Joining the filmmaking industry is getting a bit easier with the increase in technology and movies being filmed on phones. It is inspiring to all filmmakers worldwide. Especially with the Oscars passing this week, more and more producers are investing in creative projects to inspire the industry.
Although creating a visual project comes with risks. There is a range of things that could go wrong when filming, whether a small or big project. One of these risks includes cast injuries- when a crucial member of the film is injured during filming. This case study will explain how a cast injury almost cost a producer his film and how film insurance saved the movie.
Our client is a film producer in Hong Kong who invested in a new film project. It was a simple project with a few cast members, crew, and professional rented equipment. However, when starting a filming project, one should be ready for the many unfortunate risks that could cause filming and liability problems.
Those basic risks include crew/cast injury or illness, equipment damage and public liability claims. These risks could negatively affect the movie, causing the film to pause, many funds lost and ruining the budget. It is already expensive to fund a project, and a filming risk can prevent it from continuing.
Therefore, most producers purchase film insurance beforehand to avoid and reduce the impact of these risks. The insurance is a vital asset to producers and producing businesses.
Filming Risk Incident- Cast Injury
Accidents and illnesses can happen anytime, even if it is not a stunt or an action movie. The client’s film was going very well until it was victim to one of the most significant filming risks. The leading cast member was injured due to a ‘running scene’- the cast member slipped and broke his leg. This had a huge impact on the movie, as the budget was already tight and not much of the funds were available to spare.
The producer and the business were liable to pay for injury costs, and the film had to be paused until the cast injury recovered. The pause meant the producer lost more financial expenses due to the interruption. The financial losses included the venues booked according to the shooting schedule, equipment rent extension, crew salary extension and all medical bills for the cast member.
The producer and his business were worried that they might have to completely shut down production due to the surprising cast injury and interruption costs.
How Film Insurance Saved the Project Post-Cast Injury?
Thankfully, the production did not need to shut down, as the producer had purchased film insurance beforehand. Film insurance covers the production company or individual film project from possible liabilities during filming. In addition, the insurance covers various categories of films, such as low budget short films, feature films, commercials, documentaries and shows. Therefore, insurers can customise policies to be the perfect insurance fit for the project.
The film insurance policy can cover injuries on set, equipment damage, third-party damage, and error & omission claim/ lawsuits. Hence, in this case- the insurance paid for all costs related to the cast injury, which allowed the producer to continue filming after the leading cast member recovered three months later.
Film insurance reimbursed the following expenses:
- Cast Injury-Medical & Recovery Costs: HKD 30,000 (Private Hospital)
- Equipment Rent Extension Costs: HKD 150,000
- Additional Staff Salary: HKD 200,000
- Re-Shooting Costs: HKD 80,000
Total Costs: HKD 410,000
Film insurance is crucial when creating any filming project, even if it is a 30 min movie or a 3-minute music video. Filming risks can be harmful to the business, film, and the team. Therefore, the producer or company should buy film insurance before the first day of shooting. As purchasing insurance beforehand allows the project to get the most accurate coverage and reduce the possible financial impact of filming risks.
Additionally, film insurance gives creative freedom to the team without stressing about every possible risk. However, it is important to explain everything about the project from scene to scene to the insurer. The detailed information will help the insurance be the perfect fit for the project.