Film Production Companies and Watercraft Use | Filming on Water, Boats

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 22, 2012 4:32:00 PM

Filming on boat

Film Set Guidelines - watercraft use

Use boats safely to protect your cast and crew during your film production. The following suggestions will result in the best film insurance premium with the deductible:  

  1. Follow all boating regulations

  2. Ensure that the operator knows how to operate the boat competently and safely

  3. Make sure that the boat is seaworthy

  4. Know the boat’s load capacity, do not overload the boat

  5. Allow only essential cast and crew members on the boat (all others should remain on land)

  6. Do not smoke on board. Fire at sea is a serious potential hazard

On the Boat - Guidelines

  1. Put equipment and tools in their place and use straps to secure tripods and other filming gear

  2. Secure hatch covers so they will not slide or shift

  3. Keep passageways clear and do not block emergency exits

  4. Keep the deck clear of potential slipping and tripping hazards

Boats that are tied to the dock during filming and are not on the water under their own power will be covered under props/sets/wardrobes coverage on the entertainment package insurance policy. Talk to your film insurance broker if the boat is under power.  

Have backups in place so you will be ready if anything goes wrong during filming.  

Emergency Backups re: Watercraft

  1. A reliable communication system

  2. Safety lines, nets, observers, or divers for filming in rivers or other bodies of water where potentially hazardous conditions exist (e.g., swift currents, thick underwater plant life, or rocks)

  3. Stationing emergency rescue workers downstream of having a safety boat nearby

  4. A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure that 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.

Related Post:

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE AND WATERCRAFT: DON'T HIT A ROCK

Topics: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film insurance premium, Film Production Companies

Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

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

DAILY CALL SHEETS in film production

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/PPE and how workers can get it
  • The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
  • The location of the first aid kit [Amazon Affiliate Link] 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. E.g., 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 [Amazon Affiliate Link] 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.

Other film & TV set safety considerations:

Putting up safety posters [Amazon Affiliate Link] in common areas around the set as a reminder to pay attention to 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) / Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Related:

What does a stunt coordinator do?
Film insurance premiums: one way to save money

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Commercial Production Insurance, SPFX Insurance, Film insurance premium, 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

Hard hats: 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 kit [Amazon Affiliate Link] and emergency procedures for workers
  • Provide personal protective clothing [Amazon Affiliate Link] and equipment for workers where required by the regulations
  • 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 [Amazon Affiliate Link] and equipment
  • 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 and/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.

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 ADs in their occupational health & safety responsibilities.

Director of Photography – Prioritize safety when placing cameras & setting up lighting.

Construction Coordinator – Ensure that the construction mill has a first aid [Amazon Affiliate Link] 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) / Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Related Blog PostS

WORKERS' COMP EXPLAINED

WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR FILM CREWS

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

Earthquakes & Film Production: Prepare Emergency Kit before the Quake

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 1, 2012 5:34:00 PM

Earthquake Emergency Kit: Film Sets

Earthquake Emergency Kit

In case of an earthquake emergency during your film shoot, you’ll need some basic supplies, and you may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure that your kit is easily accessible and easy to carry, and that designated staff and crew know where to access the kit(s).

Basic Earthquake Emergency Kit Checklist: 

  • Water – at least 2 litres of water [Amazon Affiliate Link] per person, per day. Include small bottles that can be easily carried.
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars [Amazon Affiliate Link] and dried foods [Amazon Affiliate Link].
  • Manual can opener [Amazon Affiliate Link].
  • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight [Amazon Affiliate Link] (and extra batteries).
  • Wind-up or battery-powered radio [Amazon Affiliate Link] (and extra batteries).
  • First aid kit [Amazon Affiliate Link].
  • Extra keys to offices.
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information.


Related Posts:

EARTHQUAKES AND FILM PRODUCTION: KNOW THE RISKS AND BE PREPARED

EARTHQUAKES AND FILM PRODUCTION: WHAT TO DO WHEN THE EARTH MOVES

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Film insurance premium, Film Production Companies

Film Insurance: E&O Claims Made Policies Vs. Occurrence Policies

Posted by Mike Groner on Jul 10, 2012 4:31:00 PM

CLAIMS MADE vs. OCCURRENCE BASED E&O

CLAIMS MADE VS. OCCURRENCE BASED E&O

CLAIMS MADE E&O POLICIES

Claims Made E&O Policies cover claims that are made during the policy term. The loss may have occurred in the past, but as long as it is reported during the current policy term, it can trigger coverage. In order for coverage to continue, the policy must stay in force.

