Substantial Film Insurance Savings in Vancouver compared to Los Angeles

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 21, 2012 5:08:00 PM

It is much less expensive to  insure a film production in Vancouver as compared to Los Angeles - $30,000 less for a film budgeted at $5,000,000.. This is a substantial benefit to a producer that is considering Louisiana, New Mexico or LA vs Vancouver.

I have prepared an excel premium savings spreadsheet for you to share with US Producers to make them aware of yet another good reason to film in BC!

You can download the premium savings spreadsheet here

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I hope to see you at the Whistler Film Festival.

david@frontrowinsurance.com

   1 604 684 3456

 

                                Front Row Insurance                                           

                                                        

Tags: Commercial Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Annual Film Insurance, Film Production Companies, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Film production offices, Canadian Insurance

Risk Assessments for Film Productions

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

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)

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Producers, Specialized film insurance broker, Cast Insurance, Short Film Insurance, Short Film Production Insurance, Risk Assesment

Focus on Safety to Reduce Film Production Workers Compensation Claims

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

Film production companies have an obligation towards 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 WCB.
  • Investigate all incidents, involving near misses
  • Ensure that cast and crew follow all WCB, municipal, provincial and federal requirements

 

Cast and Crew must W.A.I.F.

 

  • 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)

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Workers Comp insurance

Film Insurance Brokers: Proper Licensing Protects Your Production

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 4, 2012 1:27:00 PM

Did you know:

  • Your Film broker must be licensed in each province that they place business in?
  • There are penalties for conducting business as a Film Insurance broker in a province in which one is not licensed?
  • There are potential consequences for a broker’s client if their broker isn’t properly licensed?

 

Each province has it’s own Insurance Act. Each province is in charge of enforcing the rules according to their unique Act. Given that the auto market within each Province has separate laws and regulations, insurance will be governed by separate rules within each Province

If a broker is found in violation of a Provincial Insurance Broker Act, they will potentially face not only fines and possible imprisonment, but also have their credibility and reputation tarnished.

An insurance company could reject a claim on the basis that the broker wasn’t properly licensed. Make sure the Film Insurance Broker you are dealing with is licensed in the province where you have incorporated your film production company.

Front Row is a specialized Film Insurance Broker that is licensed and registered in all Canadian provinces.

 

 

Tags: Commercial Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Specialized film insurance broker, Front Row Insurance Brokers, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Front Row

New Film Insurance Company in Canada - Competition Benefits Producers

Posted by David Hamilton on May 28, 2012 11:50:00 AM

The World's largest Film Insurance Company opens in Canada creating more Competition to BenEfit Producers. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has opened an office  in Toronto.  As Canada’s largest Film Insurance Broker, we have been selected as an approved broker that can obtain quotes and production coverage from Fireman’s Fund.

Front Row is an independent broker that represents Film Producers – not the insurance companies. We can offer you quotes for your project from all four of the Film Insurance companies in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers.

If you are not receiving four quotes from the broker that you are using, please contact us and we would be happy to provide the missing quotes so that you ensure you are receiving the best premium and coverage available in the marketplace.

We can make the process simple for you.  If you are able to provide us with the following information, we will have an indication of costs and/or a quote for you within 24 hours or less:

1.            Dates of  Filming

2.            Copy of Budget Top Sheet

3.            Synopsis and Script

 

There is no cost or obligation – you have nothing to lose and you may benefit with a lower premium.

Our staff have a combined 205 years of experience insuring film productions in Canada.  In the event of a claim, we will ensure that you are paid the money you are owed as quickly as possible.  We have offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with a staff in excess of 16.

Articles about our firm are available on our website.

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

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


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.

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canadian Insurance, Canada Film Broker, E&O

E&O Insurance - How much of your production's format is copyright-able

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 27, 2012 2:19:00 PM

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

DORAN CHANDLER LawyerWhenever a producer or writer dreams up a new idea for a television show, it doesn't take long for them to start worrying about someone pinching it and beating them to the punch. This is especially true in the case of news programs, game shows, and other reality based productions. Such productions are relatively inexpensive to produce and consist mainly of material with a questionable footing in copyright. This makes it accessible to a large number of producers and difficult to pitch and develop without tipping off competitors about a potential new trend.

