Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

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  • #16
    Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    I have a top tier lawyer and I've never yet sold a script. He works on 5%. He has negotiated two options in which we could not come to terms with the other party. Yes, some only work on referral.
    Originally posted by docgonzo View Post
    This is patently false, as I've had two attorneys (including current one), have signed no paying deals, and they both have done work for free on the promise that I would indeed sell something and pay them their 5%.
    Well, I stand corrected. This is a question to either finalact4 or docgonzo. Would it be possible to get a referral to your attorney? I've approached 4 entertainment lawyers (two through writer referrals) and they all told me they don't do the 5% with new writers even though I'm in the middle of navigating my first WGA-signatory deal.
    Manfred Lopez Grem
    Writer - Director

    REEL - IMDB

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

      Originally posted by manfredlopez View Post
      Well, I stand corrected. This is a question to either finalact4 or docgonzo. Would it be possible to get a referral to your attorney? I've approached 4 entertainment lawyers (two through writer referrals) and they all told me they don't do the 5% with new writers even though I'm in the middle of navigating my first WGA-signatory deal.

      My experience has been same as yours, manfred. I'm sure there are some attorneys who will do 5% for a non-established client, but yes, it is rare. Unless they are coming onboard through a high-rank agency or manager referral. My first "big" (not huge, but 5 figure option) deal, I started reaching out to attorneys because I was unrepped and the company interested in my script absolutely low-balled me with their offer. All of them wanted an hourly fee. Eventually, I had a big name attorney cut a deal with me where he got 3K upfront against his 5% of the deal. Ultimately, even though the film never made it to production, he still got me WAY more in options, re-write fee, and option extensions, then I could have ever gotten on my own. I mean like 7 times what initial offer was. And he negotiated a great deal had it actually gone into production. So yeah, it sucked I had to give up what amounted to more than 5% of what I got paid, but it was still way better than an hourly rate (dude's hourly rate is $500), or no attorney at all. He bluntly said (and it's true), doing the deal for 5%, if it doesn't even go into production, would be a massive waste of his time. I mean these deals take lots of hours if done properly, so they are hemorrhaging money to take only 5% on writers with no track records or referrals. It sucks, but I get it.

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      • #18
        Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

        Originally posted by manfredlopez View Post
        Well, I stand corrected. This is a question to either finalact4 or docgonzo. Would it be possible to get a referral to your attorney? I've approached 4 entertainment lawyers (two through writer referrals) and they all told me they don't do the 5% with new writers even though I'm in the middle of navigating my first WGA-signatory deal.
        Hi ManfredLopez:
        Ok, I'm going to be honest, I don't feel comfortable referring anyone to my lawyer, because I don't have anything in the works at this time, and I'm unfamiliar with your projects. I'm sorry, I know that sucks.

        Do you have a contract in hand?

        If it were me, I wouldn't attempt to get a lawyer until you do. I don't plan on contacting my lawyer again until I have a contract-- there's just no reason to bother him. What I would do (and am) is get a spec ready to send out to managers who might be open to taking on a new client. If you focus on getting a manager they should be able to get you to a producer and each of them could potentially get you referred. I was referred to my lawyer by my manager at the time.

        Also, I don't know if you're a member here on DDP's main site, but I checked out the first page and the first listing and it says they accept queries for new clients. So maybe take a bit of time and start checking those out?

        But I guess, and this is just me, I still wouldn't query lawyers UNTIL I had a contract in hand, so if you have a contract/option agreement, that might be a worthwhile effort. Personally, I don't want to take up anyone's time unless I have something, because why set up an appointment and take up their time if you don't have any business to give them yet?

