Q: Producing 10 minute short with filmmakers I met through a friend and wanted to know what type of insurance I would need for shooting in a friends home and/or a nursing home or commercial building. One day shoot with a cast and crew of about 10 people. I want to make sure my production company, crew and the property are covered.
Huewilly via Film Method Mailbag
That’s a great question and there are plenty of options for this type of project. Meaning, you can find another company to co-produce with you who has insurance, purchase short-term coverage or, if you plan to make many of these films within a year, you may consider purchasing an annual policy.
I am not an insurance agent so your best bet is to contact an insurance provider for a quote. Don’t be intimidated, you do not have to purchase right then and there. It’s like buying car insurance, you want to shop around and get the best coverage at the best rate for your project. I will say this; most standard insurance companies do not handle film insurance. It is a specific kind of insurance and if you are renting equipment from a rental house, you will typically need to cover a minimum of a million dollars just to be safe. If you are not in Los Angeles, or another major filming hub like New York, chances are you are not going to be able to find coverage locally. You’ll want to look in LA. To cover everything you want to cover you’ll probably need liability and work comp. If you are using union actors, you will go through a payroll company and you’ll want to look into their insurance policies as well. That will all be explained by SAG.
When you call, you’ll need to know your budget (including how much you have to spend on insurance), how many people you need covered, what length of time and there will be a few other questions. Don’t worry if you don’t know, just so that and research and get back to the person.
It can be complicated at first glance, but once you talk to the right insurance agent, he/she will be able to explain it better than I can.
Congrats on your shoot and I hope it all goes well.
Thanks for listening,
We continue our month of episodes about distribution and celebrate the season of Sundance that is upon us as we speak to former Sundance short film programmer Roberta Munroe. As a festival programmer Roberta viewed tens of thousands of short films and has seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst. It is important as a filmmaker to know how to make a good film and to know your audience. It is equally as important to know what not to do! Join us for a candid talk about what festival programmers are looking for in a film.
Roberta Munroe- Filmmaker/Author/Consultant
Roberta Munroe is the author of How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets From A Sundance Programmer- described as the “bible” for short filmmakers. Roberta packed this “bible” with insider tips gleaned from 5 years programming short films at Sundance, interviewing successful short filmmakers worldwide and sharing the horrors and the brilliance of her own award winning short filmmaking career.
You can contact Roberta directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Edwards- Producer
Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.
Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by Agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process, before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Super Bad, The Office). During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Malcolm in the Middle, and working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.
After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers. After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they made, In the Darkness, the first narrative feature to ever premiere on Hulu.com. Most recently Edwards made her way back to Nebraska, where she shot April Showers, to team up with some new filmmakers on a comedy film called Trunk’d.
Aydrea ten Bosch- Writer/Producer
Aydrea, a former news reporter, has been a freelance writer for Nickelodeon and Hawaii Film Partners, a staff writer for Disney and currently has a feature film in post production with Highlander Films. Aydrea has been a finalist in the AAA Creative Screenwriting Contest and while at Disney, one of her scripts was chosen to represent the network before the Emmy Nominating Committee. She also runs the blog The Oreo Experience.
For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com
On November 11th, 2010 Film Method and Mental Eclectic held their first joint Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase together. The event featured many different web series and shorts and included industry speakers as well. Film Method was there to capture it! This is part one of the interviews we conducted at the event with speaker Diahnna Nicole Baxter of Web TV Workshop, filmmaker Scott Baker with his film Cub and writer/creator Steve Silverman and actors Sam Pancake and Stacy McQueen of the hit web series Pretty.
Scott Baker, a native of Northern California, received a degree in History from Sonoma State University and served in the United States Peace Corps from 2000-2001 in Turkmenistan. He co-founded Vegan Cannibals Productions with Philip Stimmell in 2002. Their first film, Brunch of the Dead was a feature-length zombie-comedy. Since re-locating to Riverside they have done several award-winning short films, including Rationed which screened at this year’s Cannes Short Film Corner and 2 episodes for their new series Findings (think Ghosthunters meets Reno911!). You can find out more at www.VeganCannibals.com
Scott’s film Rationed was 2nd runner-up in the world finals of 48 Hour Film Project, aka, Filmapalooza as part of the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The film was also selected for a showcase at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival (Short Film Corner Marche du Film).
Steve Silverman-Writer/Director/Executive Producer
Steve Silverman is a critically-acclaimed playwright, with over twenty plays and musicals produced nationwide, including the three years running smash hit 15 Minutes of Fem, and Slideshow , which the LA Times proclaimed “Downright Magical,” now in it’s fifth year of monthly shows at the Fake Gallery in Hollywood. Steve is also a multi-award winning writer-producer in the world of On-Air Promotions, with stints at ABC, CBS, NBC, Bravo, The WB, and the CW under his belt, he presently spends his days (and some nights) at the FOX Broadcasting Company – you know those commercials you see that try to get you to watch American Idol and The Simpsons? He makes those. Pretty is Steve’s first swim in the vast ocean that is the ‘interwebs’ as a writer-director.
