Script Clearance and Title Search Report Cost

Posted by Anne Marie Murphy on Jan 20, 2020 8:31:01 AM

SCRIPT CLEARANCE and TITLE SEARCH REPORT COST

SCRIPT CLEARANCE REPORT COST

SCRIPT CLEARANCE REPORT COST

Script clearance reports give you a detailed list of all the story elements in your project that might cause problems in any of these categories:

A "clearance" or "script clearance" company will read the script and make a list ("clearance report") of all the places in it where there could be legal trouble. Then, they'll research all those items and present you with notes on what looks safe ("clear") to use and what might get you into some problems ("not clear"). Look for a company that will suggest solutions as well, among them providing contact information for rights holders and presenting you with "clear" alternatives for scripted items that are problematic.

As in most industries, the faster you need the work done, the more it will cost. Most script clearance companies have a range of turnaround options for a feature film report, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for the first full report on a feature film script, depending on the turnaround you need and the company you hire.

Additional billing often follows when more requests come from both the art department (names to use on signage and props) and the story department (revised drafts and/or one-off name changes to be checked).  Script clearance companies bill in different ways for that follow-up work (by the hour, by the item), so consult with them regarding procedures to find the best way forward for the way you work. 

A theatrical feature that is heavy on art department requests + has many rewrites that need review can run up a bill of well over $5000 for clearance work.

Clearance reports for a TV series are not typically prepared in the same short time period as they are for a feature film report (during a weeks-long shoot).  A television series can have a production schedule that stretches for many months and the script clearance reports will be generated when each episode goes into production. Here too, there can be many sets of revisions and many art department requests.  The art department clearances for episodic series work can be much heavier in the first season of the show when set dressing is going up for the first time.

The cost for these series reports is usually billed per episode (rather than for a full season) and vary depending on the length of the script. You might pay $100 for a report on a short 10-page web series or kids' animated show, but on the other end of the spectrum, a one-hour episode script might run you closer to $1000. Another added cost for series work is if you need your reports done faster than the usual promised turnaround times; that can add 50% to the price. This sometimes comes into play with web series projects that might not be aware of the E&O requirement for script clearance reports until just before they start shooting.

There are several script clearance companies based in Canada and plenty in the U.S., where the reports were first developed in the early 1950s. You'll have plenty of options for finding a company that offers what you need. Most clearance companies have a rate sheet they'll share upon request while others  will only quote on a per-project basis. You'll obviously want a company that has a good track record over a long period of time and probably one that has its own E&O coverage.

Another thing to ask for if your project will be on a streaming service is, "have you worked already for [Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, etc.]?" Some of those companies have a long-ish vetting process for service providers with whom they are unfamiliar. That's something to keep in mind.

Sometimes a project doesn't need an entire script "cleared" but instead has just a few names that need to be researched. Depending on the company, this type of request is billed at either an hourly or a per-item rate. This approach can work well for a cash-strapped project that has experienced production personnel who can read the script and send the notes needed for the clearance house to do their work. Assuming that the art department personnel are well aware of the intellectual property issues involved in dressing a set, sending only a short list of character names out for clearances can be an excellent low-budget solution.

TITLE SEARCH REPORT COST

Pricing on title search reports is a lot less complicated than for script clearances. Simply stated: for any given title, you'll need to select the turnaround time and the geographic scope of the report. Again, the faster you need the work done, the more it will cost. Unlike a script clearance report – in which the scope of the search is determined by the geographic setting of the story – the production's distribution plan dictates the scope of the title search.

If production counsel feels strongly that the broadest possible scope is needed, then that will add to the cost of the report. The broader the scope, the more sources are consulted and the cost increases with additional research time involved. 

A title search report of limited scope at a longer turnaround time might come in at less than $300. However, once you add in a speedier delivery and your lawyer or broker's insistence on a more robust geographic scope, a title search report can cost upward of $3000.

There are even more options for providers of title search reports in North America than there are for script clearance reports, so shopping around would be wise. When in doubt, the wisest route is often picking the company that comes best recommended to you. As with any professional service provider, a referral from a company that has a long and solid track record with another company is invaluable.

