Top 10 Filmmaker Instagram Influencers / Best Filmmaker Instagrammers

Posted by Alyson Forster on Sep 17, 2020 6:24:21 AM

Top 10 Filmmaker Instagram Influencers / Filmmaker Instagrammers

Need some inspiration, filmmakers? Check out Front Row Insurance’s round-up of the top 10 filmmakers on Instagram who you should consider following!

In no particular order:

1. @jonfavreau https://www.instagram.com/jonfavreau

Jon Favreau is an actor, director, and writer. The Lion King, The Mandalorian, and The Avengers franchise are just some of the projects this filmmaker has worked on over the last decade, but many still remember him primarily as that guy from Swingers. He is a social media favorite for his behind-the-scenes posts, including the original concept art and post-production shots of The Mandalorian, from Disney+.

2. @cinematogr https://www.instagram.com/cinematogr/

A social media handle just for cinematography? Yes, please! @cinematogr focuses on DPs (Directors of Photography), set decorators, costume designers, visual engineers and other key technical personnel in modern day filmmaking. Some posts feature behind-the-scenes from films such as Jojo Rabbit (2019) and The Hunt (2020).

3. @filmindependent https://www.instagram.com/filmindependent/

Film Independent is a non-profit organization supporting indie films. They offer screenings, educational programs, and more informative content geared toward new filmmakers.

They are most well known for their Film Independent Spirit Awards, founded in 1984.

4. @artdepartmental https://www.instagram.com/artdepartmental/

@artdepartmental explores behind-the-scenes expertise on production design. According to their website, “What you see in your favorite film or television show was most likely not found like that. This is the work of the production designer and their team. Every single set, location, colour, pattern, texture, graphic, or piece of practical lighting you see on screen is carefully designed and selected to enhance the plot, character arc, and overall tone”.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This week marks the 20th anniversary since the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It's one of my all-time favourite films. In the Mood For Love (2000) Director: Wong Kar-Wai Production Designer + Costume Designer: William Chang Suk-ping Art Director: Lim Chung Man DOP: Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pung-Leung, and Mark Lee Pung-bin Designed by: "William Chang Suk-ping who is best known as Wong Kar-wai's frequent collaborator - as art director, costume designer and editor. China's master of ambience created the look of Maggie Cheung Man-yuk, in figure-hugging vintage cheongsam and high hair, negotiating the mournful distance between her character's Hong Kong tenement and the neighborhood food stall for the 2000 Wong opus, #IntheMoodforLove.

A post shared by Art Departmental | Rose Lagace (@artdepartmental) on

5. @womeninfilmla https://www.instagram.com/womeninfilmla/

Women in Film and Television U.S. (WIFT-US) is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and inspiring women in all aspects of global media. This Instagram is from their LA branch.

FYI: WIFT-US has partnered with Front Row Insurance Brokers in a specialty insurance program with preferential pricing. Part of WIFT-US and interested in obtaining a quote? Check us out here: https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/wiftus-insurance-program

6. @outfest https://www.instagram.com/outfest/

Outfest creates visibility to diverse LGBTQIA+ stories and empowers storytellers, building empathy to drive meaningful social change. Outfest is also a non-profit that boasts a festival, annual gala, and a podcast out now, appropriately called The OutCast.

According to their latest article, “Whether these young creatives are a part of LGBTQIA+ community, are women, people of color, or a mixture, their voices are exponentially necessary and so is their art. It is important that we celebrate and draw attention that is necessary in the realm of the art of film”.

7. @learnfilmmaking https://www.instagram.com/learnfilmmaking/ 

Learn filmmaking from the world’s best filmmakers through this platform!

@learnfilmmaking provides resources and advice for filmmakers. Through IG Live, they have over 100 videos on helpful topics, such as set terminology, and even some pointers from famed director Ron Howard.

8. @moviesetmemeofficial https://www.instagram.com/moviesetmemesofficial/

Movie Set Memes can give you a laugh that only a filmmaker can understand.

In addition to some funny memes, they also provide useful tips; like how to protect your gear if you ever have to park your vehicle in a neighborhood with a high crime rate.

9. @filmtourismus https://www.instagram.com/filmtourismus/ 

Andrea David is a blogger, artist, and self-proclaimed “Popculturist”. She travels to film locations all over the world, and artfully uses print-outs of iconic scenes to place them in the exact moment of memorable film scenes. Her work has ben praised by filmmakers and actors alike, including Will Smith, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Willis.

10. @americanfilminstitute https://www.instagram.com/americanfilminstitute/

The American Film Institute (AFI) is located in Los Angeles, California and offers Master’s programs in producing, production design, screenwriting, editing and directing. Their IG page is meant to educate and inspire through fun film facts, interviews with iconic filmmakers, and much more.

Notable AFI alumni: directors David Lynch, Terrence Malick

Get Film Insurance | Film Production Insurance | Filmmaking Insurance

If you’re following filmmakers on Instagram, chances are that you’re a filmmaker or planning to be one. And if you’re a filmmaker, you’ll want to consider insuring your valuable filmmaking gear and film productions. Consider Front Row Insurance:

  • Short-Term Film Insurance (Canada): provides coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of shooting, with no minimum premium. The coverage is available online 24/7. Covers rented gear, rented locations, rented props, sets, wardrobes, and more. Quotes are free.
  • DigiGear Insurance (Canada): custom equipment insurance for owners of: cameras, sound and lighting gear working in the film/TV industry. Also available online. Quotes in 2 minutes. Policy available in 5 minutes. Shop from your phone.

US-based filmmakers can view Front Row’s US policies here.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row has 51 staff in 8 offices that have a combined 530+ years of experience serving the film industry. Front Row is the largest film insurance broker in Canada. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible.

Related posts:

Best documentaries about filmmaking

Best books about filmmaking

The best filmmaking schools in Canada

The best filmmaking schools in the US

Topics: Short Film Insurance, DigiGear, Best of

10 Best Documentaries about Filmmaking / Best Movies about Filmmaking

Posted by Grant Patten on Sep 14, 2020 6:52:24 AM

10 Best Documentaries about Filmmaking / Best Movies about Filmmaking

Let’s review Front Row’s top 10 documentaries about filmmaking.

(in no particular order):

  1. Lost in La Mancha / He Dreams of Giants
  2. Burden of Dreams
  3. Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven’s Gate
  4. The Making of "The Shining" / Room 237
  5. American Movie
  6. The Kid Stays in the Picture
  7. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
  8. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
  9. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
  10. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing

 

1. Lost in La Mancha / He Dreams of Giants

Lost in La Mancha

Film critic Leonard Maltin has described Lost in La Mancha (2002) [Amazon Link] as one of the best films about the process of moviemaking. A follow-up to this documentary, He Dreams of Giants, was released in 2019.

