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The Complete Film Production Handbook, 4th Edition

Book Description

This book is for working film/TV professionals and students alike. If you're a line producer, production manager, production supervisor, assistant director or production coordinator--the book has everything you'll need (including all the forms, contracts, releases and checklists) to set up and run a production--from finding a production office to turning over delivery elements. Even if you know what you're doing, you will be thrilled to find everything you need in one place. If you're not already working in film production, but think you'd like to be, read the book -- and then decide. If you choose to pursue this career path, you'll know what to expect, you'll be prepared, and you'll be ten steps ahead of everyone else just starting out.

New topics and information in the fourth edition include:
* Low-budget independent films, including documentaries and shorts
* Information specific to television production and commercials
* The industry's commitment to go green and how to do it
* Coverage of new travel and shipping regulations
* Updated information on scheduling, budgeting, deal memos, music clearances, communications, digital production, and new forms throughout

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Full Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Companion Website
  6. Contents
  7. Introduction
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Forms in the book
  10. Chapter 1: The Production Team and Who Does What
    1. Introduction
    2. Producers
      1. Executive Producer
      2. Producer
      3. Co-Producer
      4. Line Producer
      5. Post Production Producer
      6. Associate Producer
    3. Production Management
      1. Unit Production Manager
      2. First Assistant Director
      3. Second Assistant Director
      4. Production Supervisor
      5. Production Coordinator
  11. Chapter 2: The Production Office
    1. Introduction
    2. Office Space
    3. Setting Up
      1. Phone Systems
    4. The Traveling Production Kit
    5. Answering the Phone
    6. Confidentiality
      1. Shredding
      2. Watermarking
    7. Production Assistants
    8. Interns
    9. Ain’t Technology Great?
      1. Techie Wanted
    10. Employees Driving Their Own Vehicles for Business Purposes
    11. Staff Scheduling and Assignment of Duties
    12. Staff Meetings
    13. Office Lunches
    14. Time Management
    15. Office Inventories, Logs, and Sign-Out Sheets
    16. The Files
      1. Files of Blank Forms
      2. Files for Features, Movies for Television, Cable or Internet
      3. Series Files
      4. Day Files
    17. Forms in This Chapter
  12. Chapter 3: Basic Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. The Production Accountant
    3. The Accounting Department
    4. Handling Payroll
    5. Payroll Companies
    6. Accounting Guidelines
      1. Start Paperwork Packets
      2. Payroll
      3. Box Rentals
      4. Vendor Accounts
      5. Competitive Bids
      6. Purchase Orders
      7. Check Requests
      8. Petty Cash
      9. Online Purchases
      10. Cell Phone Reimbursement
      11. Auto Allowances
      12. Mileage Reimbursement
      13. Drive-To
      14. Per Diem and Living Allowance
      15. Invoicing
      16. Additional Taxable Income
    7. The Budget
    8. Tracking Costs
    9. The Audit
    10. Forms in This Chapter
  13. Chapter 4: From Script to Schedule
    1. Introduction
    2. It All Starts with a Script
      1. Script Revisions
    3. The Breakdown
    4. The Board
    5. The Schedule
      1. Day-Out-of-Days
      2. Breakdowns
  14. Chapter 5: Incentives
    1. Introduction
    2. The Evolution of Incentive Programs
    3. In Flux
    4. What to Consider
    5. Infrastructure
    6. Types of Incentives
      1. Rebate
      2. Tax Credits
      3. Refundable Tax Credits
      4. Transferable Tax Credits
      5. Nonrefundable, Nontransferable Tax Credits
      6. Up-Front or Back-End Funding
  15. Chapter 6: Pre-Production
    1. What Is Pre-Production?
    2. Establishing Company Policies
    3. Stages
    4. Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings
    5. Communications
      1. Cellular Phones, BlackBerrys, Wireless Internet and More
      2. Walkie-Talkies
    6. Previsualization
    7. Plan Ahead
    8. Sample Pre-Production Schedule
      1. Week #1 (8 weeks to go)
      2. Week #2 (7 weeks to go)
      3. Week #3 (6 weeks to go)
      4. Week #4 (5 weeks to go)
      5. Week #5 (4 weeks to go)
      6. Week #6 (3 weeks to go)
      7. Week #7 (2 weeks to go)
      8. Week #8 (final week of prep)
    9. Daily Prep Schedules
    10. More on Logs and Sign-Out Sheets
    11. Distribution
    12. Collecting Information and Making Lists
      1. Crew Information Sheet
      2. The Crew List
      3. The Executive Staff List
      4. The Cast List
      5. The Contact List
    13. Better Safe than Sorry
    14. Pre-Production Checklist
      1. Starting from Scratch
    15. Creating Your Own Production Manual
    16. For Your Own Good
    17. Forms in This Chapter
  16. Chapter 7: Insurance Requirements
    1. Introduction
    2. General Insurance Guidelines
    3. Errors and Omissions (E&O)
    4. Comprehensive General Liability
    5. Certificates of Insurance
    6. Hired, Loaned, Donated or Nonowned Auto Liability
    7. Hired, Loaned or Donated Auto Physical Damage
    8. Workers’ Compensation and Employer’s Liability
    9. Guild/Union Accident Coverage
    10. Production Package (Portfolio Policy)
      1. Cast Insurance
      2. Essential Elements
      3. Bereavement Coverage
      4. Production Media (Film, Digital Elements or Other Medium)/Direct Physical Loss
      5. Faulty Stock, Camera and Processing
      6. Props, Sets and Scenery; Costumes and Wardrobe; Miscellaneous Rented Equipment; Office Contents
      7. Extra Expense
      8. Third-Party Property Damage
    11. Supplemental (or Optional) Coverages
      1. Umbrella (Excess Liability)
      2. Use of Aircraft
      3. Use of Watercraft
      4. Use of Railroads or Railroad Facilities
      5. Use of Valuables
      6. Use of Livestock or Animals
      7. Signal Interruption Insurance
      8. Foreign Package Policy
      9. Political Risk Insurance
      10. Weather Insurance
    12. Completion Bonds
    13. Claims Reporting Procedures
      1. Submitting Claims
    14. Forms in This Chapter
  17. Chapter 8: During the Shoot
    1. The Prep Continues
    2. The Set
    3. Communications
    4. The Daily Routine
    5. Call Sheets and Production Reports
    6. Paperwork from the Set
    7. The Script Supervisor’s Role
    8. The Day Before
    9. Reshoots
    10. Daily Wrap
    11. On the Lighter Side
    12. Forms in This Chapter
  18. Chapter 9: Building Strong Industry Relationships: Making Good Deals and Navigating the Politics
    1. Introduction
    2. Vendors
      1. Negotiating with Vendors
    3. Studio and Network Executives
    4. Agents
    5. Your Crew
      1. Negotiating Tips for Hiring Crew
    6. Avoid Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
    7. Standards of Business Conduct
    8. Politics and Principles
      1. #1: Jonathan Sanger (Elephant Man, Frances, Vanilla Sky, Suspect Zero, The Producers)
      2. #2: A Top Production Exective (who prefers to remain anonymous)
      3. #3: Ira Shuman (Just Married, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther, Night at the Museum, The Pink Panther 2, The Spy Next Door)
    9. A Producer’s Mission
  19. Chapter 10: Deal Memos
    1. Introduction
    2. The Cast Deal Memo
    3. Crew Deal Memos
    4. Writers’ Deal Memos
    5. DGA Deal Memos
    6. Forms in This Chapter
  20. Chapter 11: Unions and Guilds
    1. Introduction
    2. An Overview of Industry Unions and Guilds
    3. Union versus Nonunion Shows
    4. Becoming a Union Member
    5. Becoming a Union Signatory
    6. More Specifically
      1. Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
        1. SAGIndie
        2. Short Film Agreement
        3. Ultra-Low-Budget Agreement
        4. Modified Low-Budget Agreement
        5. Low-Budget Agreement
      2. AFTRA
      3. Directors Guild of America (DGA)
        1. Getting into the DGA
        2. Creative Rights
      4. Writers Guild of America (WGA)
      5. The Producers Guild of America (PGA)