Another difference between title search reports and script clearance reports is the opinion factor. Good clearance reports offer plenty of opinions about what is and is not "clear." Title searches, on the other hand, have "just the facts, ma'am." The research company is not authorized to provide you an opinion on whether the title is clear for use. That has to come from a lawyer.

SCRIPT CLEARANCE RESEARCHER / TITLE SEARCH COMPANY

Eastern Script specializes in providing research services for the entertainment industry, including script clearances and title searches. Visit their website here: https://www.easternscript.com/

Guest post by Anne Marie Murphy
amm@easternscript.com
(844) 842-3999

Related Posts:

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, E&O Insurance, Title reports, Script Clearance reports

Legal Expense Insurance

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 13, 2020 8:26:34 AM

Legal Expense Insurance

Legal Expense Insurance

With legal expense insurance, your legal risks are well managed.

We know you’re busy. You’re running your business and working hard at it. But whenever you have an unforeseen legal issue, we know it means more time and work for you – and it takes you away from doing what you love.

Front Row Insurance and DAS have partnered to save you time and effort by offering the option of legal expense insurance (LEI) as a part of your Front Row policy.

How would LEI help you and your business?

A legal expense insurance policy:

  • provides you with financial coverage for a variety of potential legal events,
  • empowers you to pursue or defend your legal rights, and
  • provides you with unlimited access to a general Legal Helpline

Legal expense insurance saves you time and money by helping to:

Defend or pursue your legal rights, such as:

  • Employment Disputes: If you face legal action from an employee or ex-employee
  • Legal Defence: If your business faces criminal charges, a police investigation or an occupational health and safety investigation
  • Contract Disputes and Debt Recovery: If you face a dispute with a client or supplier in regards to a breach of contract or failure to pay an amount owed
  • Statutory Licence Protection: If your business faces a suspension, alteration or cancellation of its business licence
  • Property Protection: If there is trespass or legal nuisance to your business property
  • Bodily Injury: If you or one of your employees is injured on the job as a result of someone else’s negligence
  • Tax Protection: If you face an audit or wish to appeal a decision from the CRA

With policy limits of $100,000 per claim and $500,000 in total per policy year, DAS provides you the financial security to continue your legal action over time and against well-funded foes.

You also receive unlimited access to the DAS Legal Helpline

You will not need to search the internet or pay out of pocket for answers and assistance to your legal questions or issues. Legal information is provided, even if the issue or question is not covered by the policy. We make it easy for you as our Helpline lawyers are available:

  • 8:00 a.m. to midnight local time
  • 24/7 in an emergency situation

To learn more, please contact us.

Related Posts:


About: DAS Legal Protection Inc. is the Canadian market leader and managing general agent specializing exclusively in Legal Expense Insurance. Working with brokers and corporate partners, we create access to justice solutions so Canadian individuals, families, and business owners can exercise their rights, preserve their budget, and be confident when facing an unforeseen legal event. DAS Legal Expense Insurance policies are underwritten by Temple Insurance Company, and both companies are members of Munich Re (Group). To learn more, please visit www.das.ca.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Workers Compensation, workplace insurance, legal expense

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 8, 2020 10:50:01 AM

Why are certain questions asked on an E&O application?

what are lawyers looking for in the responses?

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: Certain questions are asked on an E&O insurance application to help the insurance company or their counsel to gauge whether the production may be riskier than others. On the one hand, it’s a risk assessment but on the other hand, it’s also a way to check to make sure that the way that they’ve answered the question reflects that they’re aware of what the clearance procedures are and that they will follow them.

Sometimes, the entertainment lawyer who is clearance counsel for the production also signs the application or there’s a place where that lawyer has to acknowledge that they’ve seen the application. But, no surprise, it’s just a way to figure out who might think that they don’t need to comply with some of the clearance questions.

So, one of the E&O application questions is: “Is there a possibility that a living person could claim (without regard to the merits of such claim) to be identifiable in the Insured Production, whether or not that person’s name or likeness is used in it or whether or not the Insured purports it to be fictional? If “yes” has a release been obtained from such person?”

Well, if there is a possibility of something like that, we want to know about it upfront but also, that question tends to segue into: “are you getting releases? Is production doing what it needs to do to make sure that the folks who are appearing on screen (usually documentary, but also for dramas where you need performer agreements) are following what production says they will follow?"