Stacy McQueen- Actor
Stacy McQueen attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and earned her BFA from Webster University Conservatory of Theater Arts where she was one of twelve (out of the nation) recipients of the prestigious Irene Ryan/ Kennedy Center Award. She moved to Los Angeles and studied with the late great Roy London (with the likes of Brad Pitt, Geena Davis, Kristen Davis, Framke Jenson…yeah, what happened there?) She was saved by Dolph Ludgren in I Come in Peace, served a two and half year stint on General Hospital playing nurse Sheila Cantillion and portrayed a whore with a heart of gold on Quantum Leap. She got her big break when she was reunited with Dean Stockwell as a series regular on the sitcom In the Mood. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picked up. She worked on the short lived Maybe this Time along with Craig Ferguson in his first TV role in the US. He went on to become a star of late night and she went on to be one of the few clothed women in HBO’s Breast Men. She’s performed in many plays around town. Some of her favorite roles were Princess Leia Magdalene in Jesus Christ Super Star Wars and Annette, the retarded Asian baton twirler in The King and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Stacy most enjoyed Vangsness/McQueen, a show she co-starred/co-created with her dear friend Kirsten Vangsness. You can find lots more on Stacy at www.stacymcqueen.com.
Sam Pancake- Actor
Sam Pancake is an actor, improviser, and sketch comedian who hails from Romney, WV. He first came to the attention of film and television casting directors in the late ’90′s as a member of the award-winning sketch comedy troupe, Margot’s Bush, and not long after that he found himself being called, well, a “cunt” by none other than Larry David in the notorious “The Shrimp Incident” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That inglorious moment led to numerous high-profile recurring and guest starring television roles on many popular series, including Pushing Daisies, ‘Til Death, Friends, Arrested Development, Will & Grace, Life with Bonnie, Fat Actress, Charmed, West Wing, NYPD Blue, Without a Trace, and many more. Sam was also a regular on back-to-back critically acclaimed series, FOX’s Kitchen Confidential, created by Darren Star, and Lifetime’s improv-based sitcom, Lovespring International. Sam has also appeared in a slew of films, including Ready? OK!, Over Her Dead Body, Straight Jacket, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Legally Blonde 2, Girls Will be Girls, and the upcoming Falling Up and Barry Monday. In addition to his film and television appearances, Sam has also been an active member of the Los Angeles theatre community for years. He has graced many production on local stages, including the “Real Live Stage” spoofs of the films Foxes and St. Elmo’s Fire, as well as the TV shows CHiPS and The Facts of Life, in which he made a lovely Blair Warner. Sam has performed his autobiographical one-man show The Head is Not Reliable: Stories from a High-Strung Appalachian Boyhood on stage many times over the last few years. And, yes, it is true: Pancake is indeed his real last name. He will be more than happy to tell you how THAT all happened!
The next Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase will be held this Thursday, November 11th and Film Method will be apart of it! This screening series showcases short format projects including short films, music videos and web series. Craig Wilson and Mel Huffman of Shorts ‘N Spirits join us to talk about what films will be screening at the event. John Carrozza, Executive Producer of the web series Pretty joins us as well to talk about the series and about screening at the Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase on Thursday.
John Carrozza-Executive Producer
The award-winning Socket (the world’s first gay science fiction thriller) was John’s first stab at co-producing a feature, but Velvet Candy has completed several other projects including the short films Rubdown, Screening Party, The Defenders and Reunion, which was funded by the HBO Shout Short Film Competition. John has also executive produced the web series Pretty which debuted in January 2010. Coming up later in the year is the short film Rubdown, which will appear in film festivals across the country.
John has also recently produced the upcoming musical comedy The Mikado Project, which premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Qwerty, a straight-ish office sex comedy completed and shopping for distribution. John lives and works in Burbank, CA with his husband Doug and their dogs.
Craig started his 12 year career in entertainment as an Artistic Director for a black box theater troop. In 2003 he graduated Los Angeles Film School majoring in Directing and minoring in Producing. Since that time he has worked as a Producer, Director, First Assistant Director, Grip, Electrician, Craft Service and Production Assistant in television and film. He has produced two independent feature films, is in pre-production for one and is in development of another, both slated to shoot 2010. He has also Event Coordinated and Produced five world premiere screenings, four monthly networking events and is currently a Producer for the San Diego Indie Festival Film Stage.
Mel Huffman-Event Coordinator/Production Designer
Mel’s passion has always been art. After creating her first work at the age of 5, she joined the Buena Park Civic Center Arts earning multiple awards for her oil paintings. Spending years working backstage with her family on productions, she found her calling behind the scenes. She has previously worked closely with such artists as Artis Lane, Richard MacDonald, and Ricky Swallow at the LA Fine Art Foundry. Mel helped these artists create their vision in fine art bronze sculpture. Mel is also the Los Angles Regional Manager for Mental Eclectic, assisting Southern California filmmakers in production, networking and marketing. She has now dedicated herself to a full time career in the film industry. Mel produced The Return of the El Diablo, which premiered at Geekfest in Mexicalli in 2009. She was also the on-set dresser for The Guild season 3 in addition to working as the production designer for Simply Simon, Art Director for the music video Feel Better by Nikki Lang and Production Designer for the web series The Last.