Thinking about your audiovisual project being produced in Latin America?

motion pictures

There is a boom of production of Live Action, Animation, and other formats of motion pictures in Latin America, and the legal industry faces the challenge to join local and international production companies in their efforts to effectively identify, protect, licence, and leverage Intellectual Property rights.

Although unknown to most of the public, the creation of a motion picture starts with someone’s idea and very often the idea does not come from a traditional studio but from creators, and in Latin America creative people are all around the corner. Frequently, however, creators ignore how to transform ideas into Intellectual Property and start negotiations with production giants, without any basis to claim the idea as their own.

They often find that producing for professional international houses is quite different from producing for local companies, and the sole face of heavy bureaucracy disincentivizes them to go through with their project.

If negotiations surpass the first stages and a Production Service Agreement is signed, expressions such as work for hire, clearance, backend, first refusal, approval, ancillary rights, SVODs, Deal Memos, Morals Clauses, Promotional Efforts, Royalty, Non-equitable remedies, E&O, Liferights, likeness, and other technical jargon may be so overwhelming that creators and experienced movie makers may feel a sort of kafkaesque sensation and see the industry as a giant maze.

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But challenges are likewise around the corner for movie studios trying to produce in Latin America. Most legislations concerning work-for-hire are outdated, of difficult interpretation and heavily protect authors and discourage investors. Local contract and case law is full of mandatory norms that render very important clauses null and void, and the fact that handshake agreements and informality is still quite in fashion seems alarming for studies used to long agreements drafted by sophisticated attorneys. Local public figures are always seeking a piece of the pie and pose claims as soon as they hear anything similar to their history or name in a potential movie; and a lot of brand managers are still unaware of when it is ok to have their trademark shown in a movie.

Nonetheless, this is the time to produce in Latin America, its locations, tax incentives, and producing companies are making it attractive and luckily, with experience and discipline challenges are surpassed, knowledge is gained, and bad experiences avoided.

OlarteMoure’s partner and expert on Entertainment and Litigation Juan Felipe Acosta, from Colombia, will be moderating a Table Topic during INTA Annual Meeting, LATIN AMERICA Live Action, Animation, and Other Artworks: Leveraging IP and Privacy Rights in Latin America, Friday 19 November 1:30pm – 2:30pm EST.

Juan Felipe will also be present at the Los Ángeles mini-conference on November 18.
For more information contact felipe.acosta@olartemoure.com

Juan Felipe Acosta