Producers E&O Insurance: Best Practices when Reviewing Scripts

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 17, 2015 11:40:00 AM

Producers errors and omissions (E&O)

Producers errors and omissions claims can be prevented by following the guidelines on the list below. The list is not meant to be all- encompassing, but instead it is a quick reference:

  1. Avoid the accidental use of real names of people or organizations.
  2. Avoid identifying someone by a specific job or his/her e&o insurance, scriptsinvolvement in actual events, even if the name is totally fictional.
  3. Avoid using real addresses.
  4. Don’t use real phone numbers, credit card numbers, social insurance numbers etc.
  5. Get permission for uses of trademarks and logos, and avoid references to companies or products and where possible don’t use identifiable props (eg. Photographs, paintings, posters, sculptures, magazines) that are protected by copyright, unless you get permission from the copyright holder.

An example of a potential claim: recently a plaintiff alleges copyright infringement in connection with the use of certain fine art images in a movie of the week. The amount claimed was $900,000.

Another example: A ‘sound alike’ rendition of a musician’s song was used in movie.  Musician sued for misappropriation and copyright infringement. The amount claimed was: $65,000.

The producers errors and omissions policy will provide a lawyer and pay the legal fees to defend the producer that purchased an e&o policy for producers.

If you would like a no obligation Producers E and O insurance quote, please click here.

Related Post: Producers E&O

Front Row is an independent film insurance broker that works on behalf of filmmakers to transfer the risks of filming to insurance companies for the lowest possible cost. Front Row makes sure that filmmakers receive their claim money quickly. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.

 

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, Film Insurance claims

How To Call A Wrap On Top Film Insurance Claims

Posted by Adam Grenville on Jun 12, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Film Insurance Claims Examples

Insurance claim

The average moviegoer only hears about film production insurance when it makes the headlines. After the tragic death of Paul Walker during the filming of Fast & Furious 7 in November 2013, the trade and popular media reported how it led to the largest movie insurance claim in history — reportedly as high as $50 million. High-profile feature films usually buy cast insurance for such rare but catastrophic claims, but all film productions face a host of other risks that don’t usually make the headlines.

Every production is unique and presents its own mix of risk factors, but common risk management issues confront all productions — from large studios with big budgets and sophisticated risk management programs to small indie filmmakers approaching production risk for the first time, from nonprofits creating educational videos to corporations investing in informational videos. The most common insurance claims in production are equipment theft, vehicle damage, damaged locations, and equipment failure in extreme climates.

Equipment Theft

Here’s a true story: A container of film equipment disappeared while being shipped from Los Angeles to Louisiana. Although no one was aware of what happened to it, the missing container illustrates one of the top film production risks. Equipment is often one of the most valuable assets involved in filmmaking. From cameras to film stock, hard drives, and microphones, production equipment is also quite portable. The risk is complicated by the fact that film sets can be mobile, too, and located in foreign or multiple locations. Workforces made up of contract employees power these productions, adding more risk to this script.

Establishing security on the set is one potential solution for equipment theft. Visible security is especially important in public and international locations, where producers might not be familiar with the locale or confident in the local police. A common security measure is to close and lock doors. Another step to protect equipment is to return it to the rental company each night – though it could be inconvenient, this step leaves the equipment in secure hands.

Vehicle Damage

Damage to a "run-about" — rental vehicles used by production assistants to run errands—are also a common claim on production sets. Production assistants are often younger employees and, due to the nature of their job, they may also tend to be in a hurry on the set. The combination of a more youthful driver and haste could mean that the next scene involves a production assistant colliding with another vehicle.

To help mitigate the risks associated with rental vehicles, consider taking the following steps. Film productions can conduct background checks on all drivers. Safety training might also provide a measure of protection. A third important step is to be familiar with vehicle rental contracts and know who is responsible for property damage and liability if an accident occurs. Although damage to on-set vehicles is rare, it is still an important consideration, particularly when it comes to a "hero vehicle." If the General Lee goes down during Dukes of Hazard or the Batmobile crashes while filming Batman, it will impact production and could lead to an insurance claim. For such vehicles, have backup parts and even a spare vehicle to prevent downtime if an incident occurs. Consider using a mock version during stunts.

