Production Paperwork – A Place To Begin

For some people, this is the fun part of filmmaking. Good for them. For most people, paperwork is a necessary evil to help their production stay organized, on track, on budget and out of trouble. So whip out your ring binders and start printing up some of these handy contracts, agreements and checklists.

Now, before you get the printer going, know that any contract you use in your production may have more of an impact on your current and future business than you care to think about, so always consult with an attorney to make sure the contracts you use are up to date and covering all your bases. If this is your first production and you’re DIY-ing as much as you can, you should also consider creating an LLC for your production company, which will help protect you and your assets, should your production get into legal trouble down the line. Check out FilmmakerIQ’s introduction to forming an LLC. has put together a very comprehensive directory of production contracts (and other assorted paperwork), all available for free in the super annoying FlashPaper format. For these documents to be of any use to use, you will need to find each document you need, then Print/Save as PDF, open in your PDF editor (such as Preview on Mac) and fill it out there. It’s always a good idea to also print out a few extra, blank copies for any on-the-go changes. Here are a few examples of what you can find in the directory:

In addition to the forms found on, always make sure you fill out all appropriate union paperwork, which you can obtain directly from SAG-AFTRA, WGA, DGA, and so on and so forth.

You can – and probably should – of course also enter the digital age and handle a bunch of your paperwork in apps like ShotLister, Celtx and SyncOnSet.

Mads Black

About Mads Black

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Mads is a Scandinavian-born, Los Angeles-based actor and aspiring film maker. He's dabbled in stunt driving (no one got hurt) and once rescued a baby bunny from his garage.

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