Filmmakers and Producers Insurance

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

shutterstock_1036941217

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, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Denver.

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.

Tags: pre production insurance for filmakers, film school insurance, insurance for film set, Film Workers Compensation, Film Extra Expense, Film equipment rental insurance, Studnet Film Insurance, Public Liability Insurance for Film, production liability insurance for films, Film Production Vehicle Insurance, automobile insurance for films, Film permission, Film E&O, Film and entertainment insurance, Chubb Film insurance, Film Productions Cast Insurance, short term film video production insurance, student film production insruance, Flood insurance for Film, Storm damage film production insurance, helicopter film insurance, lowest film insurance coverage

Filmmakers and Insurance: What Moves You

Posted by Casey Budden on Nov 5, 2018 11:59:13 AM

 

shutterstock_1177776634

 

What Moves You?

More than 100 years after their invention, “moving pictures” still seem to command our collective imagination. We often have very personal emotional attachments to movies: we say that certain films inspired us, moved us, shaped our childhood, shocked us, or opened our minds.

What is unique about the medium of film? What explains this continuing fascination despite all the other technological delectations our age offers up? Is it because film promises us a total escape from the everyday? Provides deep insight into the human condition? Or is it simply good entertainment?

Probably, it’s all of the above. 2017’s total box office results were the highest in history, with over $39 billion in takings worldwide despite the fact that public attention is more divided than ever, with video games, streaming services, and downloads all vying for a slice of their entertainment dollars. Clearly, movies aren’t going anywhere.

What is changing is the way content is delivered. Creators are both rapidly influencing, and being influenced by, new technologies. This is not anything new: the history of film is one of periodic disruption followed by renewal in response to the changing tastes of audiences.

Early “talkies,” which began to appear in the mid-to-late 1920s, were often compared uncharitably to earlier, silent films. Critics often felt that the spoken dialogue made for tawdry, artistically inferior pictures. Audiences loved them, however, and by the early 1930s, the majority of films were being produced with sound.

Starting around the same time and lasting until the late 1940s was the Hollywood “studio system”—a system of production characterized by complete vertical integration of the production process. The studio system totally dominated filmmaking during this period. Studios “owned” talent, cast was repertory, and filming was done mainly on elaborate sets or backlots rather than on location. Props and sets were also frequently recycled through various productions. Many venues were owned by studios, who could thus control when, where, and for how long a film screened. Theatres that were not studio-owned were subject to a practice called “block booking” in which they were required to take on and screen entire slates of lesser-quality films from a studio in order to obtain screening rights to a single anticipated hit. (This is where the term “B movie” comes from).

As might be expected, this arrangement provided steady and reliable revenue for the studios. The big stars of the time were household names. Studios were nicknamed “Dream Factories” due to their ability to quickly churn out genre favorites—westerns, musicals, romances. Fantasy and spectacle were favored over realism, and audiences gobbled them up. But new technology was already sowing the seeds of change: the rapidly growing popularity of television, as well as a landmark antitrust case in 1948 which forbade studios from owning movie theatres and curtailed the practice of block booking, placed the film business on shaky ground by mid-century. The severe slump which ensued was not truly reversed until 1972, the year The Godfather was released.

The collapse of the studio system was both good and bad. As major studios were no longer guaranteed a theatrical release for their films, they became more risk-averse, tending to focus on properties they knew would make money. On the other hand, the proliferation of smaller studios and the uncoupling of distribution from production allowed many up-and-coming directors to make their mark. The 1970s ushered in the emergence of a raft of American auteur directors—Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, and Stanley Kubrick among them. These directors were influenced by European art-house cinema of the 50s and 60s and approached filmmaking with a markedly different aesthetic. Their films featured greater realism and frequently controversial subject matter. Like their European contemporaries from decades past, more scenes were shot on location. Dialogue was less frequently dubbed. Increased emphasis was placed on characterization and dialogue.

Simultaneously, and progressing in a completely opposite artistic direction, another trend was taking shape: the “Hollywood blockbuster.” Designed to maximize ticket sales for large studios, these films featured larger-than-life spectacle and action, supported by cutting-edge technology and special effects. Star Wars (1977) represents the most obvious example of this phenomenon. Audiences flocked to the cinema for the first time in decades to be part of an experience they could not replicate with equipment available at home. The modern action-adventure spectacle was born (and continues, in the guise of the ubiquitous superhero movie).