    7. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)
    8. Contract Services Administration Trust Fund
    9. SAG, DGA and WGA: Forms and Reports
    10. Union and Guild Contact Information
  21. Chapter 12: Principal Talent
    1. Introduction
    2. With a Little Help from Technology
    3. Follow-Through After an Actor’s Been Cast
    4. Work Calls
    5. Performer Categories
    6. Stunt Performer Categories
    7. Interviews
    8. Workweek
    9. Rest Periods
    10. Consecutive Employment
    11. Transportation and Location Expenses
    12. Looping
    13. Dubbing (Theatrical Motion Pictures Only)
    14. The Employment of Minors
      1. Work Permits
      2. Coogan’s Law
      3. Parents, Guardians, Teachers and Schooling
      4. Working Hours
      5. Miscellaneous Guidelines Pertaining to Minors
      6. Specific California Guidelines
    15. Taft/Hartley
    16. Nudity
    17. Work in Smoke
    18. SAG Background Actors
    19. Additionally
    20. Forms in This Chapter
    21. Screen Actors Guild Offices
  22. Chapter 13: Background Talent
    1. Background Casting Agencies
      1. Finding Specific Types
    2. The Process
      1. Gathering Large Crowds and Filling Stadiums
    3. Background Casting on Location
    4. Specifically SAG
      1. Moving from Nonunion to Union Status
    5. With the Extra in Mind
      1. Reminder of Professional Conduct for Background Actors
    6. Forms in This Chapter
  23. Chapter 14: There’s An Animal In My Film
    1. Introduction
    2. The Process
      1. Shipping Animals
      2. Animal Trainers
    3. Some Expert Advice
    4. The American Humane Association
  24. Chapter 15: Clearances and Releases
    1. Introduction
    2. What Needs to Be Cleared
      1. Likeness
      2. Crowd Notice
      3. Locations
      4. Name
      5. Names of Actual Businesses or Organizations
      6. Telephone Numbers
      7. License Plates
      8. Depiction of Public Authorities
      9. Street Addresses
      10. Depiction of Actual Products
      11. Posters and Paintings
      12. Publications
      13. Currency
      14. Web Addresses
      15. Music
    3. Product Placement
    4. Guidelines for the Use of Clips, Stills and News Footage in Multimedia Programs
      1. Literary Works
      2. News and/or Stock Footage
      3. Film Clips
      4. Television Clips
      5. Still Photos
      6. Public Domain Films and Stills
      7. Trailers
      8. Talent Clearance
        1. News Footage
        2. Public Figures in News Footage
        3. Feature Films
        4. Television Programs
      9. Directors and Writers Payments
    5. Distribution of Release Forms
    6. Forms in This Chapter
  25. Chapter 16: A Guide to Music Clearance
    1. What Is Music Clearance?
    2. Why Does a Producer Have to Secure Licenses for “Music Rights”?
    3. How Does Your Errors and Omission Insurance Policy Relate to Music Clearance?
      1. Who Are the Owners of Musical Compositions and Recordings?
    4. What Was the U.S. Supreme Court’s Rear Window Decision and How Does It Affect Music Licensing?
    5. What Rights Are Needed in Order to Make Sure that the Musical Material Used in a Production Is Properly Cleared?
      1. Public Performing Rights
      2. Reproduction Rights
      3. Adaptation Rights
    6. From Whom Are These Music Rights Obtained?
      1. Musical Compositions
      2. Recordings
    7. What Is a Music Cue Sheet and Why Is It So Important?
    8. To Where Should Music Cue Sheets Be Sent?
    9. Can a Copyright Owner Prevent Music from Being Used?
    10. What Happens If a Song Is Used Without Clearance?
    11. What About Old Songs? Aren’t These Songs in the Public Domain, and Free to Be Used
    12. Without Restrictions?
    13. How Long Can Music Be Protected by Copyright?
    14. May I Use Eight Bars of a Song Without Paying for It?
    15. What Is “Fair Use”?
    16. May the Title of a Song Be Used as the Title of a Program?
    17. Must a License Be Secured if Song Lyrics Are Spoken in Dialogue?
    18. May Lyrics to an Existing Song Be Changed Without Permission?
    19. If a Song Is Cleared for One Episode of a Television Series, May It Be Used in Other Episodes Without Additional Permission?
