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Legal Essentials

Are you an emerging Producer, Director or Screenwriter who needs to get their head around the exciting world of legal agreements, financing and IP? Then this course is for you.
David Whealy and Elle Curran from DWA Entertainment Lawyers will demystify the essentials, covering the key legal concepts for screen production (film, TV and online).

Unpack the world of Distribution and Sales Agency agreements, Commissioning deals, how distribution relates to financing and Broadcast Commissioning contracts

Learn about Financing Strategies 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.

Demystify Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, Defamation, Copyright, Moral Rights and clearing underlying rights.

Is the Legal Essentials right for you?

If you are an emerging producer, director or screenwriter, this course will give you valuable information for your career and project development. If you are an experienced practitioner in a larger company and you are thinking of creating your own company or projects, you’ll also get a lot from this intensive weekend course.

You’ll leave with a much better understanding of the relevant legislation, regulatory and industry bodies and the structure of the Australian screen industry and Legal and business structures for filmmakers and hear first hand, real-word examples from two experienced Industry practitioners.


If you are looking at developing your own projects or setting up your own company you may also be interested in our Growing Your Creative Business course, Budgeting Fundamentals, Production Accounting Fundamentals or Script Assessment courses. You could also look into our Master of Arts Screen majoring in producing.

Meet Your Tutors

David Whealy

David Whealy is the principal of entertainment legal firm DWA Entertainment Lawyers. He is regarded as one of the leading…

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Elle Curran

Elle Curran re-joined DWA Entertainment Lawyers as a partner in 2019 after working as Director of Legal and Business Affairs…

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what you will need

This is an intensive weekend course focussing on the legal and financing basics of film and television production. A certain amount of knowledge about filmmaking/TV production and the Australian production environment will be assumed.

We recommend you bring a laptop to take notes – course handout will be supplied digitally.

For more information call 1300 223 877, or register for future offerings.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: 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 you are planning to travel to attend a course, please confirm with us via email that the course will be proceeding before you make your travel bookings. AFTRS is not liable for any travel costs incurred due to course postponement, cancellation, or any other circumstance.

If an attendee wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee.

Find out more information about discounts and refunds.