Director Terry Gilliam had a very hard time making his Don Quixote movie, which he started on in 1989 and finally released in 2018 as The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. All the trials and tribulations associated with finally getting this movie made are documented in these documentaries, which stand on their own as fascinating documents of the filmmaking process.

 

2. Burden of Dreams

Burden of Dreams

Burden of Dreams [Amazon Link] is a 1982 "making-of" documentary film, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo.

Filming on location in the jungles of Peru, the crew (unsurprisingly) experienced challenges with the extreme heat and other weather issues. Herzog’s determination to literally have a steamship manually pulled over a steep mountain also proved challenging – but it all makes for amusing viewing.

 

3. Final Cut: The Making & Unmaking of Heaven's Gate

Final Cut: The Making & Unmaking of Heaven's GateDirector Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate has been widely panned as among the worst box-office bombs – and to many, even one of the worst movies of all time, period – but its making-of documentary, on the other hand, Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate [Amazon Link], has been critically acclaimed. This documentary is available as an extra on the Heaven’s Gate DVD (Disc Two - Bonus Features).

The production faced numerous setbacks, including cost overruns, significant retakes, bad press, and rumours of Cimino's allegedly authoritarian directorial style. It’s all on display in this fascinating making-of doc – “warts and all”.

 

4. The Making of "The Shining" / Room 237

Room 237 DVD

The Making of "The Shining" [Amazon Link] is a 30-minute documentary directed by Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian. Kubrick fans will find this making-of doc particularly fascinating, as it includes footage of Kubrick actually directing on set. It is included as an extra on the regular movie DVD.

Another related documentary is Room 237 [Amazon Link], which is an entertaining and often amusing exposition of the many interpretations of this much-discussed horror film.

 

American Movie DVD5. American Movie

American Movie [Amazon Link] is a humorous document of the 1996–97 making of Coven, an independent horror film directed by American filmmaker Mark Borchardt.

Coven experienced numerous setbacks, including poor financing, a lack of planning, and overall ineptitude from the friends and family Borchardt hired as his production team. However, this often-comical ineptitude is what makes the movie funny and memorable.

 

6. The Kid Stays in the Picture

The Kid Stays in the Picture DVDThe Kid Stays in the Picture [Amazon Link] is particularly important for any burgeoning (or established) film producers to watch, as this documentary focuses on the career of one of the most successful producers of all time, Robert Evans (produced Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Godfather, Chinatown, and others). All film producers can learn a lot from Evans’ storied career.

This documentary utilizes Evans' narration interspersed mostly with photographs from Evans' life, brief film snippets, and interviews to tell the story of his film producing career.

 

7. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS DVDEasy Riders, Raging Bulls [Amazon Link] is a documentary (based on the book by Peter Biskind) on 1970s Hollywood/the “American New Wave”, a period of American cinema known for the production of such films as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, Jaws, Star Wars, The Exorcist, and The Last Picture Show.

It would make sense to watch this in conjunction with the aforementioned The Kid Stays in the Picture, since Bob Evans produced some of the notable ‘70s-era movies discussed in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, including the masterpiece Chinatown.

 

8. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky DVDDirected by Andrei Tarkovsky [Amazon Link] follows this renowned Russian filmmaker as he was working on his final production, The Sacrifice. The documentary can be found on Disc Two of The Sacrifice DVD.

This documentary includes some interesting interviews with Tarkovsky, and examines his meticulous creative process and uncompromising vision. The focus is not so much on Tarkovsky's career, but on the man himself – his thoughts, ideas and personality.

 

9. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Electric Boogaloo DVDElectric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films [Amazon Link] is a funny documentary about Cannon Films, which produced mainly “B movies” from 1967 to 1994.

This production company was known for creating “schlock” films but some cult classics also, including Runaway Train (1985), The Delta Force (1986) and Charles Bronson’s Death Wish series.

Electric Boogaloo pays tribute to this era of “schlock” filmmaking with a nostalgic look back that's arguably more entertaining than much of Cannon's own “B movie” product.

 

10. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing

The Cutting Edge DVDThe Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing [Amazon Link] focuses on the underappreciated craft of movie editing. Kathy Bates narrates this history of the art of editing, punctuated by dozens of scenes to illustrate the power of editing in heightening reality and making a visceral impact on the viewer.

Notable directors who make appearances in this documentary include James Cameron, Sean Penn, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino.

 

Get Film Insurance | Film Production Insurance | Filmmaking Insurance | Documentary Film Insurance

If you’re watching documentaries about filmmaking, chances are that you’re a filmmaker or planning to be one. And if you’re a filmmaker, you’ll want to consider insuring your valuable filmmaking gear and film productions. Consider Front Row Insurance:

  • Members of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) have exclusive access to an insurance program designed for Canadian documentary producers.
  • Short-Term Film Insurance (Canada): provides coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of shooting, with no minimum premium. The coverage is available online 24/7. Covers rented gear, rented locations, rented props, sets, wardrobes, and more. Quotes are free.
  • DigiGear Insurance (Canada): custom equipment insurance for owners of: cameras, sound and lighting gear working in the film/TV industry. Also available online. Quotes in 2 minutes. Policy available in 5 minutes. Shop from your phone.

US-based filmmakers can view Front Row’s US policies here.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row has 51 staff in 8 offices that have a combined 530+ years of experience serving the film industry. Front Row is the largest film insurance broker in Canada. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible.

Related posts:

THE 10 BEST FILMMAKING BOOKS | TOP BOOKS ON FILMMAKING / VIDEOGRAPHY

THE 10 BEST HOW-TO PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

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. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DigiGear, Best of

10 Best Budget Filmmaking Microphones in 2020 / Best Mics for Filmmaking

Posted by Grant Patten on Sep 1, 2020 7:37:00 AM

The 10 Best Budget Filmmaking Microphones in 2020

In addition to our blog post about the best budget cameras for filmmaking, we thought it would be useful to provide a list on the top 10 affordable filmmaking microphones. We’ll discuss (in no particular order):

  1. Sennheiser XSW-D / Best lav mic for filmmaking
  2. RØDE VideoMic NTG / Best shotgun mic for filmmaking
  3. Sennheiser MKE 600 / Best camcorder shotgun mic
  4. TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone / Best cheap interview microphone
  5. Shure VP83F / Best super cardioid mic
  6. Zoom H4n Pro / Best portable digital recorder
  7. TASCAM DR-05V2 / Best portable digital recorder
  8. AZDEN SMX-30
  9. Audio-Technica AT875R
  10. VidPro XM-55

 

1. Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set / Best lav mic for filmmaking

Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier

Especially if you’re filming interviews, a lavalier (lav) mic will always sound better than any on-board camera microphone. The lav kit that Front Row uses for all its interview videos is the Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set [Amazon Link].

