It’s an incredible thing to make your own work. It’s a powerful experience like no other and it fulfills you in ways you never thought possible. And as an independent production company, it’s a high we chase often and one that we love to share with our clients.
We as producers typically come into play when it’s time to take the next big step for a project. When a creator has finished the script and is ready to take those words off the page and on to the screen or stage, you call us and we take a meeting to break it all down and set things in motion. We get the party started and BAM before you know it we’re wrapped and heading to post with bottles of champagne.
But one thing that quickly knocks the breath out of anyone’s lungs is the second we start breaking down the side of this process that rarely makes your Instagram story; the business and legal components surrounding your project that are very much unavoidable and incredibly important.
Now, we recognize this is our job first and foremost (AND WE LOVE IT). We know our way around and we have systems in place to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. But we also know what it feels like to be in our client’s position and get the rundown for the first time. Contracts can appear scary, confusing and feature legal jargon that can make your brain feel like cheese. Budgets read to be very detailed, intimidating and you’ll think it’s one page until you click a little Excel icon and see it isn’t. Union paperwork takes extra time and requires planning with an extra side of patience. Locations require you to have an insurance policy that you can’t get easily through Jake from State Farm. That song you thought for the opening credits is going to take a whole lot of phone calls to get a license for, maybe a decent chunk of change even and you didn’t know you needed a license for it in the first place!
We know. It’s a lot. That’s not even half of it. And we are with you every step of the way leading the charge to dot the I's and cross the T's. HOWEVER-
We also understand what it feels like to not know what any of this is or where to even begin. One minute you are reveling in how beautiful you know your project will turn out and the next are totally overwhelmed by these legalities and business practices that you forget about the passion and excitement that brought these words to the page in the first place.
So we’re here to fix that, with our new series coming to The Lighthouse appropriately titled “The Business of the Business.”
We think creatives should have an understanding of how these things work. Why? Because you put too much work into this to not fully recognize the scope of what could happen throughout the life of your project as it heads into the next phase of development; what your rights are, where the money comes from, what you really need to have to get things started etc. We also think the dialogue around these things needs to change within our industry in a big way. While it all sounds very intimidating, getting to this phase is a really good and exciting thing. It should be CELEBRATED. You should feel confident, comfortable and empowered while you navigate through this and any good producer would agree with us.
Over the next few weeks, we’re creating a little corner of the web that will give you at the very least a basic understanding of this side of things and how to get a start on making your way through it. Whether it’s the ABC’s of LLC’s, filing for copyrights and trademarks, what releases need to be signed before anyone calls ACTION, what an option agreement even is-the list goes on. We have some pretty solid intel on what steps you need to take to make you sweat just a little less and enjoy the twists and turns of production a little more. It’s a cool little guide you can reference any time and we are very excited to share it with you all..
Grab your party hats and everybody! “The Business of the Business” is coming your way soon!