Casting Workbook, in partnership with Producer Essentials, is proud to offer a new video masterclass series for aspiring producers who are looking to take the next step & bring their creative project to life.

Access over 16 hours of course content, documents & bonus seminars with the top PE instructors & industry experts

$299 CAD

Pricing includes applicable taxes.
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For Aspiring Producers

Whether you’re an actor, director, writer, an aspiring business professional or a passionate creative interested in how the production industry works, this series will save you time and money. Producer Essentials: A Comprehensive Guide to Business Affairs and Production Law for Film & Television offers you the tools you need to effectively navigate the Film & TV production landscape and get your first project off the ground.

Learn from the very best

Developed and designed by top entertainment lawyers, Lori Massini & Heather Watt, Producer Essentials brings together current industry legal experts & business professionals to provide step-by-step instruction, essential information & firsthand experience into every video session.

Master Class Instruction

Through 12 video sessions across 16 hours of content, this self-paced course covers all aspects of producing a film or television production, from financing the project and post-production requirements to marketing and pitching your project to investors, festivals and distributors.

Part 1: Pre-Production/Production

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An Introduction to Business Affairs and the Role of Production Counsel

In this module Lauren O’Neil (Senior Counsel, Original Content, Apple) will look at the roles played by each, to give producers the tools they need for an efficient and effective working relationship with their Business Affairs and Production Legal Counsel team members.

Setting Up a Company

In this module Janice Wu (In-House Corporate Counsel) gives you “Businesses 101” and tells you everything you need to know about corporations, liability and setting up your own parent company or production company in BC.

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Chain of Title and Copyright

In this module Christina Bulbrook (Entertainment Lawyer, Bulbrook Law) outlines the rights that construct the chain of title and how to avoid common drafting pitfalls that would undermine a production’s chain of title.

Working With Other Producers

In this module, Tara Parker (Entertainment Lawyer / Partner, Goodmans LLP) provides an overview of treaty and non-treaty co-productions, partnerships, joint ventures, and co-ventures, to illustrate the various co-production options for working with other producers.

The Negotiation Process, Contract Clauses and Industry Lingo

In this module Nate Lyman (Entertainment Lawyer, Chandler Fogden Aldous) provides an overview of what to expect when engaging key talent, including special issues to consider when negotiating with agents and distributors, common asks and industry-standard terms.

Format Rights and Packaging Deals

In this module Tara Sattler (Entertainment Law Partner, Weintraub Tobin) provides a comprehensive look at format rights and packaging deals, to give you insight into these timely topics and provide you with the skills you need to navigate these types of agreements.

Production Financing

In this module Kim Roberts (Producer / Partner, Sepia Films) and Lori Massini (Entertainment Lawyer / Creator of Producer Essentials), discuss how productions are financed both in Canada and the US, how to prepare a finance plan and recoupment schedule and disburse revenues and profits, and answer questions about completion bonds and CAMAs, among other financing-related topics.

Creating a Budget

In this module Trevor Hodgson (Senior Business Affairs Executive, First Look Media) shows you how to create a budget for your film and television project and discusses the pros and cons of programs such as Movie Magic and Excel for budgeting purposes.

Part 2: Financing

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A Comprehensive Guide to Independent Film Production

In this module Sean Covel (Film Producer, Napoleon Dynamite) gives you a thorough overview of the path to becoming a producer, including a look at the demographics, genre considerations and creative development of independent films vs studio films.

Sourcing and Securing Independent Investment

In this module Sean Covel (Film Producer, Beneath) discusses crafting the perfect pitch, including how to create a pitch deck, find investors and manage investor relationships.

Know Your Guilds, Part 1

In this module Lori Massini (Entertainment Lawyer / Creator of Producer Essentials) provides you with an introduction to the various Canadian guilds and unions, including UBCP/ACTRA, DGC and WGC, an overview of the applicable collective agreements, including the common issues producer face and mistakes they make in navigating this tricky landscape.

Know Your Guilds, Part 2

In this module Erin Ray, NPI Entertainment Payroll, gives an overview of the various guild agreements in the US, and provides guidance on calculating residuals.

Who's Who on Set

In this module Matthias Mellinghaus (Freelance Producer / Line Producer) takes a look at who does what on a film/tv set and discusses the various labour unions involved.

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Set

In this module Elizabeth Reid (Employment and Human Rights Lawyer / Shareholder, Boughton Law Corporation) gives an overview of harassment and bullying in the "me too" era and producer responsibilities in order to keep sets safe and healthy. In this module, you will learn what responsibilities producers have to create a safe, healthy and inclusive set and the repercussions of failing to do so.

The Canadian Tax Credit System

In this module Heather Watt (Entertainment Lawyer, Co-Creator of Producer Essentials) gives an overview of the Canadian tax credit system for both Canadian and non-Canadian producers filming or posting in Canada, noting the interaction between federal and provincial programs, and highlighting key details that should be top of mind when seeking eligibility.