This Sennheiser lav mic records high-quality audio with more or less perfect levels straight out of the box, so there should be little need for any audio work in post as long as you recorded cleanly (i.e., minimal background noise).

For proof of the clear, crisp audio from this lav mic, listen to one of Front Row’s video interviews:


Note
: You can buy some medical tape [Amazon Link] and tape it to the talent's chest if you need the mic to be concealed.

 

2. RØDE VideoMic NTG / Best shotgun mic for filmmaking

RØDE VideoMic NTG

Even if you’re using a lav mic or series of lavs on talent, you should also record with an on-camera mic to have as a backup. A good on-camera shotgun mic is the RØDE VideoMic NTG [Amazon Link].

This mic has a digital switcher, providing access to a high-pass filter, -20dB pad, high frequency boost, and safety channel. The mic pairs well with DSLRs, compact cameras, and even smartphones – either on-camera, as a boom mic, or on a pistol grip.

 

3. Sennheiser MKE 600

Sennheiser MKE 600

An excellent shotgun mic in the Sennheiser line is the MKE 600 [Amazon Link], which features a low-cut filter for minimizing wind noise and P48 phantom power.

This mic is great at isolating background noise; you will only hear the sound of your subject(s). Comes with a hot shoe mount.

 

TAKSTAR SGC-5984. TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone

For interviews, a more affordable option than the above-mentioned mics would be the TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone [Amazon Link]. Although quite inexpensive, it is still a solid mic with above average reviews on Amazon.

This mic has a mini-jack that you can plug into your camera and the sound quality is not bad at all.

 

5. Shure VP83F

Shure VP83F

Another mic with solid reviews on Amazon is the Shure VP83F [Amazon Link].

This directional super cardioid mic rejects unwanted off-axis audio while clearly capturing the intended sound source.

The VP83F is portable and durable, as it comes in a compact, metallic shotgun design. This makes it easier to carry between shoots.

 

Zoom H4n Pro6. Zoom H4n Pro

The Zoom H4n Pro Handy Recorder [Amazon Link] provides four-track audio recording that is perfect for filmmaking. This recorder includes high performance, low-noise mic preamps and has XLR/TRS locking connectors.

The rubberized form factor of this recorder makes it durable and ideal for fieldwork and potentially harsh environments. The recorder has a large, bright display backlit by LCD.

 

TASCAM DR-05V27. TASCAM DR-05V2 Portable Digital Recorder

Another solid portable digital recorder is the TASCAM DR-05V2 [Amazon Link]. This recorder has built-in omni-directional microphones and up to 96kHz/24-bit Broadcast WAV film recording (provides better than CD quality).

Other notable features of this recorder include variable speed playback, a built-in speaker, a microSD card slot, and 1/8" headphone/line output.

 

AZDEN SMX-308. AZDEN SMX-30 Stereo/Mono Switchable Video Microphone

The Azden SMX-30 [Amazon Link] is a mic that offers stereo and mono recording modes with -10db, 0db, +20db level adjustments.

The stereo mic is positioned at the top and consists of two cardioid polar patterns spaced apart at a 120° angle. The mono mic uses a super cardioid pattern to focus on sound in front of the camera.

A furry windshield cover is included with the mic.

 

Audio-Technica AT875R9. Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT875R [Amazon Link] is designed for video production and broadcast (ENG/EFP) audio acquisition. It has a 3-pin XLR connector for input.

This is a short shotgun mic (under 7"), so it can easily mount on most digital cameras.

Note: this mic requires a phantom power source.

 

10. VidPro XM-55 Professional Video and Broadcast Microphone Kit

VidPro XM-55

This lesser-known but underrated brand, VidPro, manufactures a number of solid mics for a very low cost. Their XM-55 Professional Video and Broadcast Microphone Kit [Amazon Link] has decent reviews on Amazon.

This mic kit includes a wind muff, windshield, cushioned handgrip, and long & short on-camera audio cables with multiple connectors, including XLR.

 

Get Film Insurance | Film Production Insurance | Microphone Insurance | Sound Recordist Insurance

If you’re looking at microphones for filmmaking/videography, chances are that you’re a filmmaker or sound recordist, or planning to be one. And if you’re a sound recordist, you’ll want to consider insuring your valuable sound/audio gear and film productions. Consider Front Row Insurance:

  • DigiGear Insurance (Canada): custom equipment insurance for owners of sound, camera and/or lighting gear working in the film/TV industry. Also available online. Quotes in 2 minutes. Policy available in 5 minutes. Shop from your phone.
  • Short-Term Film Insurance (Canada): provides coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of shooting, with no minimum premium. The coverage is available online 24/7. Covers rented gear, rented locations, rented props, sets, wardrobes and more. Quotes are free.

US-based filmmakers can view Front Row’s US policies here.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row has 51 staff in 8 offices that have a combined 530+ years of experience serving the film industry. Front Row is the largest film insurance broker in Canada. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible.

Related posts:

THE BEST BUDGET CAMERAS FOR FILMMAKING

THE BEST VLOGGING/YOUTUBE CAMERAS

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. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, DigiGear, Best of

The 10 Best Filmmaking Books | Top Books on Filmmaking / Videography

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 24, 2020 6:55:14 AM

The 10 Best Filmmaking Books | Top Books on Filmmaking / Videography

Let’s review Front Row’s top 10 books on filmmaking. We’ll discuss:

(in no particular order)

  1. In the Blink of an Eye
  2. Rebel without a Crew
  3. On Directing Film
  4. Making Movies
  5. Directing Actors
  6. How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck
  7. Cinematography: Theory and Practice
  8. Master Shots
  9. The Filmmaker's Handbook
  10. Save the Cat!

 

In the Blink of an Eye1. In the Blink of an Eye | best books on film editing

In the Blink of an Eye [Amazon Link] by celebrated film editor Walter Murch is certainly one of the most well-known and well-respected books on film editing. And even if you’re not an editor yourself, the better you understand editing, the better a filmmaker you’ll be, overall.

It is a slim volume of under 150 pages. The book discusses the aesthetics and practical concerns of cutting film; many of these concepts can also be applied to digital editing.

One user’s comment (Jake) on Goodreads: “I'm glad to report that the book is refreshingly non-dogmatic, optimistic even, about the way we will interface with cinema in years to come.”

 

2. Rebel Without a Crew

Rebel Without a Crew

While directing El Mariachi in the early ‘90s, Robert Rodriguez kept a diary that would become the basis of this book, Rebel Without a Crew [Amazon Link].

The book is funny and informative for independent filmmakers who are trying to make a movie as cheaply as possible. Although some of the film-focused techniques Rodriguez used many seem a bit dated for today’s digital filmmakers, there is still insightful information here on how Rodriguez handled pre-production, production and post-production for El Mariachi.