Damaged Locations

Scratch the hardwood floor in a historic home during shooting, and a production — and its insurer — could be looking at $30,000 to replace it. Damage a few vintage light fixtures, and the bill could include the cost to replace every light fixture to ensure they resemble the originals. Film directors make location decisions based on their desired look and feel, but they should be aware their productions could become quite costly if care isn’t taken. The answer is not to sacrifice that look and feel for safety but to instead take precautions. Respect and protect the private homes and other locations where filming is taking place.

Ahead of shooting, film productions should also document a location. Is there pre-existing damage? All parties benefit when knowing exactly what happened if damage is claimed. Doing stunts or pyrotechnics in a location poses its own risks. In this case, calling in loss control experts and engineering specialists, as well as the local fire department, can help ensure stunts are well planned and safe. For instance, such professionals can assist in making sure that any sprinkler system is properly disengaged for a fire-related stunt, and then turned back on when finished.

Faulty Equipment in Extreme Climates

A director filming in a frigid environment wrapped plastic around his cameras. It wasn't to protect them from the cold; rather the plastic casing protected the equipment during breaks from condensation that could form when those cameras were brought inside. Whether in freezing or tropical locations, electronics can suffer water damage and malfunction. These extreme and isolated locations present additional risks as well, as it is unlikely that there will be a film equipment rental facility nearby to obtain replacement gear.

To help prevent the loss of equipment due to climate-related issues and potential production delays, it’s important to protect equipment appropriately. Even when filming in less extreme locations, such as forests or urban areas, productions should be careful to protect equipment from dirt or anything else that could damage it. Productions should test equipment prior to traveling to the set location--try out a camera in a freezer or a sauna, or wherever else best approximates the shoot environment.

Insurance Can Be Value Added

Insurance might be considered a budget line item for some film productions or a requirement from their distributors or financiers, but insurance professionals can also provide a wealth of knowledge and assistance. Productions can contact their insurance companies ahead of shooting, and as partners in the process, the insurer may be able to offer the assistance of risk management and loss control specialists to help establish procedures to avoid costly delays and losses.

Insurance professionals specializing in the film and entertainment industry have seen the above common claims repeatedly — and those headline-grabbing, not-so-common claims as well — and can help mitigate them before and during filming.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Chubb Film insurance

How does Imminent Peril Insurance Coverage Protect your Production?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 31, 2012 12:08:00 PM

Imminent Peril insurance coverage

Imminent Peril is part of Extra Expense (EE) coverage. EE itself is similar to Business Interruption insurance, except that it will not cover loss of income, but rather if you suffer an insured loss, it will pay for the extra costs to get your production back to filming as soon as possible. It will also reimburse you for extra costs incurred because something out of your control has prevented you from filming.

‘Imminent Peril’ is defined in the policy as “We will pay for expenses you incur to avoid a loss insured under this policy due to imminent peril to the extent that such expenses serve to avoid such loss.” It will pay for the damage you cause to prevent further damage.

EXAMPLES of losses that would be insured by Imminent Peril:Imminent Peril coverage

- A sudden  storm hits your external set with golf ball sized hail stones. To prevent damage to your filming gear, you tear down a façade from your set to cover the cameras. The cost to rebuild the intentional damage to the set would be covered by Imminent Peril.         

- A small fire ignites in your production office.  You attempt to control the fire by switching off the gas supply, breaking the alarm glass, using fire extinguishers and fire blankets, and evacuate the building to protect persons and property.  This coverage will pay for these extra materials and lost productive time used to minimize damage.

NB: As with most other coverages, there are some standard exclusions that apply to Extra Expense coverages. Please see the policy wording for a full description of the coverage, or call a specialized film insurance broker such as Front Row Insurance.