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, E&O Insurance, Title reports, Film Production Companies

How can a film producer protect themselves from an E&O claim?

Posted by Steve Fraser on Jan 6, 2020 8:53:11 AM

How can a film producer protect themselves from an E&O claim?

FOLLOW THE E&O CLEARANCE PROCEDURES

E&O INSURANCE FILM | ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE FILM:


Steve Fraser (Lawyer)
: A film producer can protect himself, herself or itself (because most producers incorporate) by following the clearance procedures that are included with your E&O application and/or E&O policy.

So, get yourself an entertainment lawyer, take a look at those clearance procedures, make sure you’re following them and you will avoid claims forever. The other thing you should do is get friendly with your insurance broker – they’re very helpful.

Related:

About: Stephen "Steve" Fraser is an international entertainment business and legal affairs lawyer in the film and television industries with co-production, financing and distribution experience.

Topics: Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, E&O Insurance, Title reports

Why Does a Film Producer Need E&O Insurance?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Jan 3, 2020 6:35:17 AM

Why does a film producer need Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance?

Why is E&O necessary from a legal perspective?

E&O insurance film | errors and omissions insurance film:


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: The reality of the North American market, at the very least, is that E&O insurance is required and producers must obtain it because broadcasters, distributors, public sector financiers, etc. will require it.

So, why is it a good idea for a producer to get E&O insurance apart from the fact that they have to? It protects them in case of a claim under trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation issues and these claims can be very expensive and costs can rise quickly. Having the E&O insurance in place will allow you to cover those costs.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: E&O Insurance, Script Clearance reports, defamation insurance, Trademark

E&O: Are There Different Things Needed for a Documentary vs. a Drama?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Dec 16, 2019 11:43:55 AM

From an E&O perspective, are there different things needed for a Documentary vs. a Drama?


Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: From an errors and omissions (E&O) perspective, you have to look at the project based on what challenges it presents. So, a documentary will have different legal concerns than a drama.

E&O Insurance and Documentaries

For documentary, we’ll mostly be looking at privacy issues, potential defamation issues and – more and more now – just because budgets are being cut and the price of archives is going up – filmmakers are using the copyright exception of fair use (fair dealing under Canadian law) to use clips, lawfully, without having to clear them with rights holders. So, obviously, this brings some challenges from a legal perspective that are not exclusive to documentary but clearly appear more in documentary settings than they do in fiction.

E&O Insurance and Fiction Films

For fiction, most of it will be based on copyright issues, trademark and consideration as to what the characters are saying because you could cross that line into defamation. Those would be the major differences – you cover all legal bases but the emphasis is put on different areas, depending on the nature of the project.

Related:

About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at https://lussierkhouzam.com/.

Topics: E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Script Clearance reports, defamation insurance, Trademark, Fair Use Doctrine

5 Things to Know About Making a Photography Insurance Claim

Posted by David McLeish on Dec 4, 2019 6:56:58 AM

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MAKING A PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE CLAIM

PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE CLAIM

1. Every claim is unique

We often get this question: “what if [insert hypothetical situation] happened? Would I be covered?” It is impossible to answer this question, because every claim is unique. Maybe you’ve heard an insurance broker give you vague, evasive, unsatisfying answers. That’s potentially because you’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking “what’s covered?” you should be asking “what’s not covered?”

Most insurance policies work like this: everything is covered, except what is explicitly excluded by the policy. This allows for all kinds of unanticipated, unimaginable types of losses to be covered. It also ensures wordings aren’t 10,000 pages long. When you submit a claim, the adjustor will look through the wording to see if an exclusion applies. Some typical exclusions are: “wear and tear,” “mechanical breakdown”, “fungus”.

2. There can be many ways to prove ownership (not just receipts)

Lots of people buy camera gear second-hand. Claims adjustors are aware of this fact. If you don’t have original receipts, don’t panic. You can still cover the gear with your insurance.

Proof of ownership can take different forms, depending on the loss. If a lens is cracked, the proof is the cracked lens in your possession. You would only need to provide documentary proof in “total loss” situations (theft, destroyed in a fire, etc.). In these situations, original receipts are obviously best, but in the absence of these, the adjustor may use their judgment or common sense. They may try to work with you to find “creative” ways to substantiate prior ownership.