 

3. On Directing Film

On Directing Film, Mamet

David Mamet is very much one of those love-him-or-hate-him type of writer/directors, but there is no denying that he is a thoughtful individual and all filmmakers can likely learn a thing or two from him. This On Directing Film [Amazon Link] book was published around the same time that his underrated film Homicide (1991) was released.

This slim volume (128 pages) includes a chapter on one of the thorniest questions in filmmaking, “where do you put the camera?”

 

4. Making Movies

Making Movies, Lumet

Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Network) is generally regarded to have been a highly competent film director and his Making Movies [Amazon Link] book is part-memoir, part-instructional manual on how to direct movies.

The book includes chapters on screenwriting, directorial style, directing actors, art direction, editing, music, sound mixing, and more.

 

5. Directing Actors

Directing Actors by Judith Weston

Directing Actors [Amazon Link] by Judith Weston is a well-reviewed book on both Amazon and Goodreads. Weston is a renowned acting consultant to directors of film & TV.

This substantial book (300+ pages) includes chapters on the actor-director relationship, listening and talking, actors’ choices, script analysis, casting, rehearsal, and more.

 

6. How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

HOW TO SHOOT VIDEO THAT DOESN'T SUCK

A more modern entry compared to the aforementioned books, and focused more on videography, How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck [Amazon Link], published in 2011, has received solid reviews across both Amazon and Goodreads.

Sections include “Think like a director”, “Preparation – The secret of the pros”, “Setting the stage”, “How to shoot video that doesn’t suck”, “Special projects”, “After the shoot”, and “Wrapping up the project”. 

One user’s review (DG) on Amazon: “Excellent tips that get right to the point. I got a lot out of this book to apply to short video interviews, etc.”

 

7. Cinematography: Theory and Practice

Cinematography: Theory and Practice

Blain Brown is a cinematographer, director and writer based in LA. His book Cinematography: Theory and Practice [Amazon Link] has become one of the most well-regarded books on cinematography.

The book includes sections on visual language, coverage & continuity, color, cameras & sensors, measurement, exposure, image control, lighting, camera movement, data management, and more.

This book covers the artistic side as well as the deeper technical elements of cinematography.

 

8. Master Shots

Master Shots book

Master Shots [Amazon Link] is a three-volume series about filmmaking best practices. This Volume 1 is about advanced camera techniques.

Volume 1 features best practices for shooting fight scenes, chase scenes, dramatic shift, dialogue scenes, sex scenes, and more. Volume 2 [Amazon Link] is on shooting dialogue scenes and Volume 3 [Amazon Link] covers camera setups.

These books include many clear pictures and references to help filmmakers understand the concepts.

 

9. The Filmmaker's Handbook

The Filmmaker's Handbook

The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age [Amazon Link] has received positive reviews across Amazon and Goodreads. At almost 900 pages, it certainly is comprehensive, as its title claims. The author, Steven Ascher, is a Harvard graduate and documentary filmmaker.

The book has chapters on developing the project, digital systems, camcorders, film cameras, lenses, recording systems, lighting, editing, sound mixing, distributing, & more.

 

10. Save the Cat!

Save the Cat!

Save the Cat! [Amazon Link] is a book on screenwriting. The book’s late author, Blake Snyder, was an American screenwriter, consultant, author and educator based in LA.

The book includes helpful advice for both novice and professional screenwriters to improve their ideas, pitches, story structure, dialogue, revisions, and more. At the end, it has a helpful glossary of common screenwriting terms used in Hollywood.

User comment (Yanick) on Amazon: “Very interesting, not theory obsessive; the goal of the book is to allow you to build a Hollywood-minded script.”

 

Get Film Insurance | Film Production Insurance | Filmmaking Insurance

If you’re reading books about filmmaking, chances are that you’re a filmmaker or planning to be one. And if you’re a filmmaker, you’ll want to consider insuring your valuable filmmaking gear and film productions. Consider Front Row Insurance:

  • Short-Term Film Insurance (Canada): provides coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of shooting, with no minimum premium. The coverage is available online 24/7. Covers rented gear, rented locations, rented props, sets, wardrobes, and more. Quotes are free.
  • DigiGear Insurance (Canada): custom equipment insurance for owners of: cameras, sound and lighting gear working in the film/TV industry. Also available online. Quotes in 2 minutes. Policy available in 5 minutes. Shop from your phone.

US-based filmmakers can view Front Row’s US policies here.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row has 51 staff in 8 offices that have a combined 530+ years of experience serving the film industry. Front Row is the largest film insurance broker in Canada. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible.

Related posts:

10 BEST DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT FILMMAKING

THE 10 BEST HOW-TO PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

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. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, DigiGear, Best of

The Best Filmmaking Schools in Canada / Top Film Schools in Canada

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 12, 2020 6:58:22 AM

THE BEST FILMMAKING SCHOOLS IN CANADA / TOP FILM SCHOOLS IN CANADA

Let’s review some of the best filmmaking schools in Canada. We’ll discuss (in no particular order):


Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts / film schools in Toronto

RYERSON UNIVERSITY’S SCHOOL OF IMAGE ARTS

Ryerson’s Film Studies 4-year BFA (bachelor of fine arts) program is a mix of theory and applied work, with a bit more emphasis on the applied. Students will take the standard film theory courses in the first few years of the program, with the final few years more focused on the creation of short film/video projects, namely the students’ “thesis film projects” in fourth year.

The program includes courses on cinematography, directing, design composition, screenwriting, and the business of film. The school has a “film cage” where film/video equipment can be borrowed by students working on school projects, but try to book early as the equipment can run out fast.

The faculty is decent, although some professors have a lot more relevant industry experience than others do. Notable alumni include filmmakers Jeremy Podeswa and Bruce McDonald.

Toronto Film School / film schools in Toronto

The Toronto Film School offers diplomas. It has an excellent reputation as a solid applied arts institution. The majority of the teachers comprising the school’s faculty are known for having film industry experience.

Courses cover editing, cinematography, audio production, camera and set procedures, screenwriting, budgeting and scheduling, and more. Following the completion of the film production diploma, students have the opportunity to apply for a work placement.

The school has four campuses throughout the GTA.

York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design / film schools in Toronto

York University's Film Department houses Canada's oldest film school. The university offers a 4-year BFA (bachelor of fine arts) in Production, with a focus on filmmaking.

Courses include Intro to Filmmaking, Film Art, Editing Techniques, Production Planning and Management, among others.

Notable alumni include producer Niv Fichman and cinematographer Paul Sarossy.

Sheridan College / film schools in Toronto

Sheridan's Honours Bachelor of Film and Television (BFTV) 4-year degree includes a work placement to prepare you for a career in film and television.