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance

Film Production Insurance & Mechanical Devices on Set

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 10, 2012 9:42:00 AM

MECHANICAL DEVICE SAFETY ON FILM SETS

Mechanical device film set

If a mechanical device or an articulated set is used in a production, the film insurance cost can be minimized if the production company ensures that:

1.            The device or set is capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used

2.            Workers operate the device or set in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, safe work practices, and the requirements of the Regulation

3.            The device or set is properly inspected, tested or maintained

If a production company requires that a mechanical device or articulated set to be created for a production, the production company is considered the supplier of that device or set. As a supplier, the production company must provide directions for the safe use of the device or set and must ensure that the device or set is safe when used as specified. Such directions could be developed in consultation with a qualified person such as a professional engineer.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment

Film Production Insurance: Smoke and Fog Safety on The Film Set

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 7, 2012 4:52:00 PM

SMOKE AND FOG SAFETY ON THE FILM SET

smoke on film set

To keep your film insurance premiums to a minimum utilize best practices when using fog and smoke effects on set.

The following substances are typically used to create smoke or fog:

1.            Propylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, butylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol

2.            Glycerin products

3.            Highly refined mineral oils

4.            Cryogenic gases such as carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen

The choice of substance depends on whether it will be used indoors or outdoors, and whether the cast or crew will be exposed to it for significant period of time.

Film Production Insurance and Smoke Fog SafetyEnsure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using any of these substances. You should not alter the mix. Never heat substances above the temperatures specified in the guidelines.

Use the minimum chemical concentration for the minimum time necessary to achieve the desired fog or smoke effect. Check  the Regulation to see if the substance you are using has an exposure limit. Do not exceed exposure limits or reduce the oxygen concentration in the air below the normal level.

If necessary, have an occupational hygienist assess ways to reduce exposure and confirm that the oxygen concentration in the air is sufficient.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Stunt Insurance, film insurance premium, Film Production Companies

Film Production Companies and Camera Cars: Reducing the Risk

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 26, 2012 5:42:00 PM

The Camera Car in Filmmaking

Camera car

The camera car should  be engineered specifically for film and television production. The insert-camera car operator has the authority to suspend operation of the vehicle if they believe the vehicle is unsafe in any way.

Safety requirements when working with insert-camera cars:

  • Inspect the car – including the brakes, tires, electrical system, and towing equipment – before and after each use
  • Qualified, experienced workers must rig the car
  • When using an insert-camera car at night, install two portable tail lights on the towing vehicle
  • Do not transport crew members or equipment not directly needed for the shot sequence
  • Do not ride on the tow bar or on the exterior of the towed vehicle. Crew members may ride on a towed camera platform specifically designed for this type of work, as long as they use the necessary restraints and harnesses
  • In most cases, insert-camera cars require a police escort during operation 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment, entertainment package insurance, Film Production Companies, film insurance underwriter

Risk Assessments for Film Productions

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 20, 2012 1:44:00 PM

risk assessments for film productions

Most workplace injuries and diseases can be prevented by identifying and dealing with potential workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

Q. When do you need to conduct a risk assessment?

A.  For each potentially hazardous activity or situation involved in your production. Ie.

  • Stunts
  • Special Effects
  • Water work
  • Helicopters, Fixed-wing aircraft, and gliders
  • Exotic or domestic animals and reptiles
  • Potentially hazardous location

Conducting Risk Assessments – 3 basic steps

  1. Identify potential hazards and unsafe work practices
  2. Assess the risks associated with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices
  3. Deal with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices

Remember: Write your risk assessments on paper, that way they can be attached to call sheets and used as a reference in case they are needed at a later date.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, Film Production Companies, Cast Insurance