    20. Is It Necessary to Clear Music That’s to Be Used in Commercials?
    21. May Records or Compact Discs Be Used on a Television Show?
    22. If a License Is Obtained to Use a Film Clip from a Television Program or Feature Film, Will that License Include the Right to Use the Music Contained on the Clip?
    23. If a Record Company Issues a License to Use a Music Video Clip, Will Further Clearances Be Required?
    24. Is a Synchronization License Required for the First U.S. Network Broadcast of an riginal Live or Taped Television Program?
    25. What Rights Are Required to Release a Program for Sale in the Home Video DVD Marketplace?
    26. What Do Music Copyright Owners Charge for Home Video DVD Rights?
    27. How Are Feature Films Licensed?
    28. How Is Music Licensed in Religious Programs?
    29. How Much Will It Cost to Clear a Song for Use in My Television or Film Project?
    30. What Is a Needle Drop?
    31. What Happens When Licenses Expire?
  26. Chapter 17: Safety
    1. Safety Programs
    2. Safety Meetings
    3. Safety Training
    4. Designated Areas of Responsibility
    5. Safety Bulletins
      1. General Code of Safe Practices for Production
      2. Procedural Guidelines
    6. General Safety Guidelines for Production
      1. General Rules
      2. Lifting and Moving
      3. Common Fall Risks (Catwalks, Runways, Floor Openings, Guard Rails, Scaffolds and Stairwells)
      4. Hazardous Materials
      5. Hand Tools and Related Equipment
      6. Filming Equipment (Booms, Camera and Insert Cars, Cranes, Dollies, etc.)
      7. Filming Vehicles (Aircraft, Helicopters, Cars, Trains, etc.)
      8. Electrical Safety
      9. Water Hazards
      10. Stunts and Special Effects
      11. Smoke
      12. Firearms
      13. Animals
      14. Environmental Concerns
      15. Preparing for an Emergency
    7. Screen Actors Guild - Safety Regulations
    8. Working Under Hazardous Conditions
    9. Advice from an Expert
    10. Sexual Harassment
    11. “On Location” - Personal Safety Considerations and Suggestions
      1. Visit Locations Prior to First Day of Shooting
      2. Gang-Occupied Locations
      3. Additional Suggestions
      4. Taking Action
      5. Conflict Resolution
      6. Self-Defense
    12. Forms in This Chapter
  27. Chapter 18: Locations
    1. Introduction
    2. The Location Manager
    3. Filmmaker’s Code of Conduct
    4. Sample Notification Letter
    5. Forms in This Chapter
  28. Chapter 19: Distant Location
    1. Introduction
    2. Location Managers on Distant Location
    3. The Production Office
      1. The Traveling Production Office
    4. Distant Location Checklist
    5. Welcome to Location
    6. Interacting with Local Communities
    7. Film Commissions
    8. SAG Branch Offices
    9. Form in This Chapter
  29. Chapter 20: Foreign Locations
    1. Introduction
    2. U.S. Companies Shooting in Foreign Countries
      1. Before You Make Your Plane Reservations
      2. Supplying Information to Cast and Crew
      3. Instructions for Crossing into a Foreign Country
      4. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
      5. Final Notes
    3. The United States as a Foreign Location
      1. O Visas
      2. P Visas
      3. H-2B Visas
  30. Chapter 21: Travel and Housing
    1. Introduction
    2. Travel Considerations
      1. General Travel Information
      2. Movement Lists and Individual Travel Itineraries
    3. Housing
      1. There’s Always Someone
      2. Alternative Housing
    4. Forms in This Chapter
  31. Chapter 22: Shipping
    1. Introduction
    2. Shipping Companies
    3. Shipping Coordination
    4. General Shipping Guidelines
    5. Dangerours Goods
