Question by BeLikeBenFranklin: Established Documentary filmmakers … HELP!!! “E & O Insurance” … Do I need it? How can I get it?
I would love to talk to a documentary filmmaker who has had their work distributed & made profit from it … who knows all about “E & O Insurance”, and could help me to know if I need it … and if so, how to go about getting it for my documentary.
If you think you can be of greater assistance and would like to chat in detail about the topic … please post your email address & I’ll get back with you. THANKS!
Answer by legalbeagle
E&O insurance is errors and omission insurance. It basically covers you against liable, slander and all those other wonderful lawsuits that will come to bite you in the butt if your film is successful.
Do you need it? Depends on what you plan on doing with the film. If your documentary is a class project for a grade, don’t sweat it. If it’s a film your making for film festivals… again, you probably don’t have to worry about it. It’s when you want to sell it that you will need it. (And I think you can purchase it at the time of sale.) This will protect the distributor from lawsuits in case things were improperly portrayed in your film.
How soon you should be thinking of this also depends on your subject matter. If you’re doing a film about your family, then you probably won’t have a problem with complying with E&O. But say you did a film about Jim Morrison… oh boy, that’s one fun estate you’ll love to negotiate with!
From what I understand, a rep will go over the completed film and find every and any possible problem with your audio and visual composition. Did you get clearance to use “Super freak” that’s overheard during the interview? Or do you have the okay to show the Budweiser sign behind the guy talking?
Documentary filmmakers who have made a profit? Wow, that should limit your possible suspects to just a handful. Most doc filmmakers do docs because they can get funding from a foundation, because they can practice their craft, or because they have a passion for the material. Doing it for a profit is very, very difficult. hope this helps.
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What do you think? Answer below!