VLA offers a variety of programs and workshops, which are listed below. We also offer a selection of on-demand, online recordings of previously held education programs for those unable to attend or want a refresher. Click here to access and view these presentations.

Loading Events

« All Events

FILM/TV Essentials: Four-Part Workshop Series

June 4 @ 5:00 pm - June 27 @ 5:00 pm

Empower your filmmaking journey by learning to navigate legal complexities!

VLA’s ‘FILM/TV’ Workshop Series dive into the Legal Essentials of Filmmaking. Led by industry experts, these four sessions cover vital legal aspects for filmmakers. From contract negotiation strategies and rights clearances to music licensing and option agreements, participants gain invaluable insights to protect their creative endeavors. Enroll now to gain the knowledge necessary for success in the dynamic world of filmmaking!

Although not required, we encourage participants to take all four workshops to get the most from this program (see below under “fees” for links to register for individual workshops). Those who sign up for all four workshops will receive a package bundle discount. Enroll now and embark on a journey that will ignite your creativity, expand your horizons, and set you on the path to success in the dynamic world of entertainment!

PART 1 – Contract Essentials for Filmmakers (CLE)

Tuesday, June 4 @ 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Contracts can be long, and sometimes daunting, documents to wade through. However, they are essential for protecting your rights and interests when making your film. This class will go over 10 important things to look out for when entering an agreement, so that you can ensure that both you and your creative work are adequately protected. Topics to be covered include: contract formalities, negotiating payment and credit terms, termination, and boilerplate language.

Continuing Legal Education:

This program provides 1 Professional Skills CLE credit, approved for Non-Transitional and Transitional Attorneys.

Instructor: Emma Frean

Associate Director of Legal Services @ Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

To register for this workshop individually, click here.

PART 2 – Licensing 101: Debunking Rights and Clearance Misconceptions

Wednesday, June 12 @ 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Licensing 101 will provide an overview of rights and clearances best practices in connection with television, film, and new media productions. Knowing how to navigate the layers of rights clearances will ensure your content is free and clear to be exploited in a legally compliant way. However, the hardest part of licensing is sometimes knowing what materials actually require clearance. Hence, this course will take a deep dive into outlining the many types of copyrighted materials typically used in creative content and attendees will walk away with a better eye for identifying what elements of their projects might require licensing.

Specific topics that will be covered include footage and image licensing, personality and likeness rights, rights of publicity, public domain, user generated content, artwork, logos, trademarked buildings, brands and products, quotes, book excerpts, speeches, union re-use fees, iconic characters and more. We’ll also briefly discuss commercial music clearances.

Instructor: Melissa Somosky

Senior Content Acquisition Manager @ Amazon Music

To register for this workshop individually, click here.

PART 3 – Music Licensing for Film & Television

Tuesday, June 18 @ 5:00 – 6:30 pm

This class is tailored for musicians aiming to delve into the intricate world of music licensing for film and television. Whether you’re a composer seeking to have your music featured in visual media or a filmmaker looking to enhance your project with the perfect soundtrack, understanding the ins and outs of music licensing is essential. We’ll explore the nuances of licensing agreements, synchronization rights, and how to negotiate deals that benefit both parties. From navigating the complexities of royalty structures to ensuring your compositions are properly protected, this course will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the competitive realm of film and television. Gain insight into the evolving landscape of music placement in visual media, and empower yourself to maximize opportunities while safeguarding your creative rights.

To register for this workshop individually, click here.

PART 4 – Film Option Agreements: What To Do And What Not To Do!

Tuesday, June 27 @ 4:00 – 5:00pm

Your work has attracted the interest of a production company that wants to option rights to develop your film/series/show/podcast or other production. Alternatively, you wish to option another person’s work to develop a film/series/show/podcast. What happens next? Learn more from experienced attorney Jeanne Hamburg of Norris McLaughlin, P.A. about the important deal terms that will affect you as a creative, including what terms you can negotiate and how they will affect your bottom line.

Instructor: Jeanne Hamburg, Esq.

Equity Member @ Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

To register for this workshop individually, click here.


Those who purchase all three workshops receive a total package discount (around 20% off).

$80: Full-Time Student (must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$80: Artists Over Sixty
$115: Arts Professional VLA Member
$180: Arts Professional Non-Member
$295: Legal Professional VLA Member
$395: Legal Professional Non-Member
$225: Young Associate Members (YAM’s)

If you are a VLA member, please contact registrations@vlany.org to receive a code to access your ticket. Please note you are not registered until full payment is received.


June 4 @ 5:00 pm
June 27 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate
CLE Class