Whether it's pre-production, production, editing or distribution, the proper releases are essential, said Levine. For instance, shooting in a location without the proper releases can prevent a production from getting "Errors and Omissions" insurance, Levine said.
"If you don't have E and O insurance in place the chances of getting theatrical distribution is not really good. [You'll be] largely limited to showing to family, friends, festivals. You're probably going to be kicking yourself for not at least finding out what you should have done during pre-production."
It's understandable that film and video makers want to focus on the purely creative aspect of a project, said Bandy. "They want to know how am I going to get this shot, what's the best way to utilize my actors? We want to come in and remind them, 'Hey, there are some other things you need to be thinking about as well. So that you don't in the future get to the point where now you can't use what you've created.'"
Bandy was a student in the film program with filmmaker Danny Boyd at West Virginia State University in Institute and helped with the production of some of his films, including "Paradise Park" and "Strangest Dreams," before he went on to law school. Boyd asked the two attorneys to do the presentation, the second time they have led it.
"The people in the community that need this information, they're in production, they need this advice now -- that's who we encourage to come to this course," Bandy said.
"When we talk about filmmakers, it can be a shop that just does advertising or it can be a true indie filmmaker that's planning on getting distribution," said Levine.
"Or if anybody's still using 8-millimeter [film], heck, come on down," added Bandy.
Levine will briefly address some of the issues around the use and re-use of music in creative productions.
For instance, there's the difference between a "musical composition" and a "sound recording." Levine has long used the Beatles to explain the distinction.
Paul McCartney had the idea for "Hey Jude," and had it in his head for weeks. The second he sat down and wrote it out, he owned the copyright and the musical composition.
"The Beatles go in, record it, the very first 'sound recording' of that 'musical composition' was born. That song has been covered in virtually every genre and each time a brand new sound recording is done. So there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of sound recording copyrights to "Hey Jude." But there's only one musical composition where it all starts," he said.
All these rights can be confusing and confounding to know, but better to know than to be sorry later, he said.
"Frankly, it's a backgrounder to copyright and trademark law, being the two big areas that impact film," said Levine. "If we can have these people walk away understanding the broad concepts and being able to spot potential issues, before they happen, that's our goal."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.