Courses include History of International Cinema, Introduction to Directing, Transmedia Storytelling, Business of Film and Television, Editing, Cinematography, and more.

Replacing the college’s three-year Media Arts advanced diploma program, Sheridan's BFTV degree offers a combination of hands-on, real-world experience backed by theoretical learning.

Concordia Film School / film schools in Montreal / film schools in Quebec

Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema is certainly Quebec’s most well-known and respected film school. It was established in 1976.

This Montreal-based school accepts about 200 students a year for study in the fields of animation, film production or film studies. Each track confers a separate BFA degree.

Notable alumni include animation pioneer Steven Woloshen and director Gary Burns.

Vancouver Film School / film schools in Vancouver

Vancouver Film School

Certainly, the most well-known film school in Western Canada would be Vancouver Film School (VFS). The school offers 12-month diplomas and it has “pathway programs” to bachelor’s degrees with universities, including Capilano and Wilfrid Laurier.

Courses include acting, film production, makeup design, sound design and writing. Specializations are available in directing, cinematography, producing, post-production, and more.

Notable alumni include directors Neill Blomkamp and Kevin Smith (dropped out).

Simon Fraser U / film schools in Vancouver

Simon Fraser University has a 4-year BFA film program in their School for the Contemporary Arts. The program is interdisciplinary and – like Ryerson – includes a blend of theory and applied work. In every year of the program, students make their own films, while also taking academic film studies courses.

SFU’s film program offers three possible options for study:

  • Major in Film (BFA)
  • Extended Minor in Film
  • Minor in Film and Video Studies

Dalhousie U / film schools in Atlantic Canada

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie has a BA in Cinema and Media Studies. The program is more academic in nature, with a focus on theory, the analysis of visual language, film history, etc.

However, the program’s associated School of Performing Arts enables enrolled students to engage in “experiential learning for academic credit through placement with an established organization in the field of cinema and media.”

University of Manitoba / film schools in Winnipeg

The University of Manitoba offers two film studies degree options:

  • B.A.  Bachelor of Arts General, Major in Film Studies - 3 years
  • B.A. (Adv.) Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) in Film Studies - 4 years

Faculty teach a mix of courses on topics such as film aesthetics, video gaming, international cinema and filmmaking. U of M students have access to the Media Lab, a post-production space, as well as film production equipment, including digital cameras, sound recording gear, and more.

Red Deer College / film schools in Alberta

A Prairie film program is the one at Red Deer College (RDC) in Alberta – they offer a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film. RDC has 20+ years of experience offering programming in film production.

The college has its own 100-seat cinema, dedicated sound stage, and equipment facilities.

The practicum in the fourth year of the program involves gaining industry-related work experience.

Get Film School Insurance | Film School Short Film Project Insurance | Short-Term Film Production Insurance

If you are in film school or thinking about going, you’ll almost inevitably end up working on short film/video projects that will require insurance. Consider Front Row’s online policies.

Front Row’s Short Shoot insurance policy is a good option for insuring these short-term film school projects. Coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of filming. You can get a quote in two minutes and purchase a policy 100% online.

Front Row’s DigiGear insurance policy is a good option for insuring your filmmaking gear, including your film camera(s). You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in five minutes.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent film insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

Related posts:

The best filmmaking schools in the USA

Film school insurance

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Citations:

Ryerson image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 789206398, Shutterstock
VFS image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1547800220, Shutterstock
Dalhousie image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1401144638, Shutterstock

Topics: Short Film Insurance, DigiGear, film school insurance, Best of

Top Filmmaking Schools in the USA / Best Filmmaking Schools in the US

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 12, 2020 6:57:58 AM

Top Filmmaking Schools in the USA / Best Filmmaking Schools in the US

From Los Angeles to New York, check out Front Row Insurance’s round-up of the top filmmaking schools in the US!

In no particular order:

 

1. University of Southern California / Los Angeles film schools

University of Southern California USC

Alumnus: George Lucas (Star Wars Franchise, Lucas Films, Indiana Jones)

Acceptance Rate: 3%

Arguably the best film school to attend, the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a prestigious school located in Los Angeles. This school’s facilities include modern soundstages, animation facilities, post-production suites, mixing theatres, and all digital classrooms (with the help of a $10M donation from George Lucas in 2018).

2. New York University TISCH School of Arts / New York film schools


Alumnus: Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street)

Acceptance Rate: 20%

New York University TISCH School of Arts is located in New York City. According to NYU, as of 2017, the school had more than 25,000 alumni working in the arts and related professions, and has more alumni on Broadway than any other school for the performing arts in the US. In 2017 alone, six members of the Tisch alumni community were nominated for an Oscar.

3. California Institute of the Arts


Alumnus: Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands)

Acceptance Rate: 24.1%

CalArts was originally formed in 1961 as a merger of the Chouinard Art Institute (founded 1921) and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (founded 1883). In 1929, when Disney had no money, Madame Chouinard agreed to train her first animators on a pay-later basis.

4. Emerson College


Alumnus: Henry Winkler (Happy Days series, Arrested Development series)

Acceptance Rate: 46.1%

Emerson College is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private college that offers a four week exchange program with FAMU, one of Europe’s most prestigious film schools. They also offer a program where you may spend a semester in Los Angeles where Emerson has exclusive internship opportunities with Hollywood producers, networks, and studios.

5. University of Texas at Austin


Alumnus: Kyle Davies (President of Distribution, Paramount Pictures)

Acceptance Rate: 25%

University of Texas at Austin offers graduate programs for film and media production, screenwriting, as well as undergraduate courses focusing on radio, television, and film. They also have the largest green screen ever made outside of Hollywood.

6. Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Alumnus: David Byrne (rock group Talking Heads)

Acceptance Rate: 31.9%

The Rhode Island School of Design is a visual arts college with the smallest class size in the US according to RISD, with a maximum of 14 students per class. Some of their degree programs include graphic design, illustration, drawing, and photography.

7. University of Colorado Boulder


Alumnus: Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Brubaker)

Acceptance Rate: 79.8%

The course curriculum at this university includes basics such as directing, animation, and digital cinematography. This university is an active participant in its surrounding film festivals such as Sundance, and Ann Arbor.

Like NYU and Emerson, they also have a study-abroad program in Paris and Rome.

8. Ringling College of Art and Design


Alumnus: Jessica Sances Torres (computer animation for films including “Toy Story 3” and “Incredibles 2”)

Acceptance Rate: 63.9%

Ringling College of Art and Design is located in Sarasota, Florida. In 2019, Ringling became the first art school to offer a BFA in virtual reality development. They also provide on-the-job training and offer the first academic and commercial soundstage and post-production facility of its kind in the state of Florida.