Film Production Companies and Lighting Safety

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 19, 2012 11:05:00 AM

Setup Film Set Lighting Safely

Film set lights

  • Use appropriate fall protection equipment when setting up lighting
  • Ensure that all lighting fixtures are supported so that they will not fall, i.e. Use safety wire or chain to suspend fixtures
  • Ensure that all lighting stands are property weighted with sandbags
  • Cover arc-type lamps such as HMIs in wet weather to prevent rain from entering the unit and ballast
  • When using open-faced lighting units, provide protection from shrapnel in case the bulb explodes
  • Ensure that scaffolds or other metal grids that are used to support the lighting are grounded
  • Before using any grounded equipment, test for continuity between the ground pin on the plug and the metal parts of the lighting equipment
  • Before relamping or repairing a light, turn it off and disconnect it from the power source

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment

Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 14, 2012 5:44:00 PM

DAILY CALL SHEETS

Daily call sheet

Daily Call Sheets are a useful way to alert cast and crew to potential hazards for that day’s shooting schedule, and to inform them about which safety precautions they might need to take.  Film Insurance underwriters appreciate the risk management component of a call sheet and take this protocol into consideration when assessing the film insurance risk of a film production.

The following should be included on Call Sheets:

  • Scheduled stunts
  • Any special effects that will be used
  • Scheduled use of firearms
  • Potential hazards specific to the location
  • Any required personal protective clothing and equipment and how workers can get it
  • The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
  • The location of the first aid kit or facility
  • The location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility
  • Any other health and safety concerns that the cast and crew need to be aware of

Safety guidelines should be attached to call sheets, i.e., If any special effects are to be used on the set, then a safety guideline should be attached specific to the type of special effects that will used. For example, if you are shooting near a thoroughfare with lots of traffic, it may be useful to add notes about this on the call sheet. What are the weather conditions like? Will the crew require special footwear or clothing for extreme temperature? What about sunscreen or hydration requirements?

Along this line of thought, it is important to include information such as the nearest hospital, along with any other emergency numbers that are specific to your location.

Have you thought about:

Putting up safety posters in common areas around the set location as a reminder to pay attention to certain hazards around the workplace and certain locations, e.g., Aerial filming.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Canadian Insurance Broker, Film Production Equipment, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, SPFX Insurance, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies

Focus on Safety to Reduce Film Production Workers Compensation Claims

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 13, 2012 2:06:00 PM

Workers comp on film sets

Film production health & safety / Workers Comp

Film production companies have an obligation toward their cast and crew members, and must ensure their health and safety.

Production Companies should:

  • Develop and implement health & safety programs
  • Provide first aid equipment and emergency procedures for workers
  • Provide personal protective clothing and equipment for workers where required by the Regulation
  • Hire qualified, Competent Workers with the proper tickets and qualifications
  • Report all incidents involving medical treatments or lost time from injury or disease to the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Investigate all incidents, involving near misses
  • Ensure that cast and crew follow all WCB, municipal, provincial and federal requirements

Cast & Crew should:

  • Wear personal protective clothing and equipment when required
  • Alert the supervisor or production company to potential hazards
  • Immediately report work they consider unsafe to their supervisor
  • Follow safe work procedures

Production Companies should form a joint health and safety committee that is responsible for identifying potential hazards or unsafe work practices and providing suggestions to improve conditions. The committee delegates should ensure that regular workplace inspections are carried out, and confirm that incidents are investigated. Above all, it’s important to consider and respond to heath and safety recommendations from the cast & crew.

Some examples of task allocations per position are:

Production Manager – Ensure that sets and locations are inspected for potential hazards and that potential hazards are eliminated or controlled.

Production Coordinator – Communicate the distribution of information to cast, crew members and various departments within the production company.

Director – Support assistant directors in their occupational health & safety responsibilities.

Director of Photography – Make safety a priority when placing cameras and setting up lighting.

Construction Coordinator – Ensure that the construction mill has a first aid facility stocked with appropriate supplies.

Location Manager – Assess all locations for potential hazards (starting from the time of the initial scout.

SPFX/Stunt Coordinator – Hold safety talks immediately before any scheduled special effect or stunt.

* The above information is based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

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Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Production, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, Film Production Companies, Workers Compensation