In all cases, it is up to the adjustor’s discretion; they need something that will “hold up”, and they will be using their “Spidey-senses”. If they think something is suspicious, they will ask for more concrete evidence and they may decline a claim. So, do what you can prior to a loss occurring to substantiate your ownership of the items you wish to have covered.

3. File a police report first (and take photos of the crime scene)

When a crime has been committed, you will need to report the crime to the appropriate authorities. For a theft claim, an adjustor will ask for a police report number as part of your supporting documentation. This also applies in foreign countries.

There are also special conditions related to theft from an unattended vehicle – there must be visible signs of forced entry. Basically, the insurance company is saying: if you leave your gear in your car, make sure you lock your car. They will need visible evidence that someone had to pry their way into your vehicle, so take pictures of the broken glass, or the scratches on your car. Without visible evidence of forced entry, your claim could be denied.

The insurance company's policy wording on unattended/unlocked property reads as follows: "we will cover theft of covered property from a locked container, vehicle or trailer when there are visible signs of forced entry. This exclusion does not apply while covered property is in the care or custody of a common carrier."

4. There will be a 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.

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

After you’ve made a claim, an insurance company will generally increase your rates. There is no one-claim forgiveness. So, it may not make sense to submit a small claim, as you may end up paying more for insurance over the long-run. Insurance is not meant to cover small losses. It’s best used to cover the things that could really make or break your business.

5. You can still withdraw a claim after you have reported it

The only person who can give you a definitive answer to the question, “is it covered?” is a claims adjustor. In order to speak to an adjustor, you will need to report the claim to the insurance company. The adjustor will then review what happened and the supporting documentation, and advise whether coverage can be provided.

Once you have a clear answer, you can either decide to proceed with the claim or to withdraw it. Don’t be afraid to open a claim and talk to an adjustor.

Get Photography Insurance

As this is a blog post about claims, the assumption is that you already have insurance for your gear, but just in case you don’t: Front Row’s photography insurance policy is a good option. Many Canadian photographers have come to recognize Front Row as the industry’s best coverage – and rely upon us to protect their valuable camera gear. In case a claim does occur, you can work with your broker to resolve the claim and get compensated for covered losses as quickly as possible.

Refer a Friend to Front Row Insurance

Based on customer demand, we’ve setup our referral marketing program and if you refer a friend to Front Row, you could win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province)

Related posts:

CLAIMS – FRONT ROW HANDLES YOUR CLAIM

HOW TO CALL A WRAP ON TOP FILM INSURANCE CLAIMS

Topics: photography insurance

Front Row’s Referral Marketing Program

Posted by Grant Patten on Nov 28, 2019 11:01:55 AM

Front Row’s Referral Marketing Program

Front Row Insurance referral program

You asked, we listened! In our September 2019 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we saw your requests for a referral marketing program and so we promptly set one up. A full 47% of our customers hear about us through word of mouth, and we'd like to start showing our appreciation for these referrals.

If you’re a Front Row customer: just complete the form on this landing page and we'll email your friend about our insurance products. Referring a friend to Front Row gives you the potential to win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province/state)

provincial/state differences are as follows:

  • AB & BC: You'll get a $15 Amazon eGift Card IF the person you referred becomes a customer

  • ON: Simply by making a referral, you'll be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card. The draw will be quarterly (every three months)

  • All other provinces/territories: excluded (when/if insurance regulations change in these provinces, we’ll likely expand our referral program to include them also)

  • US: excluded

Refer a Friend

There is no upper limit—refer as many friends as you'd like!                          

Note: Front Row reserves the right to refuse to pay a referral reward.

SpottedRisk Disgrace Insurance

Posted by Nicholas Hanes on Nov 18, 2019 7:53:55 AM

SpottedRisk Disgrace Insurance

SpottedRisk Disgrace Insurance

An objective measure for mainstreaming a once vague and fraught insurance product

If businesses that employ entertainers aren’t terrified by the potential impact of scandal, they’re not seeing the whole picture. Blasted out in headlines around the world, and amplified by social media, celebrity disgrace has never been more prevalent or topical than it is today.

