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  • Writer's picturealekandramartin

Insurance, Contracts, and other scary stuff

Dealing with contracts is when I start to feel like things begin to go completely over my head. With BLANCHE being the first film I have ever produced, I often feel like I have chewed off a bit too much, especially when I have to sign a legal contract (that I know nothing about) for rental insurance (that I know nothing about) for cameras (that I know nothing about). It can feel like a runaway train at times - for sure.

Last Friday, in a rush to secure the sound production studio, I received an email that read: "Can you also send over a copy of the production companies Certificate of Insurance with X listed as the Certificate Holder?" which left me in my tracks, not knowing where to even begin. But within hours (and an extensive google search), I was able to finalize my contract with my insurance company, and send over a "COI."

Choosing the insurance company is also not just a foreign concept but another large expense of the production. I am a several weeks into pre-production for BLANCHE and I already feel like I have taken five or six master classes in production, where instead of failing an assignment, you have no choice but to try and try again until you ace it. Honestly, while there is a huge learning curve, it is more exciting than anything else. Besides my lame attempts of learning new hobbies, like knitting and skateboarding, it has really been five years since I was in college and was forced to retain new knowledge and information. I have sincerely missed it.

I am up to my ears in documents and as soon as I think that I have signed and delivered all necessary forms, another email comes in demanding COIs and I am stuck again. But it has been a fun puzzle to figure out. With BLANCHE, I care so much about the story, the message, the production, and the exciting acting opportunity that is is going to present to me, that I feel I have a higher tolerance for all the mundane production tasks because I know it is a means to an end. And a really exciting end at that.

The largest struggle for me has been entering phone calls or emailing someone back and going into it knowing that I will not be perceived as the best or smartest. In fact, they might think I am completely incompetent and dumb. I really do hate being bad at things - I am a total sore loser and typically don't even try things unless I know I have a fair shot at success. So, for me, moving past that and accepting that has been a really, really eye-opening and transformative experience.

All that being said, I do love a good checklist and while the language of the legal documents I am signing and the camera & lighting equipment may continue to stay foreign and strange, I really do see myself improving and learning so much and it is so exciting. It has been very clear so far that the challenges I have faced have just formed new learning opportunities for me. Here's hoping that this whole production process continues to stay manageable & I can fake it 'til I make it!

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