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The Use of Entertainment Insurance in Feature Film Production

Very few people who go to theaters ever realize that the most important part of any film production - whether Hollywood, independent or foreign – is the insurance policy that covers the whole production. Feature film insurance is a particular type of insurance where practically all aspects of production are covered – from film negatives to the unstable actors who frequent rehab. The careers of insurance agents to segue into a film’s production. Although they never get to star in any film (no matter how good looking they may be), when the shooting starts, they often become detectives, human resource managers, and location checkers.

Fireman's Fund, the biggest insurance provider of Hollywood films, sent out people to check to the shooting location of Into The Wild to check if any of the film’s staff could be airlifted to a hospital. Fireman's also went to the overseas shooting locations of Bourne Ultimatum, making sure that the film used in the shooting the feature film didn’t get destroyed by x-ray machines at the airport. At the Chubb Group, another insurance provider, agents read scripts to check if there are any scenes that would require actors to be in proximity of an explosion.

Entertainment: Serious Business

As all Hollywood producers would have it, no feature film production ever gets off the ground without insurance coverage. Although it’s rare for film production to be expensively rescued, i.e., to shut down and restarted, feature film production these days rarely go below the $65 million marks. The risks have greatly increased too. Practically anyone from junkie actors to clumsy stunts men and anything from terrorists to freak snowstorms could put a producer’s money in jeopardy.

Feature Films insurance can take up to 2% of a film’s budget. Marc Abraham, a veteran Hollywood producer says insurance is a security blank for studio executives who are paid to make sure, and to worry, that a film follows through to its completion. "No one is going to give you money without it," he said.

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