So, you're producing a project that features some kids in some key roles. You spend a small fortune developing the project. You hold auditions, and eventually find the perfect kids to star in the piece. So, you sign them to written employment agreements, and everything is looking terrific and you proceed into production.
You're halfway through the production process when one of the kids decides she's not having fun, so she's quitting. Your project is completely off the rails, both creatively and from a business perspective. Sure, you can start over… recast the role, hope that the project can be salvaged, and you won't have lost everything you've invested.
“But wait” you say. “She signed a contract! She can't just quit. I'll sue her for damages.”
Did you know that a minor can walk away from a contract without consequence?
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In this Episode:
- Crystal Skull lawsuit
- Persian Barbie dispute
- Age of the Hobbits injunction
- Artist Sues EA over throwback Ravens uniform
- and our completely unscientific top-ten stories from 2012
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Q: Can you shed any light on how to best use a pseudonym from a legal standpoint? I have my copyright indicating the other identity, but what about in the marketplace? For example, if I'm to be paid, how would that be arranged?
A: Using a pseudonym is actually pretty simple. Tell your agent, manager and lawyer about your pseudonym, and ask that all contracts address this in the credit provisions. The contract heading would read something like this:
“This Agreement is made this 31st day of January 2011, by and between Paul Producer and Walter Writer, p/k/a/ Famous Freddie”. The credits provisions would require that credit be given to Famous Freddie, but the payments provision would call for payments in the name Walter Writer, and using his social security number.
In practice, payments typically go through an agent's account first anyway, so getting paid shouldn't be too much trouble. The employer/purchaser just needs to know your legal name and tax information for its records.
Now, it is possible to petition the courts for a legal change of name. For that, you'll need to hire a lawyer. I don't recommend handling this kind of thing yourself. It can be very tricky
This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter. We will not be responsible for readers’ detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.
Thinking of Producing it yourself? subscribe to my FREE e-course “6 ways to Finance A Feature Film” by visiting https://firemark.com/minicourse