With this type of policy, endorsements can be made so that the policy responds to incidents which occurred before the policy start date, also known as “Prior Acts” coverage. Tail Coverage is another  extension that can be obtained wherein the insurer will cover events that occur while the policy is in force, but which the insured is unaware of during the policy period, and are reported to the insurer after the policy terminates. By obtaining tail end coverage, the claims based policy is in effect converted to an occurrence policy.

Pro’s of a Claims Made E&O Policy

A benefit of this type of policy is that if a claim arises relating to incidents which occurred before the policy start date, the claim may be covered. Another reason why this type of E&O policy is purchased is because it is less expensive than occurrence based policies. Typically the premium increases over the first five years of coverage in increments proportional to the claims reporting for that experience.

Con’s of a Claims Made E&O Policy

Once a “claims-made” policy has expired, purchasing insurance for past events will become difficult, expensive and perhaps not possible. Once coverage has expired, claims can no longer be submitted, even if the claim occurred during the policy term.

 

OCCURRENCE BASED E&O POLICIES

Occurrence Based E&O Policies cover losses that occur during the policy term as long as the project/film is released or broadcast during the dates at which an incident causing damage occurs. Although the loss can be reported years later, it must have “occurred” during the policy term. This type of E&O policy may not cover occurrences that happened prior to the policy being in force.

Pro’s of an Occurrence Based E&O Policy

A benefit of this type of policy is that there is no need to renew the policy to maintain coverage. Also, years after this type of policy has lapsed, a claim can be made for incidents that occurred while the policy was in force.

Con’s of an Occurrence Based E&O Policy

This type of E&O policy is typically more expensive than claims based policies because the insured is prepaying for tail costs whether the tail gets used or not. Another disadvantage is that if a claim arises before delivery to the broadcaster or distributor, any defense costs associated with the claim may not be covered. It’s important to speak with your broker about whether Prior Acts coverage is included on your Occurrence Based Policy.

 

WHY E&O POLICIES ARE NEEDED?

  1. I.e, The script of your movie/show is slightly similar to another production, therefore a claim for plagiarism could arise.
  2. Covers the insured against defamation, libel and slander suits.
  3. Covers against intellectual property rights.
  4. Typically, most distributors and broadcasters will not distribute or air any production without it.
  5. It protects a company or individual from financial loss.

TYPICAL E&O CLAIM SCENARIOS

  • An action brought against a production company for the production of a movie which is similar to events depicted in a novel.
  • A defamation/slander suit brought against a production company based on a recognizable likeness between a fictional character in a TV series and an actual person.
  • A production company is sued for unauthorized use of Titles and/or Music/Stock Footage, for not acknowledging underlying works such as books, scripts of screenplays or for not requesting permission to acquire rights.

WHAT CAN AFFECT THE COST OF AN E&O POLICY?

  • Whether an attorney’s services were used to secure clearances and licenses
  • The coverage limits
  • Coverage Territory
  • Type of distribution
  • Type of production i.e., Documentary, TV Series
  • Subject matter of production
  • Production Budget

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Title reports, Film insurance premium, DICE Insurance

How a Specialized Film Insurance Broker can help your Production

Posted by David Hamilton on Apr 10, 2012 5:54:00 PM

How a film insurance broker helps

Film InsuranceA broker will help identify the risks associated with a production. Once the risks are identified, the risk can be transferred to an insurance company for a fee or premium. The film insurance broker negotiates the lowest possible premium and the broadest coverage available in the market place.

Unlike insurance agents - who work for the insurance company - insurance brokers work for the client. Insurance brokers are recognized by law as experts in insurance. Insurance brokers in Canada must pass a series of exams in order to be licensed and there is annual continuing education to maintain a license. Make sure your broker is licensed in the province that you are shooting your production or the production could be fined or subject to a surtax.

Insurance brokers owe a higher duty of care to their clients than an insurance agent. Brokers represent the interests of their clients, not the insurance companies. They offer professional advice in arranging insurance on behalf of their clients.

Since insurance brokers are considered under the law as professionals, they are responsible for their actions and can be sued for professional negligence if their advice is deemed to be faulty. All licensed brokers therefore need to carry professional Errors and Omissions coverage. You should ask your broker the limit of E&O that they cover: $1,000,000 may not be enough once defense costs are deducted from the limit.