      1. Modes of Transportation
      2. Ground
      3. Air
      4. Ocean
    6. Domestic Shipping
      1. Manifests
      2. Packing and Labeling
      3. Shipping Dailies
      4. Weapons, Ammunition, and Explosives
      5. Shipping Animals
      6. Returns
      7. Personal Items
      8. Sea Containers and Rolling Stock
      9. Rolling Stock
    7. International Shipping
      1. General Customs and Shipping Guidelines
        1. Weapons
      2. Temporary versus Definite
      3. Brokers and Freight Forwarders
      4. Methods of Importing Goods on a Temporary Basis
        1. Carnets
        2. Certificate of Registration
        3. Pro-Forma Shipping Invoices
        4. Temporary Importation Bonds (TIBs)
        5. In-Bond
        6. Shipper Export Declaration
      5. Transporting Goods Across the Border
      6. Fees
      7. Packing and Labeling International Shipments
      8. Providing Information to Vendors
      9. Returns
      10. Film and Dailies on a Foreign Location
      11. U.S. Sales Tax Exemptions
      12. Final Notes
    8. Forms in This Chapter
  32. Chapter 23: Effects
    1. Introduction
    2. Visual Effects
    3. Physical Effects
    4. Mechanical Effects
  33. Chapter 24: Specifically Television
    1. Introduction
    2. Showrunners
    3. TV Directors
    4. Cable Movies
    5. The One-Hour Drama
      1. Overview
      2. Airdates
      3. Titles
      4. A Prep Schedule
      5. Budgets
      6. The Cast
      7. The HD Factor
      8. Some Differences Between Broadcast Network and Cable Shows
    6. Reality TV
      1. Reality as a Genre
      2. Casting
      3. Insurance Considerations
      4. Product Placement
      5. Staff and Crew
      6. Post Production
      7. Summing It Up
    7. Half-Hour Sitcoms
  34. Chapter 25: Independent Filmmaking
    1. Introduction
    2. Specialty Divisions
    3. So You’re Going to Make a Film
      1. For Starters
      2. Rights
      3. Completion Bonds
    4. From Financing to Distribution
      1. A Business Plan
      2. Financing Models
      3. Bank Loan
      4. About Sales Agents
      5. Producer’s Reps
      6. Distribution
      7. Acquisition Executives
    5. Some Additional Resources
  35. Chapter 26: Practical Low-Budget Filmmaking
    1. Introduction
    2. General Suggestions for Low- and Ultra-Low-Budget Films
    3. Filming on a Shoestring
      1. What Is It?
      2. How Does It Work?
      3. What to Include in the Proposal
      4. Some Very Important Notes
    4. Short Films
    5. Marrying Creativity with Business
    6. Film Festivals
    7. Direct-to-DVD
    8. Documentaries
    9. More on Marketing
    10. Music for Your Film
    11. Additional Resources
    12. Forms in This Chapter
  36. Chapter 27: New Media
    1. Introduction
    2. What Is New Media?
    3. Cross-Platforms
    4. Studios and Networks
    5. New Media Producers, Studios and Production Companies
    6. Games
    7. Special Venues
    8. Interactive TV
    9. Marketing in the Digital Age
    10. Where to Go for More
    11. A Little Terminology
    12. Website Resources
    13. Conferences
    14. Final Thoughts
  37. Chapter 28: Commercial Production
    1. Introduction
    2. Developing, Bidding and Awarding
    3. The Pre-Production Book
    4. The Relationship Between the Client, the Agency and the Production Company
    5. Differences
    6. The Wrap Book
    7. Forms in This Chapter
  38. Chapter 29: Wrap
    1. Introduction
    2. Recoverable Assets
    3. Getting Started
    4. Tentative Screen Credits
    5. At the Completion of Principal Photography
    6. Short Ends
    7. Wrapping by Department
      1. Wardrobe
      2. Props
      3. Set Dressing
