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Is A Law Degree A Good Idea For A Filmmaker?

To become a filmmaker, an individual should have a knack for creativity and storytelling skills. Although there are no particular degrees or formal requirements to become a professional filmmaker, universities offer specialized courses in this field.

Individuals with these essential skills can join a trade association or assist a professional within the industry to polish their skills further. Aspiring filmmakers need to be aware of the industry and understand the standard practices.

They will ideally have the ability to work in challenging situations and deal with different types of people. It can be difficult for an individual when they are just embarking on their career.

All people associated with the film industry should be aware that a film is not limited to shooting and editing. There are different stages involved in the process. It is common to have conflicts arise at various stages of the filmmaking process, which may affect the completion of a film.

Some filmmakers consider pursuing a law degree to understand the concepts better. A Film production attorney is in high demand, but becoming a legal professional is quite challenging, even if you earn your law degree.

However, there are pros and cons to becoming a film production attorney. You can read more to learn whether a law degree is a good idea for a filmmaker.

Pros of having a law degree for filmmakers

A filmmaker’s job can become stressful, especially when dealing with complicated legal contracts and paperwork. It can become challenging for a filmmaker to handle the legal aspects by themselves. Here are some of the reasons why a law degree may be beneficial for filmmakers:

 

  • Strong foundation: A law degree can build a strong foundation that helps you understand the legalities involved in filmmaking. A filmmaker should always enter into a valid contract before beginning work with any other artist. There can be disputes with production studios, artists, and other professionals.

For example, if an essential team member decides to leave while the film is in progress, it can affect the film and the filmmaker significantly. Therefore, it will be beneficial to have a degree to understand how to create strong contracts with respect to media and entertainment law.

  • Legal education: By pursuing a legal degree, you can achieve an advanced understanding of what laws will apply if an artist breaches a contrast. If the situation arises, you would be aware of what legal steps you can take against the breaching party.
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills: A law degree can help to build your thinking and analytical skills. You can develop a holistic picture of the law and filmmaking, and you could easily understand what factors can affect your film and shooting. Legal knowledge can increase your self-awareness, which thereby can enhance your decision-making skills.
  • It can save your time and money: Legal knowledge is a transferable skill that can benefit you even if you ultimately do not wish to pursue a career in the entertainment or film industry.

Having the knowledge to handle legal matters yourself can save you time and money that you may have invested in other legal professionals. Therefore, having a law degree can benefit you in various ways.

Cons of having a law degree for a filmmaker

Here, we will talk about the cons of pursuing a law degree when you are associated with the filmmaking industry.

  1. It may affect your creativity: Creativity is one of the core skills for a filmmaker. One of the biggest concerns is that pursuing a law degree may negatively affect your creativity and visual storytelling skills. The knowledge you learn may force you to restrict yourself and think in a specific direction. A filmmaker with extensive knowledge of the law and legal implications may avoid experimenting with different things because of the fear of getting into trouble.
  2. A law degree can be prohibitively expensive: Even if you may save money later on by doing the legal work for your films on your own, law school can cost a lot of money and it generally takes three years of full-time schooling to receive a degree. Even after you get your law degree, you would need to pass the bar exam in the state where you want to work in order to practice as a lawyer.

Whether you have a law degree or not, it can be important to know as much as you can about the laws that pertain to the filmmaking industry. There are various advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a law degree.

Being knowledgeable about the law can help you make more informed decisions, and you can speak to attorneys at an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles to learn more.