9. Stanford University

Stanford University

Alumnus: Jamie Meltzer (“True Conviction” a documentary winner at Tribeca Film Festival)

Acceptance Rate: 0.5%

Stanford’s MFA Film Program is the most difficult to get into, as only 8 applicants a year are selected. This program specializes in documentary filmmaking. By the end of the two-year residency, grad students each make 15 to 20 minute documentaries for their final thesis project. Some are even shown at SF DocFest, an annual film festival specifically for documentaries.

10. University of California Los Angeles


Alumnus: Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now)

Acceptance Rate: 18%

UCLA’s school of theater, film and television has one of the longest lists of accomplished alumni, including Francis Ford Coppola, Mariska Hargitay, Jim Morrison, James Franco, and Ben Stiller. They are also one of the only arts programs that offer special scholarships for female students from the Arab World.

Get Film School Insurance USA | US Film School Short Film Project Insurance | Short-Term Film Production Insurance USA

If you’re in film school or thinking about going, you’ll almost inevitably end up working on short film/video projects that will require insurance. Consider Front Row’s policies.

Front Row’s Short Shoot insurance policy (US form) is a good option for insuring these short-term film school projects. Coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of filming.

Front Row’s Owned Equipment insurance policy (US form) is a good option for insuring your filmmaking gear, including your film camera(s).

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent film insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

Related posts:

The best filmmaking schools in Canada

Film school insurance

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Citations:

https://ingeniusprep.com/blog/college-acceptance-rates/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

https://www.imdb.com/

USC image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 467240276, Shutterstock

RISD image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 690992356, Shutterstock

Stanford image: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 418900891, Shutterstock

Topics: Short Film Insurance, DigiGear, film school insurance, Best of

US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 4, 2020 7:12:51 AM

US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

If you’re a Canada-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.

Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?

things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:

  1. Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
  2. If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production (US), double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
  3. Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.

Below is a sample certificate. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.

US Certificate of Insurance

Ok, so from the top!

The highlighted section on the left is where your company information is located.

The highlighted section on the right is your insurance company. You will notice it shows insurer “A” and insurer “B”. This will correspond to the boxes on the far left side to show which company is which.

The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.

US Certificate of Insurance

This next part is VERY important, especially when it comes to Film LA. See the box that says “ADDL INSR”? That stands for Additional Insured, and the “Y” stands for yes. Next to that column, there is wording “SUBR WVD” this stands for Waiver of Subrogation.

This is a waiver that you must request in advance and most likely will cost additional premium. Without a “Y” under “ADDL INSR” and “SUBR WVD”- your insurance coverage will not be sufficient for Film LA.

The next part of the “grid” will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.

The bottom right highlighted section is what your rental/prop house will review. Keep in mind, this amount is not the value to rent the equipment. The amount is to replace the item in the case of a total loss.

The section ‘ded’ that is highlighted stands for your retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible.

Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.

Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessories replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Remember insurer “A” and insurer “B”? You can now see them on the far right column.

This row on your certificate is where any special wording would be located. If you need a rental house to be named additional insured, this is where the wording would be located.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Whenever there is a need for special wording on your certificate, please notify your broker. This is something only your broker can process.

Last section! So, the certificate holder will be the entity that requested to be named additional insured, loss payee, or certificate holder. If a rental house has requested to be named additional insured, this is where you would find their name and address.

US Certificate of Insurance

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.

Related:

Canadian Filmmakers: Certificate of Insurance

Getting a film permit in Los Angeles / Film LA

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Producers, Annual Film Insurance, Film production offices, Film Production Companies, US Film insurance broker, Certificates

Canadian Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 4, 2020 7:12:08 AM

Canadian Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

If you’re a US-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.

Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?

things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:

  1. Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
  2. If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production, double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
  3. Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.

Below is a sample certificate of insurance for Canadian film productions. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

Ok, so from the top!

The highlighted section below is where your company information is located.

The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

The next part of the first page will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

If a permit office, rental house, or specific entity you are working with has requested special wording on a certificate, it will go here. If you do need special wording on your certificate, please make sure you reach out to your broker in advance. Special wording or endorsements such as a “Waiver of Subrogation” may take up to 24-48 hours to process from the carrier.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

The following pages of your certificate of insurance will outline the limits of insurance and retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible, and is located on the far right column.

Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.

Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessory’s replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.

Certificate of Insurance Canada Schedule AHave more questions on the coverages on the far left column? Contact us.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.

Related:

US Filmmakers: Certificate of Insurance

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Producers, Annual Film Insurance, Film Production Companies, Film Location Insurance, Certificates

US Filmmakers: Entertainment Insurance 101 (for Budgets under $100K)

Posted by David Hamilton on May 15, 2020 10:51:00 AM

US Filmmakers: Entertainment Insurance 101 (for Budgets < $100K)

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE 101 FOR US FILMMAKERS | USA FILM INSURANCESource: Shutterstock Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 735595339

So you wrote a killer script, put together a budget, found your talent, and you’re ready to shoot your first project. You set the dates, bright-eyed, excited, and you go to rent some production equipment, and maybe a couple of props or costumes.

You get the quote from the prop house, and it requires insurance. You call your personal auto insurance agent, and they don’t know how to help.

You scour blogs, resource pages, and ask your friends whom they talked to for their production insurance. Once you talk to a broker, it’s like they’re speaking a different language. You feel confused, frustrated – “I just want to rent some cameras and shoot!”

WHAT IS FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE? | FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE USA | US-BASED FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE

At Front Row, we understand how confusing production insurance can be because many of us were filmmakers (in prior lives) and have been there ourselves!

Every film production insurance policy needs to be tailored to the company, or to the project if a short-term film policy. A film insurance policy is based on the best offerings from insurance companies that provide entertainment production coverage.

A SOLID FILM INSURANCE POLICY WILL PROTECT THE PRODUCER FROM:

  • liability related to injuries on set
  • accidents in working vehicles
  • theft
  • loss and damage of rented and owned equipment
  • can also protect producers from libel or copyright infringement claims

Pro Tip: If you are a producer on a project, you carry the majority of the responsibility if something goes awry. This huge responsibility can have financial, legal, even criminal ramifications to you personally.

So, now we know what production insurance is, or at least get the general idea. But just because you purchased insurance, don’t think that everything you touch will necessarily be protected.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE FILM INSURANCE POLICIES OFFERED BY FRONT ROW FOR US FILMMAKERS:

WHAT IS PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT INSURANCE?

Covers against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction to cameras, camera equipment, sound and light equipment, grip equipment, portable electrical equipment and generators, mechanical effects equipment and similar miscellaneous equipment.

This coverage also typically includes loss of use of property of others for which the renter or producer is legally liable. The limit of coverage for production equipment should be sufficient to cover the replacement cost of ALL equipment being used on the project. Most equipment rental houses will include in their contract a statement confirming the renter’s requirement to fully insure the equipment in their possession.