A somewhat odd corollary to this is that the value of television formats has grown exponentially in recent years with the widespread licensing of formats to broadcasters or production companies in foreign markets. As a result, many producers want to know what they can borrow from existing programs, and whether they can protect what they have created. Only one notable Canadian case, Hutton v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, sheds some light on the issue. 


In Hutton, the Alberta courts considered whether the format of a music video magazine show could be copyrighted. The courts held that concepts and devices generally present in shows of the same genre were not protect-able, such as the mood of the hosts, the presentation of biographical materials, interviews, and the use of TV monitors in the set design. The courts also considered the use of infinity shots, bumpers and teasers to commercials, the use of montages, and the use of transitions like dissolves and back-to-back video playbacks, finding that these elements could not in themselves be protected. One characteristic the trial court found protect-able at trial were elements of "dramatic conceit" in the programs, or the entertainment fictions used to create drama in each program. The trial judge ultimately found that the plaintiff's show, Star Chart, was not a dramatic work within s.2 of the Copyright Act and thus not capable of being copyrighted. On Appeal, the Alberta court deemphasized the idea that dramatic conceit was protect-table and held simply that the works were not qualitatively similar and did not have any causal connection between them.

The end result of Hutton is that, while we have some idea about what Canadian courts will consider when evaluating a format, we don't really have a clear guideline for what is required to achieve a protect-able format. Adding to the uncertainty is that different standards of protection have emerged in other jurisdictions. In one case considering the copyright-ability of the format for Opportunity Knocks, a prominent UK copyright judge held that the elements of a "dramatic format" were too uncertain for copyright protection.

Meanwhile, courts in Holland and Brazil have granted protection to the Survivor and Big Brother formats, respectively, finding that copyright can subsist in the meticulous combination of individually unprotect-able elements in a format. Together, these decisions leave producers intending to rely on a specific format on shaky ground. Given that the legal right to use or to keep others from using a given format is unpredictable at best, it is a good idea to take some precautions when developing a show. One important security measure is to pitch your concept formally in conference using confidentiality agreements. Another useful precaution is to document and distinguish your concept with as much detail as possible, including the use of specific music, timing, camera angles and set design.

Registering distinctive slogans and catch phrases with the trademark office can offer protection, as can registering your detailed synopsis with the copyright office. Lastly, advertise your production as aggressively as possible because a strong market presence will always attract more copyright protection than anonymity. 
- Robert Galletti

Tags: Documentary Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers

Bears and Film Insurance: What to Ask?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 8, 2011 10:26:00 AM

animal film insurance

Bears are frequently used in film productions shot in the Pacific Northwest. The risks associated with filming a bear can be transferred to an insurance company once the underwriter understands how the public, cast, crew, equipment and the  bear will be protected. The underwriter will need answers to the following questions to underwrite and cover the risk:

 

 

1.            Current Bear Vet exam certificates. What is the value of the bear to the owner if the bear were to die? Usually the figure is  based on three years revenue that the bear has earned.

2.            How will the bear get from their pen/corral to their position on set in the electrified fenced area? How will the cast and crew be protected during this transit?

3.            Where will the bear be on set when not filming? During this time, how will cast/crew/public be protected?

4.            When bear is on set and filming, what do they do to protect public/cast/crew from bear?

5.            Please confirm cast not in direct contact with the bear. Will the cast always be on one side of the electrified fence and the bear on the other?

6.            Please provide shooting schedule with the bear

7.            Please forward storyboards of bear scenes when available.

8.            Given the time of year, are there any issues resulting from the bear normally hibernating during this time of year?

9.            Details of housing and transit of the bears from the permanent home.

10.          The main corral  structure to house the bear – is this a permanent structure? What will it be constructed of?  How high will the fence be?

11.          Will the bears be housed over night at the corral?

12.          What type of security will be in place?

13.          Will there be 24 hour attendants for the bear?

14.          How will the bears be shipped to the set from out of town? 

15.          How are the protected during shipping?

 

As specialized film insurance brokers we can assist with obtaining this coverage.

Click me Click me

 

Tags: Film Production Insurance, Short Film Insurance, Short Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Specialized film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producers, Film production equipment insurance, DICE Policy, Commercial Production Insurance, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Special Effects Insurance, Documentary Films, DICE Insurance, Commercials, Educational Films, animal insurance, filming animals, bear insurance

Digital Film Insurance and the Future

Posted by Mike Groner on Dec 5, 2011 4:41:00 PM

Insurance for digital features, TV series and documentaries is rapidly evolving.

