What is a Script Clearance and Title Search Report?
A Script Clearance Report provides a breakdown of possible copyright, trademark, publicity, privacy, defamation and other violations in your film or television script. A Script Clearance Report will let you know if your script is “clear” to move forward with filming.
A Title Search provides similar information but strictly presents the facts and does not give an opinion about your script. The Title Search is usually given to a production attorney to make a determination. Studios and Production Companies ALWAYS require one of these reports before they go into production. Script Clearance companies breakdown a script and provide you with a report of all the potential problems with your script and can make suggestions on how to remedy any issues.
Production Administration provides a basic breakdown of your script, alerting you to possible issues that might be costly to clear down the line and would therefore negatively impact your chance to screen in festivals, etc. Students are not required to pay for a Script Clearance or Title Search Report but should be mindful of possible infringement issues in your script. Avoid presenting a product/brand in a negative light i.e., a brand of soda gives people cancer. Avoid known brand usage in your scripts such as those from a professional sports team or company (LA Lakers, Nike), and be aware of brands that are particularly more litigious than others. (Hint: Disney!)
Here are some links to more information about Script Clearance and Title Search Report
Indie Clear – Information about Script Clearance
Script Clearance 101 – virtual book of free advice