Power Lawyers 2011
One of the fiercest advocates for documentary filmmakers and an expert on fair use law, Donaldson knows as well as anyone how much of a copyrighted work can be used without paying a license (although the answer, as he'll tell you, is that no one knows for sure). He handled this year's best documentary Oscar winner Inside Job as well as eight docs at Sundance. And he published the American Bar Association's legal guide for independent filmmakers. He's now helping British directors Richard Finney and Anthony Baxter make a documentary about Donald Trump's efforts to build a golf complex in Scotland that many believe is negatively impacting the locals. "I'm helping them through the insurance process and dealing with claims," he says. "It's the old David vs. Goliath situation. I'm always up for that, if David is right and speaking the truth."
OFF-DUTY The ultrafit Donaldson has recently taken up "globe walking." Huh? "They're balls made of polyurethane, and once you get used to them, you can walk on them. I found a circus supply store and ordered one and taught myself."