The many roles of a film insurance broker include: 

  • Negotiate with the insurance companies on behalf of clients. There are four film insurance companies in Canada: an insurance broker must be familiar with what these companies offer so that the best price and coverage is procured for the producer.
  • Brokers facilitate claims - Because the broker works on behalf of the client, it is their duty to ensure that insurance companies pay the full amount of the claim that the client is entitled to.
  • The broker acts as a conduit for communication between the insurance company and the client. This includes providing certificates for banks, bonding companies and locations to evidence coverage allowing banks to release funds to the client, locations to be locked by the location manager and equipment to be rented.
  • Advise clients on ways to limit potential liabilities during production.
  • Review scope of the client's existing insurance policies to reveal gaps or deficiencies in the coverage.
  • Comprehensive examination of the clients production to assess the amount and type of insurance required. A broker will also help the client understand what coverage they have and do not have and they can explain any limits to the coverage.

It is important to deal with a broker that understands the specific language shown on film production policies. For this reason, it is strongly suggested that you seek out a specialized film insurance broker when you need insurance for your production.

Related post: How to choose the right film insurance broker

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film insurance premium, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies, Cast Insurance, Educational Film Insurance

8 Ways To Save Money When Insuring Stunts & SPFX

Posted by David Hamilton on Apr 2, 2012 1:31:00 PM

8 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY WHEN INSURING STUNTS & SPFX

Stunts on film sets

  • Hire an experienced coordinator with a lengthy résumé. This is the most important step you can take to reduce your insurance costs.
  • Close the set to public and guests.
  • Use stunt actors, instead of your "real" actors.
  • Provide a diagram showing where the equipment and crew will be located relative to the action. Place equipment and crew at safe distances from the action.
  • Use long lenses on cameras, sandbags [Amazon Affiliate Link], and LEXAN or plexiglass shields [Amazon Affiliate Link] if possible to protect the filming equipment.
  • Provide a full description of stunts & SPFX, including script pages.
  • Describe safety measures on set: fire extinguishers, sand, fireman/policeman, first aid kits [Amazon Affiliate Link], etc.
  • Underwriters charge when they are anxious or uncomfortable when reviewing a stunt or SPFX. Give the underwriter enough information to make them comfortable and you will minimize the premium charges for your stunts & special effects.

Please contact our office for a quote on your next project!

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Stunt Insurance, SPFX Insurance, Film insurance premium

E&O: Acquire permission before you eat at McD****** or drink a C***

Posted by Doran Chandler on Mar 20, 2012 3:02:00 PM

E&O Insurance: copyright infringements

Copyright infringements

It happens more often than you might expect: a producer completes a film, locks picture, makes a sale, and then drops by our law office to inquire about “clearing” the film for Errors & Omissions insurance coverage. In reviewing the film, we note that the producer filmed copyrighted and trademarked material, but failed to get the necessary permission to include it in the film.

E&O insurance policies insure against claims arising from accidentally infringing a copyright or trademark, invading someone’s privacy or otherwise getting tripped up on someone else’s rights. In order to qualify for E&O coverage, the film in question must be fully cleared and the producer must acquire all necessary permissions from third parties whose rights might otherwise be infringed. If a film includes material that potentially infringes a third party’s copyright and permission has not been acquired, there are a number of options to consider.

First, the film could be edited to remove the offending material. This is only a viable option if time, finances and/or creative willingness permit. Second, there may be an exception allowing the inclusion of certain copyrighted material in the film without permission.

Likely the most popular excuse for copyright infringements is the concept of “fair use”. Although referred to regularly in industry reference materials available here in Canada, fair use is a US principle based on the belief that it is not “fair” to find every copying to be a violation of copyright law if such copying was for certain purposes, including criticism or review. (For example, the concept of “parody” falls under fair use in the US and has provided many a filmmaker with substantial sources of otherwise protected material. Thank you Mel Brooks and Mike Myers!)

Fair use does not exist in Canada and is often used interchangeably, and often confusingly, with “fair dealing”, the concept found in the Canadian Copyright Act. Other than in very clear-cut cases, extreme caution must be used in relying on fair dealing, which is a very limited defense as the use of the material must be for “private study, research, criticism, review or newspaper summary”. Unfortunately, because there are no hard and fast rules available, it is impossible to define what is and is not fair dealing.

Other than fair dealing, in Canada, the concept of “incidental inclusion” may provide another possible exception to copyright infringement. If the use of copyrighted material is very minor and is incidentally and not deliberately included, (for example, a pre-existing credit card door sticker at a retail location), it is likely that the use will fall within incidental inclusion and will not be considered an infringement. It can become prohibitively expensive and time consuming to clear every protected item in a film, no matter how small the use.

