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Schuyler M. Moore
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Schuyler M. Moore is a partner in the corporate entertainment department at the Los Angeles office of the national law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP. He is the author of The Biz: The Basic Business, Legal and Financial Aspects of the Film Industry (Silman-James Press), Taxation of the Entertainment Industry (CCH), and What They Don’t Teach You in Law School (William S. Hein & Co.). He can be reached at

Entries by Schuyler M. Moore

Choice of Entity

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 4:51 PM

To navigate the shoals of the business side of the film industry, you must have a basic understanding of the different types of legal entities. Every transaction -- from the humblest to the noblest -- involves a choice from the smorgasbord of entities, so it is important to know the...

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Garcia v. Google: Hard Cases Make Bad Law

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 1:40 PM

The recent Ninth Circuit case of Garcia v. Google, which held that an actress in a film had an independent copyright interest in her performance embodied in the film, allowing her to get an injunction against the film, was not just wrong -- it was blatantly wrong. But it is...

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Contract Basics

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 2:01 PM

Money In, Money Out and Control

Many transactions in the film industry do not fit within any standard paradigm. At the extreme, transactions can involve contributions of property, services or money by a number of entities in different countries, all of which may end up owning various rights to recoupment,...

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The Deduction of Film Costs Under Section 181

(0) Comments | Posted December 29, 2013 | 9:24 PM

For certain audio visual works (referred to herein as "Qualified Audio-Visual Works") that commence principal photography from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013, Section 181 permits a 100% write-off (the "Film Deduction") for the first $15 million of the cost ("Film Costs") of such works, regardless of what media...

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Film Financing With State Tax Credits

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 1:20 PM

The most important development in film financing over the last decade is the drastic expansion of state tax credits for film production. These state tax credits come in two basic flavors: those that are assignable and those that are not. The assignable tax credits can be sold to third parties,...

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Financing From Advertisers and Retailers

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 8:52 PM


An important recent trend is the influx of equity from advertisers to finance films and TV shows. Advertisers are being pushed out of television by TiVo, DVRs, and VOD, and they are fighting back by investing equity in films and TV series in order to integrate their product into...

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Private Offerings

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 7:38 AM

Due to the dearth of alternative sources of financing, there recently has been a resurgence of film companies raising capital through securities offerings that are exempt from registration with the SEC, referred to as private offerings. These private offerings can range all the way from small offerings of several hundred...

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Schemers and Dreamers

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 1:04 PM

Because most films lose money, the film industry is constantly searching for new and varied sources of capital to sate its appetite. This condition has let the industry fall prey to an endless parade of bottom feeders -- the schemers and dreamers who purport to have the wherewithal to finance...

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(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 4:10 PM

Hey, ever been at a Hollywood party and wanted to impress a member of the opposite sex with your mastery of Hollywood jargon? Just rip out this page, fold it up, stick it in your wallet, and whip it out at the opportune time -- after a drink or two...

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How to Attract Litigation

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2013 | 8:35 PM

For the virgins out there who would like to get a taste of litigation (or sado-masochists, who just can't get enough), here are some simple rules to keep you embroiled in litigation for years to come:

• Rely on oral agreements. Why put it in writing? It's just so...

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Why Are You Paying Taxes?

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 8:25 AM

The actual highest federal and state marginal tax rate in high tax states like California and New York is now a whopping 55 percent by the time you get done with all the hidden and complex add on taxes, phase ins, and phase outs. So it is worth thinking of...

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The Future of Film Distribution

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 3:15 PM

Oh, what a shame it is that the U.S. is a third-world country -- at least when it comes to Internet download speeds for massive files, such as movies.

While parts of the world (think Korea, China and the Netherlands) now have dedicated portal-to-door optic fiber Internet connections, with lightning...

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Kicking Kickstarter

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 8:20 AM

Now that Kickstarter has hit the awareness of the independent film community with the successful $2 million raise for Veronica Mars, it is time to pause and think through the legal consequences of using Kickstarter for both sides -- contributors and recipients.

But first, we need to make clear what...

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Box Office-Based Financing

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 2:28 PM

In its infinite wisdom, Congress excluded box office futures from being traded on a publicly traded exchange as "commodities," putting them in a rarefied league with the only other prohibited item, namely onions, a relic of onion grower hysteria in the 1950s. However, film financing transactions based on box office...

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Napoleon Dynamited on Its Own Petard

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 12:05 PM

The recent case of Napoleon Pictures Limited v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., decided by the Los Angeles Superior Court, is instructive on what film participants should not do on a number of levels if they ever expect to be paid by a studio.

The case dealt with...

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How to Attract Litigation

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 8:55 AM

For the virgins out there who would like to get a taste of litigation (or sadomasochists, who just can't get enough), here are some simple rules to keep you embroiled in litigation for years to come:

• Rely on oral agreements. Why put it in writing?...

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The Biz: The Silliness of State Tax Credits for Film Production

(12) Comments | Posted December 1, 2012 | 9:00 AM

I may take a lot of heat for this one, but I am an American first, and an entertainment lawyer second, so let me state a secret fact from an entertainment industry insider: The state tax credits for film production are pure lunacy from a policy perspective. For those not...

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