Production Value

     Oscar take note we have a new award category for you: Best Trial Documentary.
     In fact, since specialization is the way to go with award ceremonies this could be broken down into Best Defense Film and Best Plaintiff Film.
     You know it’s inevitable. If there are technological toys out there, people are going to play with them.
     See, for example, an Illinois appellate court ruling called Donnellan v. First Student, Inc., in which we witness the cinematic spectacle of both sides in the case offering last-minute films to the court for the jury’s entertainment.
     One film got into court and the other didn’t.
     Production values, of course.
     The plaintiff’s video: “(T)he video in this case was ‘tastefully’ produced.”
     The defendant’s video: “(T)he video is obscured frequently and there were other times where the plaintiff is just sitting in a car.”
     If you get a bad review, box office will suffer.
     I’m expecting Dreamworks and Disney to be getting into the court film business soon. There’s good money to be made here.
     BALANCING THE BUDGET. Think fast – what does S.O.B. stand for?
     If your answer was “sexually oriented business,” you qualify for a career in government.
     What is a sexually oriented business? Judging from all the sexual harassment suits I see, that could mean almost any company.
     Actually, it doesn’t much matter what the definition of the term is. What’s important is that S.O.B.’s are a great way for government to raise money.
     No, I’m not talking about the government actually running the businesses (though that is an interesting thought). All a state has to do is slap a fee on every customer and no upstanding right-wing moralist tax-cutting zealot is going to protest. It’s the perfect tax increase.
     Of course, the S.O.B.’s themselves may put up a fight. I know this because it’s happening in Texas. The state passed a law imposing a $5 entry fee on S.O.B. customers and, naturally, some S.O.B.’s sued.
     Here’s the part of a suit filed in Travis County, Texas the other day that caught my eye: one of the plaintiffs paid the first fee under protest. The amount was $52,065.
     Divide that by five and consider that it was just the first payment from just one club.
     You use that money to improve schools and you have a whole new definition for the term “sex education.”
     Now here’s my prediction for the next wave of litigation over these fees: equal protection suits. If you have to pay the state to walk into a strip club, why don’t you have to pay the state to walk into Victoria’s Secret?
     There are a lot of. S.O.B.’s out there.
     HOLLYWOOD ALERT. I know I shouldn’t be giving this stuff away, but I don’t have any Hollywood connections and I can’t resist pointing out movies-in-the-making.
     This is from a Montana Supreme Court ruling called Baltrusch v. Baltrusch that has epic film or mini-series written all over it: “In summary, after more than forty years in business together, running multiple farm-related and construction-related companies, the brothers began a legal battle that has spanned almost two decades.”
     And you just know there are women involved too.
     I’ll accept a finder’s fee from any producer out there because you know I can find you more of these.

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