If E&O insurance is required, and if none of the above options is feasible, in some cases it may be possible to “exclude” the offending material from the E&O insurance policy and effectively assume the risk yourself. (Be aware, however, that these types of exclusions may not be acceptable to broadcasters and distributors.)

The bottom line? Always, always, always ensure that you acquire all necessary permission to include any protected material in your film before you start shooting.

 

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: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, Film insurance premium

E&O Insurance for Film and TV: The Value of a Lawyer

Posted by Doran Chandler on Feb 20, 2012 5:34:00 PM

By: Doran S. Chandler - Roberts & Stahl, Entertainment Lawyers

E&O Insurance: The Value of a Lawyer


Entertainment lawyers are often called upon to help clients obtain Errors & Omissions insurance for their productions. This job is easy if the needs of E&O insurers are considered before production begins. However, the process can be difficult and time-consuming if no thought is given to E&O coverage until after the final cut is locked.

E&O Insurance covers claims against a production, including breach of copyright or trademark, breach of privacy, defamation and breach of contract (implied-in-fact). These claims do not usually surface until there has been a broadcast or exhibition of the production.

E&O coverage is not included in the standard production insurance that is taken out for injuries, damage to property, etc. Only occasionally do you hear about the types of claims for which E&O insurance provides protection.

For example, an action was brought several years ago against Dreamworks by an author who had written a book about the events depicted in the feature film Amistad. The author claimed that her copyright had been breached because the film told the story in ways which were similar to the book. More recently, one of the characters depicted in the feature film Boys Don’t Cry has brought an action for breach of privacy because of the manner in which her life was depicted.

But most claims do not make headlines; usually they're threatened, then settled. Even if your insurer is ultimately successful in defeating a claim, it can still be costly because of the legal fees involved. And even if a claim is settled, the producer generally pays.

There are only a small number of insurers who provide E&O insurance to the entertainment industry. These policies are sold by specialized agents who are familiar with film and television production. If you have been involved in producing a documentary or television production, you have probably filled out the lengthy forms involved in making an E&O application.

The application tells the agent how far along you are in the production and what the problem areas are likely to be, but it also serves as a handy checklist for you. Once the application is received, the agent will provide you with a quote and hand it over to lawyers who provide advice to the insurer about the risks involved with the production. The insurer will have its lawyer contact production counsel to review the potential problem areas and to discuss how these will be addressed.

The advantage of having your lawyer speak directly to the insurer’s lawyer is that often E&O insurance can be approved with a single phone call. The disadvantage from a lawyer’s perspective is that you sometimes end up doing the insurer’s dirty work by telling a client why certain material can’t be used. Because the insurer’s lawyer relies on production lawyers to decide whether to grant insurance, your lawyer is obliged to identify problem areas. If they do not, you (and the broadcaster) could end up being liable for the omission and your lawyer’s credibility can be affected.

Producers' Errors and Omissions Insurance  Learn More

Errors & Omissions Insurance

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

Contact a clearance lawyer early to avoid problems on your shoot

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

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

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Directors & officers insurance, Film insurance premium

A Canadian Insurance Broker Needed to Avoid Potential Tax Penalties

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 7, 2012 2:55:00 PM

A CANADIAN INSURANCE BROKER NEEDED TO AVOID POTENTIAL TAX PENALTIES

A CANADIAN INSURANCE BROKER NEEDED TO AVOID POTENTIAL TAX PENALTIES

If you are a US Insurance Broker who has a client with a Canadian subsidiary, Canadian tax law requires that:

  • The policy must be issued by a licensed Canadian insurer
  • The premium must be paid by the Canadian subsidiary directly to a licensed Canadian broker who then  must pay the Canadian insurer
  • If an unlicensed insurer is used, Provincial tax penalties may be as high as 50% of the premium and an additional Federal tax of 10% of the premium will also be levied

A US Insurance Broker who does not hold a license in Canada will not be able to place business with a Canadian insurance company.

Furthermore, a US broker who does not hold a Canadian license is not allowed to provide insurance advice to a Canadian company – even if it is a subsidiary of a US parent company. To do so will incur a premium tax and penalties that are payable by the subsidiary. 

A broker licensed and domiciled in Canada will make sure that your client complies with all insurance regulations so that the policy will respond when required. A Canadian Entertainment Insurance Broker will also ensure that the premiums qualify for any applicable tax credits.

At Front Row, we would be happy to assist you insure your subsidiaries in Canada.

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film insurance premium, US Film insurance broker