This coverage may also be known as Inland Marine, or Rented Equipment coverage. If there is a loss for an item you rented, the insurance company will pay the amount to replace it. When your broker asks you for a replacement value, they are not referring to how much you are paying to rent, but how much it would be to replace this item. If you ask most rental/prop houses, they will add it onto your invoice if it isn’t already noted. Note: When Rental Equipment Value is greater than $25K USD, General Liability is mandatory and cannot be removed.

What is an equipment floater policy?

If you own more than $5,000 USD in production equipment, it’s best to purchase a separate Annual Equipment Floater Policy that covers your Owned Equipment Worldwide. It’s much more cost effective than purchasing the coverage for one project.

Equipment Floater Policy US quote.

WHAT IS SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION (SHORT SHOOT) INSURANCE?

Short-Term Production Insurance is perfect for the new or indie filmmaker who may not have more than one project scheduled in the next six months. This coverage is ideal for singular projects and can satisfy insurance requirements from film schools, rental houses, permit offices, prop houses, and/or studio location rental space.

HOW MUCH DOES SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION INSURANCE COST?

Pricing starts at around $500 USD for minimal coverages. The premium amount for 1-10 days of coverage is the same price and it will increase with the more days you add, but 60 days is the maximum coverage period for short-term policies.

Short Shoot US quote.

WHAT IS DICE INSURANCE (ANNUAL)?

What's the difference between short-term production insurance versus annual?

Short-term production insurance covers your productions on a project-by-project scale. Purchased on this scale, short-term policies can cover as little as one day of production (although you should cover your prep days, too).

How much does annual DICE insurance cost?

Planning to shoot multiple times throughout the year, and have an estimated budget over $15K USD? Then you’ll want an annual (DICE) policy. This coverage can be much more cost effective than Short-Term Production Insurance. Pricing starts around $2,500 USD for the year. Financing may be available.

Although DICE policies can be completely customized to fit your productions need, the following coverage options are available:

DICE US quote.

WHAT IS FILM PRODUCER’S E and O INSURANCE?

If your project is being sold or distributed, Errors and Omissions (E and O) coverage may be for you; in fact, most distribution contracts will require this coverage. All television, streaming services, and feature films will require this coverage.

E and O coverage protects your production and covers any legal cost if another party accuses you of an unoriginal idea; e.g., title, characters, plots.

HOW MUCH DOES PRODUCER’S E and O INSURANCE COST?

Pricing starting around $3,000 USD for three years of coverage.

Film producer’s E&O US quote.

OTHER FILM INSURANCE COVERAGES TO CONSIDER:

GENERAL LIABILITY

Although film policies vary widely, you’ll always need general liability. General liability covers bodily injury and property damage that occurs during the course of filming. Cast and crew are exempt from this and covered separately through a workers compensation policy. This coverage is required by most city/county permit offices.

The standard minimum policy is $1 million USD, and when the location is open to the public or sells tickets, it quickly jumps into a $5 million USD umbrella. The umbrella covers the possibility that more than one person gets injured in the facility during filming or live shows.

Example: you are filming on a sidewalk and a bystander walks by and trips on a cable; this would be a loss that would be covered by general liability. Now, if a cast or crew member trips, that would not be covered under general liability; that would be workers compensation (see below).

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Workers compensation protects you should something happen to your employees on the job. It's important to go over how you are covering crew (employees) and independent contractors.

YOU NEED A WORKER COMPENSATION POLICY IF:

  • You work as an independent contractor or freelancer
  • You are paid full rate, no taxes withheld (from a provided invoice)
  • You provide the production with a W-9 for labor or labor & gear

YOUR WORKERS COMPENSATION POLICY:

  • Can cover your payrolled cast & crew, 1099 freelancers and volunteers
  • Can cover your working crew in periods outside of general production
  • Protects you from claims arising from injuries to your crew
  • Provides for you in the case of injury on the job
  • Covers medical costs, loss of work or death benefits if injuries occur on the job

Note: If there are Hazardous Activities/Scenes (e.g., animals, stunts, guns, fight scenes, car chases, water scenes, aerial shoots), then Workers Comp is excluded and cannot be added. You must obtain Workers Comp either through a payroll company or through your local State Fund (if in California, contact https://www.statefundca.com). This will take extra time, so if you have a shoot this weekend, you may want to reconsider how important that stunt is to the project.

THIRD PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE

Legal liability for damage to or destruction of property belonging to others (including loss of use of the property) while the property is in the care, custody or control of the production company and is used or to be used in an insured production.

Physical damage to your location or other rented premises is not included unless Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) is purchased. If you are filming in a studio or using a platform like Peerspace for your project, this cover will most likely be required. Note: TPPD excludes the home/property of the producers, cast and crew of the project.

NON-OWNED/HIRED AUTO

Hired/Non-Owned Auto Liability covers damages and injuries sustained by other motorists that your production rental vehicle accidentally hits when your production is considered “At Fault”.

Hired/Non-Owned Auto Physical Damage covers accidental damages of the rental vehicle itself. The personal vehicles of the named insured/company owner and its officers are excluded. Personal auto insurance of cast/crew is primary coverage and Hired/Non-Owned Auto Liability of the production policy is excess/secondary coverage.

UMBRELLA LIABILITY

This policy provides additional limits to the general liability, auto liability, employers’ liability (under workers’ compensation policy) and third party property damage coverages. Some locations will require higher limits than the standard general/auto liability policy of $1mil USD.

GUILD/UNION TRAVEL ACCIDENT

Provides travel accident coverages (accidental death and dismemberment) as required by the guild or union contracts to which the producer is signatory. Coverage is blanket and the limits of liability meet all signatory requirements. Coverage may be extended to non-union employees, usually with a benefit limit of $50K USD each person.

PRODUCTION PACKAGE

A production package is an accumulation of coverages to protect multiple or singular projects such as features, TV series, or documentaries. If you have an annual gross production cost over $100,000 USD and are looking for annual coverage, a production package will be necessary.

Note: Most carriers do not sell just the production package; you most likely will be required to purchase general liability as well. Minimum premiums start around $6,000 USD. Some coverages available in a production package are:

Cast Coverage Example: the lead actor of your feature is running three hours late and may not come in because they have food poisoning. Your cast, crew, makeup artists have all shown up and are waiting. Cast Coverage would cover any loss associated with the actor not being present; expenses for that shoot day would be covered.

Negative Film — direct physical loss, damage or destruction of raw film or tape stock, exposed film (developed or undeveloped), videotape, matrices, lavenders, positives, inter-positives, working prints, cutting copies, fine grain prints, color transparencies, cells artwork and drawings, hard drives, software and related materials used to generate computer images, and soundtracks and tapes, up to the amount of the insured production cost.