The 1980s accelerated these changes in filmmaking. Major studios could no longer afford to back a loser, so often doubled down on grand special-effects laden productions that audiences would be guaranteed to love, or else reliable franchises such as Rocky, Rambo, Indiana Jones, Friday the 13th,, A Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. The advent of home video technologies such as VHS and Betamax meant that a significant proportion of a film’s income now came not from box office, but home video revenues. This further opened up the playing field, as it was now economically viable for a small independent producer to market their film “direct-to-video” and make a profit.

Cut to the present day where, in addition to the multiplex, you can now watch a film on your phone, tablet, smart TV, portable music player, or game console. Streaming services are the latest disruptive innovation and have changed the way episodic TV content, for example, is presented (no more “previously on…” and no more commercials). It’s arguably never been easier for a creator to get their work out there.

Audiences flocked to the “dream factories” of the Golden Age of Cinema because there’s no magic like film magic. This hasn’t changed, and we don’t think it ever will. Film is the only medium that addresses has the ability to inspire both our intellects and our hearts while completely engaging our senses.

At Front Row Insurance, we are “Passionate about the arts…better at insurance.” We love creatives and the creative work that they do. That’s what moves us. What moves you? Whatever it is, we probably have a policy that will suit you. Contact us.

Tags: pre production insurance for filmmakers, film school insurance, educational film production insurance, insurance for film set, Film Extra Expense, Studnet Film Insurance, Film Location Insurance, Public Liability Insurance for Film, Film E&O, Film and entertainment insurance

Speak Loudly And Lead By Example

Posted by Janet Sellery on Jul 24, 2015 10:43:00 AM

Sarah Jones, Camera AssistantOn February 20, 2014, Sarah Jones, a 27 year old camera assistant, was tragically killed when Midnight Rider filmmakers criminally trespassed onto live train tracks and began shooting. They did not tell their crew that they had twice been denied permission by CSX to be on the tracks; they also had no safety meeting beforehand and no medic, nor railroad personnel present on set.

Her colleagues have reflected on their role in health and safety and Dave Chameides has written a moving article: Camera Operator After ‘Midnight Rider': “Speak Loudly And Lead By Example”. Here are some excerpts: (The emphasis is mine.)

“As a camera operator with 25 years experience, I understand that it’s part of my job description to make sure that my crew and I remain safe. I’m not infallible and it’s not a job that is mine alone, but at the end of the day I know that if one of my brothers or sisters doesn’t make it home safely, I’m one of the people who dropped the ball.

And I can’t live with that.

More than a year has passed since that fateful day and I find myself thinking of Sarah Jones often. The weight of her death hangs on me, not because I knew her but because I see her on set every day.

On every set I see her because on every set I see young filmmakers hungry to prove themselves, to make their mark, to climb the ladder and live this crazy dream that we all seem so enamored with. And on every set I know that all the Sarahs look to me and others for guidance, safe in the knowledge that if we are not concerned about a particular issue than it must be OK.

But it’s not always OK.

So today I have a request. If you are an experienced industry professional, let your co-workers know that you will point out any safety issues you are aware of. Let them know it’s up to all of us to watch out for each other but that you’ll gladly speak up if they are afraid to. Let them know that set safety is portal to portal, because crew members will lose a life falling asleep at the wheel much more often than they will from of a falling piece of equipment. Let them know that what’s most important in our business is that every member of the crew arrives home safely at the end of every day.

While it’s everyone’s job to address safety concerns, these individuals may not have the confidence to speak up yet, so it falls on us, the veterans, to do that for them and lead by example. We had role models who watched out for us when our careers were just starting out and now it’s our turn to step up, regardless of where we fall on the call sheet. The simple fact that we have years in the trenches gives us the power and the responsibility to speak loudly, speak clearly, and show others that safety comes first and unsafe set practices will not be tolerated.

No one spoke up for Sarah Jones or any of her crew. Someone should have. Starting today, make sure someone does.

For Sarah.

For all the Sarahs.

For all of us.

First filmmaker ever convicted in a case involving on-set death

Director/producer/co-writer Randy Miller pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years — two years in jail, eight years probation — plus a $20,000 fine and 360 hours of community service. He also agreed not to serve as director, assistant director or supervisor in charge of safety on any film production for 10 years.

Unit production manager Jay Sedrish and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz were convicted of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter. Both were released on 10 years probation.

Safety_For_Sarah

Safety for Sarah website

See: ‘Midnight Rider’ Director Randall Miller Issues Statement From Jail – Updated

Janet Sellery
Email:
janet@selleryhealthandsafety.com
Website: www.selleryhealthandsafety.com

Tags: Public Liability Insurance policy for film, Public Liability Insurance for TV production, Public Liability Insurance for Film

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all