Hollywood’s descending on the royal city of Mysore! Not to put the city’s palaces as backdrops for its movies. But to outsource legal research, legal analysis, legal opinion and contract drafting services.
Production houses like 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios have roped in Mysore-headquartered SDD Global Solutions to support the legal requirements of their movie releases.
SDD Global, a legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm with 40 attorneys, is owned by Smith Dornan Dehn, a Manhattan-based international media and intellectual property firm funded by Cisco Systems, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Barclay’s Capital.
Russell Smith, president of SDD Global, told ToI that a large team of legal attorneys from India and the US is sitting in Mysore and is busy preparing arguments and counter-arguments to support some of the most complex legal issues in Hollywood.
“We just signed to work on three global movie releases. We can’t reveal the names now. We will handle pre-and post-production legal issues,” said Smith, who is a US-licensed attorney and litigator.
These tasks include drafting copyright clauses, contracts, legal opinions and preparing documents for insurance cover, conducting research on potential legal issues, framing legal guidelines for filming, and visa processing for Hollywood actors, directors, producers.
SDD Global was recently chosen as a legal navigator for Virulents, a movie venture between New Regency Productions and Virgin Comics (founded by Richard Branson, Shekhar Kapur and Deepak Chopra), to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Sony Pictures is said to have tied up with SDD Global for a politically-tinged, comedy involving leading Hollywood actors expected to be out in the first half of 2008.
“The film involves dozens of complicated legal issues and our attorneys have logged 400 hours dealing with those. The movie got its final go-ahead only after we charted ways the film could be made with a minimum of lawsuits,” said Smith.
Typically, hundreds of lawsuits and damage claims are filed against successful movies, popular reality shows and prominent animation series, and therefore insurance cover is given only for movies/shows that have sound legal contractual support.