Filing a Tax Credit Application

In this module Gemma Davis, CPA and Owner of Sierra Accounting, will provide a brief overview of the timing of the tax credit process, including when applications should be filed and tax returns and claimed prepared, how to structure your books and records, and an overview of what to expect should the CRA audit your tax credit claim and what you can do in order to be as prepared as possible.

Part 3: Post Production

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Fair Use

In this module, Lisa Callif (Entertainment Lawyer / Founding Partner, Donaldson Callif) takes a comprehensive look at Fair Use in the context of scripted and unscripted production and provides you with the skills you need to understand how this concept works in the context of film and television production.

Fair Dealing and the E&O Process

In this module Bob Tarantino (Entertainment Lawyer, Dentons) gives you the tools you need to understand the E&O process, including an overview of important producer considerations in relation to E&O and a look at Fair Dealing, the Canadian counterpart of Fair Use.

Composer Agreements and Licensing Music for Film and Television

In this module Patrick Aldous (Lawyer / Shareholder, Chandler Fogden Aldous) is here to tell you everything you need to know about engaging composers and licensing music for film and television.

A Comprehensive Guide to Animated Productions

In this module Laura Wheeler (VP of Business Affairs, Reel One) provides an overview of business affairs and production considerations for animated production and a look at the differences between producing animated and live action productions.

Distribution and Sales Agency Agreements

In this module Trevor Hodgson and Sarah Nathanson (General Counsel, Thunderbird Entertainment) take a comprehensive look at distribution models across different media, including common pitfalls and things every producer should consider when working with sales agents.

Post-Production and Delivery

In this module Val Sivkov (VP of Post Production, Sony Pictures) gives an overview of the post-production process and a look at standard deliverables.

Entertainment Marketing and Advertising

In this module Sara Perry (Director and Senior Counsel, Marketing Legal, Netflix) gives us an in-depth look at marketing and advertising laws, navigating third party rights and approvals, ad/promo restrictions and other and content considerations for marketing in film and television.

Marketing Partnerships

In this module Sara Perry (Director and Senior Counsel, Marketing Legal, Netflix) presents a comprehensive guide to third party partnerships in film and television.

Learn from the best


Lori Massini

Vice President, Legal Affairs, Thunderbird Studios

Massini practices entertainment law, acting as production counsel for networks such as Disney, Nickelodeon and the Food Network


Sean Covel

Producer, Napoleon Dynamite

Covel is a Los Angeles based Film and Television Producer whose credits include Fox Searchlight, MTV Films & Paramount Pictures


Tara Parker

Canadian Entertainment Lawyer of the Year 2021

Parker is a partner in the Entertainment Law Group at Goodmans. Parker has been recognized on multiple Best Lawyer Lists as a leading entertainment lawyer in Canada.


Kim Roberts

Executive Producer & Entertainment Lawyer, Sepia Films

Roberts has produced numerous feature films and is involved in the development and production of Sephia’s feature film slate.


Trevor Hodgson

Senior Business Affairs Executive, First Look Media

Hodgson has provided executive producing on more than 75 non-scripted including Chopped Canada, Yukon Gold and The Oland Murder


Sara Perry

Director and Senior Counsel, Marketing Legal, Netflix

Perry regularly advises on films, documentaries and animation with experience at Netflix and NBCUniversal.


Lisa Callif

Hollywood Reporter Magazine Top 100 Lawyers

Callif is a founding partner of Donaldson + Callif and is considered the go-to attorney for Hollywood’s most acclaimed producers


Laura Wheeler

VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Reel One Entertainment

Wheeler has over 25 years of experience in television, film and digital media


Val Sivkov

VP of Post Production, Sony Pictures

Sivkov has post-supervised on Greyhound (Apple TV+), The Last Word (Bleecker Street Films) and more.


Matthias Mellinghaus

Olympic Gold Medalist & Film Producer

Mellinghaus started in the film industry 30 years ago and currently acts as the VP, Production for Bron Studios and as a Freelance Producer and Line Producer.


Tara Sattler

Entertainment Law Partner, Weintraub Tobin

Sattler is a shareholder in Weintraub Tobin’s entertainment group with work on Bird Box, Cold Pursuit and Locked Down as a Production Attorney


Shaun Saul

Producer and Owner of Prairie Coast Films

I wish this existed when I got started as an indie producer! This information truly is essential to protecting yourself as a filmmaker.

Emslie Attisha


This course was wonderful. I love how practical and to the point the modules are.

Rehmat Babbar

Independent Producer

A great course for anyone like me who studied under a generic degree but has a niche passion and interest in the industry. Since there is very little knowledge about business affairs and legal affairs for upcoming professionals, it opens up learning avenues and helps individuals understand the lay of the land. With a wonderful selection of speakers and it is evident that the content is curated very carefully. Thank you again for creating this course.