Social Media, Changing Economy at Forefront of Updated Independent Filmmaker’s Law & Business Guide

CONCORD, NH —Rapid changes in the economy and within social media has prompted New Hampshire entertainment attorney and Hamline University Law Professor Jon Garon to substantially update his popular filmmaker’s handbook, The Independent Filmmaker’s Law and Business Guide: Financing, Shooting, and Distributing Independent and Digital Films to address strategies for financing film, completing principal photography, and obtaining distribution.

“Tightening investment by major film distributors and the dizzying array of websites promoting new films is transforming the way feature films are financed and distributed around the world,” Garon said. “Filmmakers and documentarians have greater access to equipment and distribution, but are struggling to find access to financing in today’s competitive environment. The revised handbook addresses the legal, financial, and organizational questions emerging in today’s rapidly changing environment.”

Newly updated and expanded, this second edition explores concepts such as executing a digital distribution strategy through the use of YouTube and “webisodes,” the importance of international distribution, and legal issues particular to documentaries. Six handy appendixes provide sample contracts, copyright circulars, Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, studio contact information, and more.

The handbook reflects professional experience and first-hand knowledge of the entertainment industry. While on sabbatical earlier this year, Garon assisted the Internet comedy sensation Derrick Comedy with the completion of its first feature film, Mystery Team, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will be distributed this fall by Roadside Attractions, in association with Lions Gate Films. Mystery Team was filmed exclusively in New Hampshire. Garon has assisted many other filmmakers as well, including serving as pro bono counsel for an award-winning short recently shot in Minnesota.

“This book allows me to reach far more students than is possible in just the classroom,” Garon commented. “Every film is a tremendous learning experience for everyone involved. While no two are ever alike, there are sound legal and business principles that can make the difference between success and failure. My book covers that information thoroughly and in an easy-to-use fashion.”

The Independent Filmmakers Law & Business Guide, Second Edition, is being released nationwide in bookstores and at More information is available at Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Second edition (June 1, 2009) 464 pages ISBN-13: 978-1556528330 $29.95 (CAN $32.95) SOURCE: Hamline University School of Law.

Jon M. Garon is a law professor at Hamline University School of Law who specializes in entertainment law, intellectual property, and business law. From 2003-2008 he served as dean of Hamline University School of Law. He is of counsel to Gallagher, Callahan, & Gartrell in Concord.

Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell is a multidisciplinary law firm of attorneys, lobbyists, and legislative, economic, compliance, human resources and communications specialists working together to shape success for sophisticated clients with markets in New England.

Hamline University is the top-ranked and the only “Great Schools, Great Prices” university in Minnesota in its class according to U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1854, Hamline is also Minnesota’s first university, and among the first co-educational institutions in the nation.