Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

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  • Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

    First-timer needing an option agreement reviewed. Any recommendations? Anything to expect? Etc.

    LA based

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

    Do you have an agent or manager? If so, ask them for a referral.

    That's the only advice I can give. I wouldn't know what to do if you're not repped. Pay one hourly? That's probably not worth it.

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    • #3
      Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

      I am repped by a management co. which also happens to be the production company seeking the option agreement as a way to establish chain of title to approach a financier. So looking for outside recommendations. Thanks.
      Last edited by HulkBlood; 07-02-2019, 04:30 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

        Is this a zero dollar shopping agreement?

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        • #5
          Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

          Same thought as docgonzo, and same question as Satriales. Having said that, I would aim for a $0 shopping agreement. Plain easier. Still exclusive.
          Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

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          • #6
            Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

            It is an option agreement.

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            • #7
              Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

              Anyone have an Entertainment Lawyer they would recommend? Would really love to discuss my options with them.

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              • #8
                Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                Originally posted by HulkBlood View Post
                I am repped by a management co. which also happens to be the production company seeking the option agreement as a way to establish chain of title to approach a financier.
                This is completely bizarre and a red flag. Managers and producers submit to financiers every singe day without options. I've never heard of a manager optioning their own client's script in order to submit to a financier.

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                • #9
                  Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                  a few things to consider...

                  are they locking you into a "low" ceiling on the option agreement? and are you agreeing to multiple free rewrites? you don't have to answer these ?? simply posing the Qs, but if that's what you're looking at then that might be a good reason for them to do an option over a shopping agreement.

                  a shopping agreement is still exclusive, doesn't lock you into a sell price and can be as short as 6 months with an extension to 12 months for attaching talent if they lock in a financier. it can be a 12 month if you want. the point is that when you sign anything, you want to be sufficiently satisfied that the other party will prioritize your project, not back-burner it until the expiration date.

                  also, you can write in language that ties the auto-extension into some kind of performance based requirement that will keep them working on your behalf.

                  have you read the option and marked it up, yet? you should. before you send it to an entertainment lawyer. ask your questions if there is anything questionable or confusing, that will save your lawyer time when they receive it.

                  you probably already know this, but you can "strikeout" what you don't like.

                  do you have a DDP membership? look up sales of projects that have sold and look into a specific law firm. it should not be the same law firm that reps the prodco, imo. others may disagree.

                  decide if you can accept a lawyer on an hourly basis or if you need them to be commission based. be prepared to answer that question. tell the entertainment lawyer that you have an option agreement and you need to hire their services.

                  do your own research. it doesn't take that long. you're asking for a recommendation from people you don't know personally.

                  https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...orneys-1097287

                  make a list, then make the call.
                  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                  • #10
                    Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                    Originally posted by Northbank View Post
                    This is completely bizarre and a red flag. Managers and producers submit to financiers every singe day without options. I've never heard of a manager optioning their own client's script in order to submit to a financier.
                    Was about to chime in on this as well. Ditto what Northbank said. Very bizarre, and unheard of.

                    You mentioned they're doing this to establish chain of title. Did you develop this with them?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                      OOPS! I think I totally misunderstood your question. I was thinking YOU were trying to option a book or article etc.

                      Yeah, now this situation makes no sense to me. Ignore my shopping agreement advice!
                      Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                        Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                        ...you want to be sufficiently satisfied that the other party will prioritize your project, not back-burner it until the expiration date. also, you can write in language that ties the auto-extension into some kind of performance based requirement that will keep them working on your behalf.
                        That's the thing, it's really hard to know that they're not going to just procrastinate their effort into the final month or so of the option term; meanwhile, you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs. It's why nowadays I'm trying to get right into the producing end of it. After all, I have a lot of contacts from 10 years of pitching to people in every element of the industry, not to mention a (mostly) positive read history of my projects, to possibly make some sort of useful contribution on that front.

                        After all, nobody's got the passion for my work like I do, so even if I don't get a literal financial reward for my efforts, they may pay off eventually even if it's just an unpaid co-pro credit.

                        Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                        ...it should not be the same law firm that reps the prodco, imo. others may disagree...
                        The attorney should notify you of such a potential conflict of interest. The first time I contacted my attorney (been so, since 2009), he told me that one of his clients had an averse interest to the company I was contacting him about, so we didn't get together. A year or so later I contacted him again, and since he'd been freed up that's when we signed a simple agreement.

                        I could pass along his name, but he will cost you. For instance, in my first few dealings with him he wanted to read the script involved. He's no pro literary guy, but he wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting his time or going to besmirch his reputation when he started to send stuff out or make contacts on my behalf. Sound familiar? Anyway, I was okay with this (and had the cash at the time).

                        We made a deal on regular submissions and advice, at a vastly reduced hourly rate from his regular fee. He isn't generally interested in straight percentage unless the deal is for an eventual six figures; otherwise there's no money in it, and the small-time deals are probably dead ends anyway. I'd expect after my breakthrough (when/if) he'll act like my best friend, but till then I have to play second fiddle, and the fee such as it is prevents me from wasting his time on nonsense.

                        Incidentally, my attorney also required a retainer ($1000), probably as a requirement of the big firm he's with. This was quite a burden at the time for me, and impossible for the past few years. We have a somewhat looser relationship now, but that was after several years of the formal agreement, so it's still a thing. You might be able to find somebody who won't insist on a retainer.

                        For your case, then, you might be better off just finding an attorney who'll look at your deal for $100 or $200 bucks, just for any truly outrageous wording or terms. Then, if you have a number of projects and s/he'll see a potential serious client on his/her hands, you might land actual representation for all situations.

                        As I mentioned already, I know this chase sounds familiar to what we see in the pursuit of representation with manager/agents, but most agree that the one rep you need is an attorney. Don't short-change yourself.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                          If it's a free option, there is no reputable Ent. Attorney who will handle it for 5%. You'll have to pay them a fee, which will most likely not be worth it. PM me the name of the company if you'd like.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                            Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
                            OOPS! I think I totally misunderstood your question. I was thinking YOU were trying to option a book or article etc.

                            Yeah, now this situation makes no sense to me. Ignore my shopping agreement advice!
                            if they can't come to an agreement on the option terms, a shopping agreement can still save the deal and move forward. i don't think it was bad advice necessarily.

                            that's what my lawyer and manager/producer offered to counter an option that did not satisfy my requirements.
                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                            • #15
                              Re: Entertainment Lawyer Recommendations

                              Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                              if they can't come to an agreement on the option terms, a shopping agreement can still save the deal and move forward. i don't think it was bad advice necessarily.

                              that's what my lawyer and manager/producer offered to counter an option that did not satisfy my requirements.

                              Yeah, you should never, ever do a free option. Free shopping agreements are fine. I'm a professional writer and I still do shopping agreements. Often times they are in fact better than even low payment options (say sub 5K), because you aren't locked into terms and can negotiate directly with the buyer.

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