      4. Set Dressing/Construction
      5. Art Department/Construction
      6. Construction
    8. Packing
    9. To Submit to Your Production Exec or Parent Company
    10. Your Basic Wrap Book
    11. Wrap Checklist
      1. The Final Production Book
    12. Forms in This Chapter
  39. Chapter 30: Post Production Overview
    1. Introduction
    2. Shooting on Film
      1. The Process
    3. Shooting Digitally
    4. Editing
    5. The Director’s Cut
      1. Under the DGA Basic Agreement
      2. Under a DGA Low-Budget Agreement
    6. Dailies
    7. Post Production Sound
    8. Schedules and Workflow
    9. Screen Credits
      1. Directors Guild of America (DGA)
        1. Director - Theatrical Motion Pictures
        2. Director - Television
        3. Unit Production Manager/First Assistant Director/Second Assistant Director - Theatrical Motion Pictures and Television
      2. Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
        1. Performers - Theatrical Motion Pictures
        2. Performers - Television Motion Pictures
      3. Writers Guild of America (WGA)
        1. Writers - Theatrical and Television Credits
      4. Other Significant Screen Credits
        1. Producers’ Credits
        2. Casting
        3. Music
        4. Film Editor
        5. Art Director/Production Designer
        6. Director of Photography
        7. Costume Designer
        8. Set Decorator
        9. Costumers
        10. Hair and Make-Up
      5. Alternative Titles
      6. Sample Screen Credits
    10. Standard Delivery Requirements
      1. Negative and Picture Elements
      2. Sound Elements
      3. Videotape Masters
      4. Publicity Materials
      5. Music Documents
      6. General Documents
      7. Work Materials
    11. Post Production Terminology
      1. Film Terms Translated to Their Digital Equivalent
  40. Chapter 31: Greener Filmmaking
    1. Introduction
    2. General Guidelines
      1. Recycle!
      2. Conserve Energy!
      3. Be Environmentally Responsible!
      4. Properly Dispose of Hazardous Waste!
    3. Departmental Guidelines
      1. The Production Office
      2. Construction
      3. Transportation
      4. On-Set
      5. Craft Service/Catering
      6. Grip and Electric
      7. Special Effects
      8. Wardrobe
      9. Make-Up and Hair
      10. Camera
    4. What Can Be Recycled
      1. Paper
      2. Metals
      3. Glass
      4. Plastics
      5. Do Not Recycle These Items
    5. Green Guidelines
    6. Green Links
  41. Chapter 32: Industry Survival Tips
    1. Introduction
    2. Key Ingredients to a Successful Career
      1. #1: Passion! Passion! And More Passion!
      2. #2: Being Prepared
      3. #3: It’s Who You Know and Who Knows You
      4. #4: It’s Also What You Know About the Industry
      5. #5: Understanding the Power of Networking
      6. #6: Having a Plan, and Committing to Your Success
      7. #7: Standing Out from the Crowd
      8. #8: Developing a Thick Skin
      9. #9: Perfecting Your Craft
      10. #10: Having Good Interview Skills
      11. #11: Being Able to Ask for What You Want
      12. #12: A Winning Attitude
      13. #13: A Willingness and an Ability to Play the Game
      14. #14: Being Well Liked and Having a Good Reputation
      15. #15: A Game Plan for Getting Through the Rough Times
      16. #16: The Seven Ps
    3. More on Getting Through the Tough Times
    4. Getting Work
    5. Developing Good Work Habits and Necessary People Skills
    6. A Lesson in Paying Dues
    7. It’s the Attitude, Dummy
    8. How to Keep Learning
    9. Easier Said than Done
    10. Remembering Why You Got into This Business to Begin With
    11. Recipe for Success
  42. Glossary
  43. Index