegations of abuse, Protégé can pay for no-fault rehab and counselling costs. 
  2. In situations resulting in damage to studio/school property, Protégé covers the costs for owned and rented property damages.
  3. In liability situations, Protégé covers bodily injuries to people that have been invited to the studio.
  4. To support business continuity, Protégé pays the salaries of your staff if the studio is destroyed while you are searching for a new space.
  5. Re: errors and omissions, Protégé covers costs if students aren’t satisfied with the curriculum.

When you sign up for the Protégé program, you’ll receive our deep experience in putting preventative safeguards in place that will help prevent situations of abuse from happening in the first place. We’ll walk you through all the areas of your business protocols to help you put systems in place that better protect students.

Pricing begins at $600 for a small school. To learn more, click here. 

About Front Row Insurance Brokers
Front Row Insurance is an independent, Canadian-owned brokerage, specializing in film, television and performing arts insurance. The brokerage has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, LA and Nashville. Their technical expertise, market leverage and commitment to fair and timely claims settlements has always set them apart from their competitors. http://www.frontrowinsurance.com

Topics: E&O Insurance, music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance, abuse insurance

Filmmakers and Producers Insurance

Posted by David McLeish on Nov 5, 2018 12:18:55 PM

film producers insurance

film producers insurance

Let’s Make Art Together.

You’re a prolific filmmaker with a full production slate. Like most creative people, you‘d rather focus on your work. The problem is that since each project requires its own insurance policy, it often feels like the more you work, the more time you have to spend dealing with insurance!

Worse, while you’ve always received good service from your broker, they don’t quite “get” what it is you do. It’s a hassle getting certificates for your vendors and cast and crew. Too many irrelevant questions are asked by the underwriter. When something unusual comes up like a drone shoot or stunts, there are delays. There has to be a better way.

Luckily, there is. Unlike most insurance professionals in Canada, we specialize in the business of entertainment insurance. It’s not just what we do, and what we’re good at; it’s what we’re passionate about.

Front Row Insurance Brokers is the largest entertainment insurance brokerage by premium volume in Canada, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York.

In 2017, we insured over $4 billion of productions worldwide and wrote more than $45 million in film premium. The 38 dedicated film insurance staff in our Canadian offices are experts in TV and film production, so you know you’ll be dealing with someone who understands what you do. Even better, we have staff licensed in every province.

Filming in sunny Saskatchewan? No problem, we’ll get you covered. Perhaps most importantly, as part of our commitment to exceptional service, we will work hard to ensure that the money owed to you is paid if you ever need to make a claim under your policy.

Moreover, our excellent working relationship with the five major companies writing entertainment insurance in Canada ensures that you get more than just the best rates. It also affords us the opportunity to design studio programs which offer coverage tailored to the unique needs of your production slate. A studio program is a custom policy designed by the broker working in concert with the insurer. The advantage to you is that it’s designed around your specific production slate. You won’t have to pay for coverage you don’t require, and your policy will be customized for you by experts in entertainment insurance who understand your needs. Some examples of the benefits available under a studio program include:

  • No cast medicals required for film budgets under $15,000,000, rendering it unnecessary to schedule and attend tedious doctor exams, and saving you the $130 exam fee.
  • Automatic coverage for test shoots, promo shoots, pilots for budgets up to $50,000: no need to call us.
  • Quotations provided immediately for any new project. Rates locked for 12 months. Coverage can be activated and certificates issued on the same day for office rentals, payroll, etc.
  • Insurance wherever you film

Let us leverage your production slate, combined with our premium volume, for your advantage. We pride ourselves on being the simplest line item on your budget—fast, without the drama.

We can also offer you a Low-Claims Bonus: ask us how.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, E&O Insurance, Cast Insurance, helicopter film insurance, Storm damage film production insurance, Flood insurance for Film, Chubb Film insurance, Film permission, Film Production Vehicle Insurance, automobile insurance for films, production liability insurance for films, Public Liability Insurance for Film, Extra Expense Coverage, Film equipment rental insurance, Workers Compensation, insurance for film set, film school insurance