The financial and reputational fallout can be devastating following a high-profile disgrace incident; just think about the repercussions for those working with Matt Lauer, Jussie Smollett or Louis C.K.

Disgrace is an ugly and expensive problem for any business that works with entertainers — and now, uniquely, SpottedRisk has developed a parametric approach to qualifying disgrace events in the same way earthquakes or hurricanes are objectively measured. Through a data-driven, analytical reinvention of the legacy disgrace coverage, SpottedRisk created the Public Outcry Score™, an independent measure of the recall and severity of celebrity disgrace after an event occurred as determined by the public – not by Lloyd’s or a room full of actuaries.

If the public decides that a celebrity is unable or unlikely to recover, a claim is triggered. It’s as simple as that.

Starting now, Front Row is pleased to provide its customers who are domiciled in the US with access to the SpottedRisk Disgrace Insurance coverage, and can provide an indication if you click here:

Disgrace Insurance Application

For now, coverage is only available to US domiciled insureds, and public surveys are based on a demographically representative spread of the US population. Growth into Canadian and UK markets is expected in 2020, and will be announced here once available.

Disgrace Claims Summaries

Jussie Smollett is an American actor and singer, best known for his role on the Fox television series, Empire. On January 29, 2019, Smollett claimed he was attacked by two masked men who put a noose around his neck and doused him in bleach while yelling homophobic and racist slurs. But the police determined Smollett had orchestrated the attack, and he was subsequently charged with filing a false police report.

Following Smollett’s arrest, Fox announced it would be removing him from the final two episodes of the fifth season of Empire. With Empire’s sixth and final season set to premiere in fall 2019, Smollett has been written out of the show.  This would have resulted in a $2,000,000 claim for Fox had they held a $10,000,000 policy on the cast of Empire.

Matt Lauer is an American television news anchor best known as the co-host of NBC’s Today show. On November 29, 2017, Lauer was terminated by NBC after another NBC employee reported Lauer sexually harassed her while on location and in New York.  In the weeks that followed, several other complaints were filed by former NBC employees accusing Lauer of similar inappropriate behavior.

Lauer was terminated without a monetary settlement, as he was fired for cause. Following the accusations and public media coverage, NBC faced intense public backlash. This would have resulted in a $6,000,000 claim for NBC had they held a $10,000,000 policy naming Matt Lauer as insured talent.

SpottedRisk Disgrace Claims

Disgrace Insurance Application

Related Blog Post:

DISGRACE INSURANCE IN THE FILM INDUSTRY: A GROWING CONCERN

Topics: disgrace insurance

How to choose between a DICE Insurance Policy and a DigiGear Policy?

Posted by Grant Patten on Nov 11, 2019 12:33:21 PM

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A DICE POLICY AND A DIGIGEAR POLICY?

DICE (docs, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos)

The DICE Package Policy is intended to provide insurance for smaller budget documentaries, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos and more. DICE is best suited for producers who are planning to produce projects other than feature films or TV series.

DICE can provide coverage for a full year for rented & owned equipment as well as Props, Sets and Wardrobe, Office Contents, Vehicle Physical Damage and more. Commercial General Liability coverage can also be purchased either together with the equipment coverage or on a standalone basis. If you would like more information or to request a free non-obligation quote, visit our DICE Policy website here. If you are a US based Producer, click here instead.

A DICE policy is available in ~4 hours by calling or emailing our office.

DigiGear (film equipment)

The DigiGear Policy is intended for owners of camera equipment, sound, lighting and other film equipment. All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Like DICE, the DigiGear policy term is also for 12 months. A DigiGear policy is designed to cover owners/operators of production equipment whose operations or services fall within one of the below classifications:

  • Camera Operator
  • Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer
  • Videographer
  • Sound Recordist
  • Digital Imaging Technician
  • Grip

Unlike DICE, DigiGear is not a film production policy.

A DigiGear policy is available online in ~five minutes 24/7.
Note: coverage under DigiGear is only available to Canadian residents at this time.

For a visual overview of the two policies, view the infographic below:

DICE vs. DigiGear infographic

RELATED POST:

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A DICE POLICY AND A SHORT SHOOT POLICY*

 

Topics: Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, DigiGear, Film equipment rental insurance, corporate video insurance, music video insurance, Educational Film Insurance