It’s the case that many production companies now incorporate scenes in their films that were once captured live but are now being created, edited and manipulated digitally in post production. What this means is that the need for negative/faulty insurance is becoming gradually reduced and will soon be replaced by digital image capture, processing and storage.

  • In 2009 Slumdog Millionaire became the first movie shot mainly in digital to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography
  • The highest grossing movie in the history of cinema, Avator, was shot on digital cameras as well.

As digital cinematography shifts towards “tapeless” or “file based” workflows, insurers needs to ensure that they are covering similar incidences of risk, tailored towards loss and/or damage to digital media.

What this means for insurer’s

Digital data should be covered as software under the negative coverage policy definition, and though some policy wordings incorporate coverage for digital data, the wordings might still need to be formatted and reworded for digital media. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data, therefore wordings need to reflect the new technology and storage devices which presently, many don’t.

If the film industry moves solely towards digital film, then the risk rating and pricing related to production packages will need to be reviewed given that the risk factor between the periods of principal photography and post production will be significantly reduced and  the risk of loss will be shifted towards another area such as post production.

Typically insurers will require information relating to the lab and type of film used, whereas with digital cinematography the shift will be towards the type of camera being used and the experience of the operator in using an HD or Red Camera. Back up procedures will have more impact on the rating of a production.

Why?

Various technical considerations arise when contrasting film vs. digital cinematography ie. when shooting on film, response to light is determined by what film stock is used, whereas with digital photography, response to light is determined by the CMOS or CCD sensor(s) in the camera, so the cinematographer needs familiarity with the specific camera model. Typical production packages are rated based on all costs incurred during principal photography and exclude many post production costs. Production company requirements are now shifting towards a significant portion of the risk stemming from post production activities.

Inferences

Technology innovation has meant that new vendors have emerged on the market such as RED and Silicon Imaging that are primarily focused on digital technology.

Impact on Claims/Losses

What this means for insurance losses is that innovative risk control and risk transfer methods need to be addressed that specifically relate to new exposures from digital media products. The types of losses that can result stem from transferring digital date to/from 2D to 3D conversion, losses resulting from migration of data from old forms of storage to new forms. Also, Care, Custody and Control issues relating to the migration and archiving of data.

The Future

As insurers revisit their policy wordings, they must ensure that their coverage and exclusions match with the industry requirements, as the advances in digital technology won’t slow down to wait out the process. While wordings might not currently exclude losses resulting from digital cinematography, insurers must ensure that new risk rating methods and coverage address the new risks that will arise during post production and storage of data.  

Click me

Tags: Short Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Multimendia Risk, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, DICE Policy, Documentary Insurance, HD E&O, Documentary Films, DICE Insurance

Cast Insurance: 5 Reasons to Use an Approved Cast Doctor

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 10, 2011 10:12:00 AM

shutterstock_113416138

An approved cast doctor will save a film producer time and money when obtaining film production insurance for a film production.

Cast insurance covers against extra expenditures incurred by the production caused by death, sickness, disability or kidnapping of insured cast members, director, DOP, or anyone else designated under cast coverage. Financiers and distributors will usually require cast insurance before they release funds. 

Five reasons why it is well worth the effort to seek out an experianced doctor that is framiliar with cast exams:

1) An approved doctor is trained to dig for more information when an actor is being evasive regarding a previous medical condition such as substance abuse or a bad back. This information is material to the insurance company and the producer as it will determine if the actor will be subject to additional premiums to become insurable.

2) An approved doctor will not be bullied or awed by a celebrity actor: they obtain better information.

3) An approved doctor knows what information a film insurance underwriter needs and provides it. There is less back and forth questioning which saves everyone time.

4)  An approved doctor always answers all the questions on the cast medical form which avoids delays.

5) Last but not least, an approved doctor was approved in the first place because they have legible handwriting! 

Get a Quote

Feel free to contact me david@frontrowinsurance.com if you would like me to send you a free list of approved cast doctors in North America.

Tags: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Film Producers, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Film Production Companies, Cast Insurance

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