Negative Film Example: you just wrapped up all the post work on a TV series and are running late to go meet a potential investor for coffee. You ask the new PA to hand-deliver the hard drive to the network, which is a few blocks away. The PA receives a phone call, leaves the hard drive on the roof of the car, and drives away… Negative Film would cover up to the gross production cost in the case of a loss.

Faulty Stock — loss, damage, or destruction of “negative film” caused by or resulting from fogging or the use of faulty materials (including cameras), faulty sound equipment, or faulty developing. Faulty coverage does not include loss caused by errors of judgement in exposure, lighting or sound recording; from the use of incorrect type of raw stock; or faulty manipulation by the cameraman unless a separate extension is included in coverage.

Props, Sets, and Wardrobe — provides coverage on props, sets, scenery, costumes, wardrobe and similar property against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction during the specified production period, subject to certain policy exclusions. Coverage for jewelry/furs/fine art is included with sub-limits. Animals can also be added. Coverage may also include loss of use of property of others for which the production is legally liable.

Miscellaneous Equipment — covers against direct physical loss, damage or destruction of camera, sound and lighting equipment, portable electric equipment and generators, mechanical effects equipment, grip equipment, and similar equipment for which the production company is legally liable. Coverage may include loss of use of property of others for which the production is legally liable. This coverage generally extends to cover physical damage to rented vehicles also.

Extra Expense — indemnifies the insured for extra expense incurred as a result of interruption, postponement or cancellation of a declared production as a direct and sole result of loss of (including damage to) property or facilities contracted by the insured (props/sets/wardrobe, miscellaneous equipment, third party property) in connection with the production insured. Coverage extensions are available for civil authority, ingress/egress, imminent peril, power interruption and strikes.

Office Contents — provides coverage on office property and computers, including laptops and similar property against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction during the specified production period.

Money & Currency — provides coverage for actual physical loss of funds during production (i.e., petty cash) against robbery, theft, embezzlement, or forgery of checks.

Q: Still have questions about your project, or have a specialty risk? No problem. US-based filmmakers can contact the LA office:

14156 Magnolia Blvd., Suite 200
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
PH: 424 529 6701
Email: LAoffice@frontrowinsurance.com

If calling from the United States, contact:
Mike Groner
Ph: 424-529-6704
Email: mike@frontrowinsurance.com 

for California:
Kathryn Hoffman
Ph: 424-644-1411
Email: kathryn@frontrowinsurance.com

Kent Hamilton
Ph: 424-529-6700
Email: kent@frontrowinsurance.com

Doug Hodges
Ph: 424 329 2480 
Email: doug@frontrowinsurance.com

for New York:
Stacie O'Beirne
Ph: 646-849-4114
Email: stacie@frontrowinsurance.com

for Nashville:
Tom P. Corley
Ph: 615-326-4226
Email: tom@frontrowinsurance.com

RELATED:

Getting a film permit in Los Angeles / film permits LA

Book on Amazon: Film Insurance 101

FREE eBook: E&O Insurance 101

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, DICE Insurance, US Film insurance broker, non-owned auto insurance, Third Party Property Damage, Workers Compensation

Video: What is a Premium? What is a Deductible?

Posted by Grant Patten on Apr 28, 2020 7:54:34 AM

What is a Premium? What is a Deductible?

Disclaimer: the deductible amounts disclosed in this video are current to April 2020 and are subject to change.

What is an insurance premium?

An insurance premium is the amount of money an individual or business pays for an insurance policy. Premiums are collected and kept in reserve in order to pay out claims as they arise. The insurance company must anticipate how much premium they will need to collect in order to have the funds available to pay out losses when they occur. In layman’s terms, they have to make an educated guess.

Wondering why your premium has changed? Well, the changes in premiums this year are a reflection of the overall loss ratio on the insurance program. In order for an insurance program to remain viable, the amount paid out in losses cannot exceed the amount collected in premiums.

What is an insurance deductible?

A deductible is the amount of the loss that you are responsible for covering before the insurance policy will respond. Say you have a USB drive stolen. Replacing it would cost $60, but your deductible is $350. Although, “technically” the claim would be covered, it is below your deductible, so the insurance company wouldn’t be responsible for paying any part of the claim.

Another example: you drop your camera, but it only costs $200 to fix. Although it is the kind of damage that would be covered under the policy, you are responsible for the first $350 of the loss. In this case, again, the insurer would not have any responsibility to pay the claim, because the expense was not more than the $350 deductible.

If you damage a $500 lens, though, you would pay for the first $350 (your deductible), then the insurance company would cover the next $150.

A review of the Front Row online insurance program deductibles (in Canadian dollars):

Photography insurance (photographer.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

  • Equipment deductible: $350 per occurrence
  • Photographer’s Enhancement Pack deductible: $500 per occurrence
  • Theft from an Unattended Vehicle deductible: $2,500 per occurrence
  • Outside Canada and United States of America (“Out of Country”) deductible: $750
  • General Liability deductible: $500 per occurrence

The deductible applies to any one incident, not per item. Only one deductible, whichever is highest, would apply per claim.

DigiGear insurance (digigearinsure.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

  • Owned Mobile Equipment  - $1,000
  • Owned Fixed Equipment - $1,000
  • Rented Equipment - $1,000
  • Lessors' Contingency Coverage - $1,000
  • Commercial General Liability - $1,000

Short Shoot insurance (shortshoot.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

The rented equipment deductible is $1,500 per event. This applies to any one incident, not per item.

Musical instrument insurance (musicians.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

The equipment deductible is $250 per claim. Again: This applies to any one incident, not per item.

SOLO Theatrical Insurance (stagelive.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

The deductible for Each Occurrence is $500.

Event insurance (events.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

  • Rented Equipment Coverage: $500 Per Claim
  • Rented Tents/Marquees: $250 Per Claim
  • Wedding Enhancement Package Coverages: $250 Per Claim
  • Birthday Party / Bar/Bat Mitzvah / Anniversary Package Coverages: $250 Per Claim
  • Cancellation Coverage: None
  • General Liability, Each Occurrence: $500 for claims of Bodily Injury / Property Damage
  • Tenant Legal Liability: $500 Per Claim

Workplace Office insurance (workplaceinsure.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

There are various deductibles under the Workplace policy. The deductible will depend on the coverage. For example, the deductible for theft of office property is $500.

Cyber Hack insurance (hackinsure.frontrowinsurance.com) deductibles:

A basic cyber insurance policy would generally come along with a $1,000 deductible.

Get Insurance with Front Row

Whether you’re interested in film insurance, photography insurance, event insurance or another insurance product, consider Front Row Insurance for your insurance needs.


Related:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Short Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, film insurance premium, Office Contents Insurance, Theatre Insurance, event insurance, photography insurance, DigiGear, Cyber Insurance