Scripted Feature from Documentary- New LLC for Life Rights?

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Latest post Tue, Aug 19 2014 1:59 PM by ca19lawyer2. 3 replies.
  • Mon, Aug 18 2014 1:56 PM

    • bluebuck73
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    Scripted Feature from Documentary- New LLC for Life Rights?

    Hello,

    We are in the final phases of production for a feature length documentary.  We have produced this doc under an LLC.  My producing partner and I want to produce a scripted feature.  Do we need to start a new LLC to assign the character's life rights to?  Please advise.  Thanks!

  • Mon, Aug 18 2014 3:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Scripted Feature from Documentary- New LLC for Life Rights?

    Do you need to? It certainly isn’t required by law that you do it. It could be managed within the existing LLC. Whether it might be the best way to do it is another question, and one that cannot be answered without knowing a lot more detail about the business venture and how you are currently organized. Why do you think that a second LLC would be of any benefit to you? Maybe knowing what you think that will achieve will provide a good starting point for discussion on this.

    You might want to consult a business attorney familiar with the film industry.

  • Mon, Aug 18 2014 3:47 PM In reply to

    • bluebuck73
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    • NY
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    Re: Scripted Feature from Documentary- New LLC for Life Righ...

    Thanks for the quick reply!

     

    We have actuallyconsulted our business lawyer and our entertainment/rights and clearances lawyer. They both said different things. We're trying to survey other lawyers so we can come to a decision. 

     

    Wed end prefer not to start a new LLC, but we also want to do what is right. We'd like to sell this as a package to someone with the doc and potential scripted feature. 

  • Tue, Aug 19 2014 1:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Scripted Feature from Documentary- New LLC for Life Rights?

    You appear to be drawing a distinction between a "feature length documentary" and a "scripted feature," and it would be helpful if you clarified the distinction you are trying to draw.

    It's also not at all clear what you mean when you refer to "the character's life rights."  Are you talking about the right of publicity of a living person featured in your documentary and on whom a character in your "scripted feature" will be based?

    As far as the question you asked, I agree that the answer is no and that the more relevant question is whether it's a good idea.  If you have multiple lawyers who are giving you different answers, then you need to discuss with each of them why they think what they think.  You might even ask for a conference call to discuss the issue and let them bounce ideas off each other.

    Keep in mind, by the way that, depending on what you mean by "scripted feature" and "the character's life rights," having those rights might be completely unnecessary.

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