Lights, Camera, Contract! Entertainment, Film, and TV Contracts: Be ready for Your Client’s Close-up

by Ethan Bordman

“Do Less Lunch, Do More Contracts”

“Moviemakers do lunch, not contracts.”1 This was the court’s summary of director Larry Cohen’s reason for the absence of a written contract regarding ownership of film footage in the horror movie The Stuff, starring actor Paul Sorvino. Cohen hired Effects Associates, a special-effects company, to enhance certain scenes in the film. An oral agreement was reached regarding services without discussion of copyright ownership in the footage. Suit was later filed for breach of contract.

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