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Old August 6th, 2004, 11:42 AM   #211
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Third party liability is first on my list, then gear (but I don't insure it, too expensive). TPL can't do without, never. One stupid mistake can cost a lifetime's payments.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #212
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Please explain

<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Uneken : Third party liability is first on my list, then gear (but I don't insure it, too expensive). TPL can't do without, never. One stupid mistake can cost a lifetime's payments. -->>>

Dan,

Can you give me an example of third-party liability? Would that be a contractor you employ for a shoot doing something wrong? I understand I could personally commit acts that would incur liability but I guess I'm not seeing why third parties wouldn't be liable for their own mistakes.

Thanks.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 01:29 PM   #213
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An example is of course when your light topples over and hits an actor on the head with terrible consequences.. etc.
Anybody working for you, should also be covered. That's why I always take out a production liability insurance for a limited time (in Spain about 3% of the budget), apart from my own personal professional liability insurance.
I have a bit of an obsession with the magnitude of the TPL risk, which can be millions of dollars.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #214
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will renter's insurance, or the weva insurance covered intellectual property? or the value of projects in development?

obviously ignorant, but the data on any one computer is usually worth more than the computer hardware itself.... papers, software, etc.

any insurance that cover's this?

thank you
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Old August 6th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #215
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Intellectual property that has not been proved is very difficult to insure. Not like insuring something that already has a known market value.

I hire my crew and actors through a temp employment agency. That way they are covered by insurance, I don't have to do much paperwork and the temps are covered by my business insurance.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #216
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problem with insurance

I ran into a huge problem today. I've been trying to get insurance for a short film I'm making... but no company will give me insurance because the script calls for a gun.

Keep in mind, I have no intentions of firing blanks or anything like that. I'm just using nonfiring replicas. That doesn't matter though. And it isn't just one insurance company saying this -- it's everyone in my area (northern NJ/New York City).

Has anyone encountered a problem like this? I need to find a company that will give me insurance despite the use of a gun. it's too important to the story to take out.

Thanks
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Old September 11th, 2004, 10:03 AM   #217
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Well that would be the limit, taking the gun out because the insurance company doesn't like it!!
What kind of insurance companies are you dealing with. Obviously not Tarantinos insurers...
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Old September 11th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #218
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From what I'm being told there's only one company in the US that handles short term production insurance. I could always get a full term plan that covers feature films but that would cost way too much money. So I have to trim the script and use some of my friends as actors, as opposed to using the real actors which I've already casted (something no director would be very happy about) and just shoot without insurance. I can't take the chance of getting sued and losing all of my equipment which is a huge risk especially when I'm working with strangers.

I can sort of see where the insurance company is coming from. If I'm only spending $2000 on insurance and someone gets hurt they could end up paying out more. However, the funny thing is, they'll let me use a very real, very sharp knife since it's being used to cut vegetables -- but I can't use a gun which is in no way shape or form capable of firing -- which at the worst might fall on someone's toe. I don't see the logic in that, but that's just me.
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Old September 11th, 2004, 12:28 PM   #219
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Of course the company wants to avoid risks, but that's the deal: you pay 2000 $ premium and they pay the damages, if any. Nothing happens, they pocket two K. I simply can't believe that they are serious excluding fake, non firing guns from being used in small film productions. Did you speak to them on the phone, is there no way out? Can you have "gun" in a dialogue? Can't you use a euphemism for gun in the script, like "stick", or even "plastic toy pistol"...?
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Old September 11th, 2004, 02:28 PM   #220
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You know, even with non firing guns your local rules might require a cop and / or an armourer to be on the scene. The last shot I was on we had a cop because there was exterior shots with non-firing props. Perhaps your insurance company is requiring that reassurance.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 05:14 AM   #221
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First thing you should do (like right now) is give your local film commission a call.

If they can't lead you in the right direction take out a premium on your gear thru your production company. Register a doing business as name at your local county office then take out a premium on your gear that you own/plan on renting.

Another issue you may be trying to cope with is liability for those actors/actresses on the set. This could probably be solved by busting out a boiler plate liability release indemnifying you from any of your actors reckless behavior.

Also, if you are trying to insure a location etc you can get location insurance for events, etc. I know some places require a million dollar+ coverage for large events (like on parking lots etc)

I think mostly what you need to understand is that insurance is a way to limit your liability and put a set amount on how exposed you are. For instance, on my up and coming shoot and I have location insurance, equipment insurance and liability releases (which I turned into my insurance company) and I have something like 80,000 dollars of coverage with a 1000 dollar deductible.

I hope this gives you some ideas, without a more comprehensive explanation of what your doing/trying to get as far as your shorts concerned then all I can do is generalize.

Going to your film commission is a good idea regardless.

Good luck
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Old September 16th, 2004, 12:42 PM   #222
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Since I own all my equipment and the locations are being generously donated by my friends and family -- my main concern insurance wise is with the actors. If one of them get's hurt I don't want to be sued, or for them to sue the person who owns the location I'm shooting at. There's nothing in the script that has a potential for a serious injury. I'm more worried about something along the lines of someone tripping over a wire, a light falling on someone's head, etc.

I've thought about a liabilty release form, but I'm afraid it wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on in court. I'm not sure what New Jersey's stance is on that type of contract. My next course of action is going to be to an attorney to view my options.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 03:00 AM   #223
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Indemnity is one of the least understood areas of law so be careful even with legal advice.

Also, your comment about that piece of paper not holding up in court is incorrect. See, a liability release releases you from liability for somebody else's actions that are grossly negligent.

For instance if I am on your set and I am fiddling with some electricity and throw a hot cable into the pool with your lead actress and she dies -- her family can sue me for civil damages, but you cannot be held responsible for my negligence.

However if you are the one who is being grossly negligent then you can be held liable even with an liability release.

See a lawyer if your that concerned -- that's what they do, traverse the illogicistics of the law.

Dean
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Old September 17th, 2004, 07:33 PM   #224
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Quote:
Indemnity is one of the least understood areas of law so be careful even with legal advice.
Indemnity isn't an area of law, it's a legal theory of liability, and liability is exactly what lawyers understand.

Quote:
Also, your comment about that piece of paper not holding up in court is incorrect. See, a liability release releases you from liability for somebody else's actions that are grossly negligent.
That's not true. Superseding intervening negligence can be a defense to liability, but it's not possible to disclaim gross negligence.

Quote:
For instance if I am on your set and I am fiddling with some electricity and throw a hot cable into the pool with your lead actress and she dies -- her family can sue me for civil damages, but you cannot be held responsible for my negligence.
Also not true. It depends on why you are on the set. Unless you're a trespasser whose presence wasn't reasonably foreseeable, the producer is liable.

Quote:
However if you are the one who is being grossly negligent then you can be held liable even with an liability release.
That's correct.

See a lawyer if your that concerned -- that's what they do, traverse the illogicistics of the law.
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Old September 18th, 2004, 03:04 AM   #225
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Deniz,

You don't specify whether your actors are members of SAG (Screen Actors Guild, the union) or not. I have heard that SAG requires the producer of any film to have insurance (workmen's comp, anyone?) before it will allow SAG actors to work on the project.

Since I may want to shoot with SAG actors in the near future, I'd be delighted if anyone else has the straight dope on this.

(By the way, the SAG Indie website doesn't come out and say that you MUST have insurance, but they do list insurance companies for e.g. New York State:

http://www.sagindie.com/res-Ny/ny118.html)

Michael
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