The Director's Chair Issue #65 – April 28, 2006 (The Importance of Securing Chain of Title)
THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors
April 28, 2006 Scene 7 – Take 4
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Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
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2. Directing Workshop Postponed
3. Important Message from Peter
4. 201 Things You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies
5. A Life Changing Event
6. Filmmakers Shameless Self-Promotion
7. Subscriber Links of Interest
8. Important Industry Information
9. In the News – The future of TV is mobile
10. Feature Article – Securing Chain of Title
11. Quote of the Month
12. Filmmaking Resource Center Blog
13. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
14. Share This Ezine
15. Suggestions & Comments
16. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
17. Copyright Information
Welcome to Issue #65 of The Director’s Chair (April 28, 2006)
I would like to say hello to all my subscribers from 44
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represented here, please let me know and I will add it to
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada,
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Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands,
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Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, United Arab
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1) IMPORTANT MESSAGE – I’ve had some email’s from a few
subscribers complaining that I sent them information about
my film directing workshops. I just want to clear up a few
2) FILMMAKERS OF THE MONTH – I am starting a new section
where I will be giving two subscribers per month an
opportunity to promote themselves, their company or their
3) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“The Importance of Securing Chain of Title” by Jindra Rajwans.
Professionals in the film industry, especially writers and
producers will often hear about a concept called “chain of
title.” Chain of title refers to the succession of title of
ownership of copyright back to the original owner.(see below
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Peter D. Marshall
2. DIRECTING WORKSHOP POSTPONED
Due to an unexpected professional commitment, I’ve had to
postpone “The Art and Craft of the Director” workshop
(May 26, 27, 28, 2006) until the fall.
If you are still interested in this workshop, please let me
know at mailto:email@example.com and I will contact you
as soon as I have new dates for the workshop.
3. IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PETER D. MARSHALL
I’ve had some email’s from a few subscribers complaining
that I sent them information about my film directing
workshops. I just want to clear up a few things…
I am a professional filmmaker who has made a living in this
industry for over 33 years. I created “The Director’s Chair”
in April, 2000 for filmmakers who are passionate about
learning their craft.
As a matter of fact, this month is the 6th Anniversary of
this FREE ezine! If you check above, you can see that it is
read in at least 44 countries around the world!
For the past 6 years I’ve published a variety of original
articles for filmmakers. These articles were written either
by myself or by other filmmakers. We volunteer to do this
because we are all passionate about filmmaking and we want
to pass on our knowledge to you.
I don’t sell advertising space in “The Director’s Chair” and
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It has only been in the past three years that I have started
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have taught workshops in Canada, Singapore and Dubai.) And
from time to time, I will be letting you know about these
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created myself (or from other sources) that I feel are
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4. “201 THINGS YOU WOULDN’T KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES”
Grab your Free copy of this humorous list of “201 Things You
Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or Television.” I have also
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5. **NEW** – FILMMAKERS SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
I am starting a new section in this ezine where I will give
two subscribers per month an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions. If you are
interested, send an email to mailto:email@example.com.
Please limit your promotion to less than 200 words.
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(see below for more details.)
6. **NEW** – SUBSCRIBER LINKS OF INTEREST
I also started a new webpage for “The Director’s Chair”
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If you are a subscriber and you want me to put your website
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7. A LIFE CHANGING EVENT
Rarely do I mention a book or an event that is unrelated to
filmmaking in this ezine, but last month I went to a three
day seminar that virtually changed my life.
The goal of the seminar was to help people identify and
overcome the hidden obstacles that hold them back from
reaching their full potential in terms of both success and
And if there was one word that describes the philosophy of
this seminar, that word is “ACTION” – because it’s what you
DO and what happens in your life AFTER the seminar that
I’m not going to say anything else here about this event.
But if you want to discover what over 250,000 other people
have experienced – in both immediate and long term changes
that include higher incomes, greater net worth, better
relationships, true power and a sense of inner peace, click
here now: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
8. IMPORTANT INDUSTRY INFORMATION
1) The Director’s Edge – This company offers filmmakers a
brand new, innovative film coaching and consulting program
designed to create your own demo reel or theatrical trailer.
You get hands on training with a Hollywood director and a
fully produced reel/short. You also get 50 DVD copies of
your reel and a master. And get this – your reel will also
be shown on a Regal or AMC theatre screen for 30 days
during the “First Look” presentation before feature films.
Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/directorsedge
2) FREE Production Music to Lower Project Costs –
Download 206 Tracks FREE
Iamusic.com is offering 206 production music tracks for FREE
download. For a limited time, content creators may download
these tracks FREE and use them in Corporate & Business
Productions, Internet Presentations, Podcasts,
Project/Student/Short Films and Promotional Items (Hardware
or Software) free-of-charge.
A wide variety of styles are accessible via this FREE
download including Corporate, Cinematic, Rock, Country,
EZ-Listening, Jazz, Comedy, World, Techno, Percussive and
Dance to name a few:
-206 FREE Production Music Tracks to Download
-Royalty Free Mini-Music License Agreement
-Generous Usage Rights
-NO Sign-Up Required
All 206 tracks are online and available as FREE Downloads.
You can access these tracks by going to
3) The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) wants to
hear from talented Canadian writer and producer teams who
have an idea for a great television series. Through the NSI
Totally Television training program, NSI is offering
qualifying teams the chance to fine-tune their idea and work
towards landing a broadcast development deal. Apply for the
program by May 15, 2006, 4:30 p.m., Central Time. Guidelines
and an application form are available on the NSI website:
4) The FTX WEST Film and Television Expo will be held in
Vancouver, Canada on October 12th & 15th, 2006 with an
estimated five thousand attendees and nearly eighty
exhibitors in attendance. This Trade Show and Conference
will showcase the latest and greatest in film & video
technology from around the world.
5) Robert McKee’s Genre Weekend – For the first time ever,
all four genre classes will be offered in a single weekend
in New York on May 12-15, 2006. The 4 days include: Horror
Day, Thriller Day, Comedy Day and Film Masterpiece Day.
For more information, check out:
9. IN THE NEWS – The future of TV is mobile
From The Vancouver Sun – Published: April 28, 2006
Article by Alex Strachan, CanWest News Service
“We’ve seen the future of TV and it is mobile. If what is
happening in the U.S. is any indication, you may soon be
watching TV on your iPod or cellphone.”
To read the rest of this article, click here:
10. FEATURE ARTICLE – Importance of Securing Chain of Title
“The Importance of Securing Chain of Title”
By Jindra Rajwans, B.A. (Hons.), M.A., LL.B., M.B.A., LL.M.
NOTE: The information in this article is not intended to be
legal advice and is of a general nature. Consult a lawyer
for advice for any specific situation.
Professionals in the film industry, especially writers and
producers will hear about a concept called “chain of title”,
if they have not already heard about it. Chain of title
refers to the succession of title of ownership of copyright
back to the original owner.
When an idea for a film is formulated in writing by an
author who is not an employee or who has not by contract
negotiated away his or her copyright in the respective work,
that person is generally considered the original author and
owner of the copyright in that work.
As the old adage goes, copyright does not exist in an idea
itself. Rather, in Canada and the United States (and most
other jurisdictions in the world), copyright protection
exists for works in tangible form. It is the expression of
the idea rather than the idea itself that is subject to
copyright protection. In other words, the idea has to be
“fixed” in material form.
For a literary work such as a screenplay, copyright protects
it or any substantial part of it in any material form from
being, among other things, produced, reproduced,
distributed, published, translated, adapted, made into a
film, or communicated to public by telecommunication without
the permission of the author.
Now, screenplays oftentimes start out with an idea and then
a treatment or synopsis is derived from such treatment.
Alternatively, some screenplays are derived from novels or
stage plays. In cases where a screenplay is derived from a
treatment, the first thing to note is that the screenplay is
a derivative work of the treatment, and as such, the
treatment is the first element in the chain of title.
Without the permission of the author of the treatment to
create a screenplay based on it, the chain of title would be
broken, so to speak. Moreover, the screenplay is oftentimes
a joint effort among more than one author, therefore, the
producer who wishes to use the screenplay may likely have to
obtain the appropriate rights from all those joint-authors
who contributed to that screenplay.
If there is a possibility that a producer believes that a
specific third party may have some rights in the screenplay,
then the producer may want to take precautions by having the
third party execute a quitclaim or other similar document
that effectively establishes that the third party has no
interest in the screenplay.
To ensure that the producer fully owns the film, the
producer will also have to secure all the necessary rights
from everyone involved in the production so that chain of
title of the film itself, is intact. Agreements with the
director, actors, cinematographer and everyone else involved
in the production will have to be executed.
The most significant reason why producers want to keep an
eye on the chain of title is to ensure that they can secure
distribution. Distributors will want the producer to ensure
that all rights to the film have been secured, and they will
require the producer to make certain representations and
warranties in regards to the ownership of the film.
For example, the distributor will likely require the
producer to represent and warrant that the film does not
violate or infringe, among other things, any agreement with
any third party, trade-mark, trade name, copyright, moral
right, patent, literary right, dramatic right, and rights of
privacy and publicity. If any of these representations and
warranties turns out to be untrue, the producer will usually
have to indemnify and hold harmless the distributor for any
breach of the respective representations, warranties and any
covenants under the distribution agreement.
Prior to making a film, it would be prudent for a producer
to make himself or herself aware of the kinds of agreements
required to secure chain of title of the film, and a lawyer
oftentimes can provide valuable assistance with these
matters. Although there is an upfront cost and time to
properly secure chain of title, the cost of not doing so can
ultimately be much greater as the chances of entering into a
distribution deal may be jeopardized.
Jindra Rajwans is a business and entertainment lawyer in
Toronto, Canada. The entertainment area of his practice
focuses on providing legal services to writers, directors,
producers, actors, musicians or other professionals, and
companies in the entertainment industry.
11. QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
12. FILMMAKING RESOURCE CENTER BLOG
Check out the Filmmaking Resource Center blog at:
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articles, movie news and film reviews. Please use this
resource center to ask questions (and answer questions;) to
read daily film and TV news; and to submit your own
filmmaking tips and stories.
Filmmaking Resource Center – http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM
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17. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Copyright (c) 2000-2006
Peter D. Marshall
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