Legal Essentials for Film and TV

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Are you an emerging Producer, Director and Screenwriter who needs to get their head around the exciting world of contracts, option agreements, rights, clearances and funding agreements? Then this course is for you! David Whealy, one of the most experienced Entertainment Lawyers in Australia will demystify the essentials and cover both feature film and TV – including factual TV and series development. Subjects covered will include:

• Introduction to relevant legislation, regulatory and industry bodies and the structure of the Australian film and television industry
• Legal and business structures for filmmakers
• Copyright, Moral Rights and clearing underlying rights (and why this is important) including indigenous considerations
• Protecting your ideas and IP (practical steps and procedures)
• Breach of confidence, defamation, privacy, censorship, classification, working with children, access and permits issues
• Financing Strategies and Players (including producer offset, Screen Australia and state government funding, official co-productions, loan / gap / equity / pre-sales / distribution and sales guarantee/ crowdfunding & marketing deals/ deferrals and other contingent compensation + Corporations Act restrictions on public offerings)
• Cast and crew agreements/ Employment and contractual arrangements for film and television personalities
• Music: Use in film and television programming / Publishing / Soundtrack Album Deals
• Broadcast Commissioning contracts
• Australian content regulation and the production of drama programming
• Pre-publication review and clearance
• Workers compensation, public liability, errors and omissions and other film package insurance
• Distribution and merchandising (including new forms of distribution and social media)
• when you need a lawyer/ other industry bodies you should know

Course Lecturer: David Whealy

David Whealy is the principal of entertainment legal firm David Whealy and Associates. He is regarded as one of the leading and most experienced entertainment legal practitioners in Australia, possessing over 20+ years entertainment legal experience including senior executive positions with Omnilab Media, Holding Redlich, Beyond, ABC TV and PolyGram. David’s areas of expertise include copyright, trademarks, Australian and international film and television financing, production and chain of title agreements, music, distribution, prints and advertising funding, and sales. He has been in involved in providing legal advice to Australian and international clients ranging from studios, distributors, major production companies, talent and creative across the globe across hundreds of film and television projects. David has also executive produced cumulatively over $300 million worth of production in his career. See his website for more info.

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If an enrolee wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 14 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations within 14 days of course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.