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ImageInteresting, innovative and informative! Those are three words that come to my mind when I think about the February MCAI meeting. The general topic was business and the evening featured three expert speakers: a filmmaker, an entertainment lawyer and a CPA who specializes in small businesses. All three had some really important advice to share.

The meeting was held on February 21, at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach, a popular place for meetings of all kinds. It was sponsored by Dennis Backer and Media by Design. Networking began at 6:30, and the meeting began at 7:15. Our MC for the evening was MCAI member Omar Guzman who introduced guests and speakers. One of our new attendees was Blake McCoach, whose company is Creative Digital Concepts. He is a video editor who does DVD duplication.

Our President John Coleman announced up and coming programs for the next few months which include the March meeting which will be held at Gothic Moon Productions, the largest scenic design company in Orange County. In April, MCAI member, composer and performer Rick Sherman will be leading a panel of music composers, talking about original music for your production, and in May, the newest digital cameras will be presented.

Our first speaker was filmmaker, Jerome Courshon, who conducts seminars on “The Secrets to Getting Your Movie Distributed.” He stressed the importance of being your own marketer and discussed the pros and cons of employing an agent and a PR person as well as a producer’s representative. He also addressed the way to deal with film distributors at film festivals. He answered many questions from the members who attended.

Our next speaker was entertainment attorney and long-time MCAI member, Paul Greenwald who spoke about copyrights, patents and trademarks. Paul is an Intellectual Property specialist with Greenwald and Hoffman LLP in Orange County. He talked about the best ways to protect your name and your materials and handed out a good example of a release form.

Image Our last speaker was CPA, Hugh Christensen, who was quite entertaining as he made suggestions on how to make our lives a little bit easier as freelancers and small businesses when it comes to tax season.

Each speaker answered many questions, and it really seemed as if each one had so much information to share that they each could have had a separate meeting dedicated to them! Between the food, fun, laughter and lively conversation, the evening went by quickly. We look forward to seeing new faces as well as familiar faces at future events. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM.