Law, Camera, Action!: A Close-up on the Principles of Entertainment Law

By Ethan Bordman

With the success of the Illinois Film Incentive, which raised $104 million in 2009, the movie business has become a thriving industry in this state. No longer are films made exclusively in Hollywood; now, they are frequently filmed on the streets in front of our offices and homes. As a result, it seems everyone wants to be a part of the movie business, whether as an extra, screenwriter,production assistant…the list is endless.

I recently received a call from a real estate attorney whose client was contacted by a production company interested in using the client’s own home as a movie set. Suddenly this attorney — well versed in terms such as chain of title, acceleration clause, and amortization — found himself working with unfamiliar terms such as “back end points,” “piece of the gross,” “pay-or-play,” and “below-the-line…”

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