        Good luck and sorry I couldn't be more help.
        FA4
        "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

          Originally posted by CthulhuRises View Post
          My experience has been same as yours, manfred. I'm sure there are some attorneys who will do 5% for a non-established client, but yes, it is rare. Unless they are coming onboard through a high-rank agency or manager referral. My first "big" (not huge, but 5 figure option) deal, I started reaching out to attorneys because I was unrepped and the company interested in my script absolutely low-balled me with their offer. All of them wanted an hourly fee. Eventually, I had a big name attorney cut a deal with me where he got 3K upfront against his 5% of the deal. Ultimately, even though the film never made it to production, he still got me WAY more in options, re-write fee, and option extensions, then I could have ever gotten on my own. I mean like 7 times what initial offer was. And he negotiated a great deal had it actually gone into production. So yeah, it sucked I had to give up what amounted to more than 5% of what I got paid, but it was still way better than an hourly rate (dude's hourly rate is $500), or no attorney at all. He bluntly said (and it's true), doing the deal for 5%, if it doesn't even go into production, would be a massive waste of his time. I mean these deals take lots of hours if done properly, so they are hemorrhaging money to take only 5% on writers with no track records or referrals. It sucks, but I get it.
          Yes! Exactly like what I'm going through. Thank you so much for sharing. The best lawyer I found so far, offered to take me on at a reduced rate. He was very honest about the 5% and how it didn't make sense at this point. I haven't signed with him yet because I'm waiting for a second draft of a contract from the producers. The first one I had to renegotiate myself (I had no choice at the time). The cool thing is that I've already been given a low five figure cash advance based on a deal memo, which saved my ass during these Covid times. I have really cool producers!
          Manfred Lopez Grem
          Writer - Director

          REEL - IMDB

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
            Hi ManfredLopez:
            Ok, I'm going to be honest, I don't feel comfortable referring anyone to my lawyer, because I don't have anything in the works at this time, and I'm unfamiliar with your projects. I'm sorry, I know that sucks.
            FA4
            It's okay It would have been too funny if I actually landed a referral through this board. Like I mentioned above, I do have one draft of a contract, am waiting for a second draft, and have already been paid a low five figure advance based on a deal memo.

            I'll check out the listings on this site as you suggest (I'm not a subscriber but I'll become one today). By the way, I know a little bit about your work. I read Tracker and thought it was great. I hope it gets made.
            Manfred Lopez Grem
            Writer - Director

            REEL - IMDB

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

              Hi Manfred; It’s not that I won’t give a referral down the road when I, myself, have something to show for it— like a sale or an option. you know? I would prefer my relationship be stronger with him is all. Honestly, my referral wouldn’t mean anything to them at this point.

              I thank you for the kind words about Tracker. It’s weird b/c three producers have wanted to get it made but I think the budget is just a step too high for two of them, one basically wanted it for nothing— or seemed like that to us considering the budget. We’ll see it takes time. My manager never sent it out wide so who knows. Some really love it. Others don’t. If you need me to look anyone up for you on my IMDBPro send me a pm. Will does a great job here though.

              Check out the deals done in the past 6-9 months and call one of the law firms directly to see if they’re taking on new clients. All they can say is no or yes. It can’t hurt. Tell them you’re a paid writer and have a contract you need a professional to take a look at. You’ve got nothing to lose.

              Just say that you’re a professional writer and have a contract you’re negotiating for a feature film with a production company and would they be interested in helping you negotiate the deal. Most might be quite light with business right now and might be interested, you know?

              Huge congrats on the contract. It’s way more than I can say. So you’re ahead of me. Send me a pm with your logline and the budget of your script and I’ll send you a list of five that I would call if it were me. Not that it would help though.

              Also remember to ask for your floor and ceiling to be based on the bonded budget and not net profits. Have you checked out scriptfellas video on the top 5-7 things to get in your contract.

              Is it a long contract? I don’t know if you want to share and I can’t say how much help I’d be, but I‘be done some contract work in another industry. I’d like to help if I can I just don’t know if I will be helpful.

              Up to you. And sorry for any typos but we lost power b/c of the windstorms and it’s dark and the screen on this damn iPhone is ridiculously tiny.

              Either way, much good luck with it.
              FA4

              PE: sent you an email.
              Last edited by finalact4; 04-14-2020, 07:30 PM.
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

                Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                Hi Manfred...

                PE: sent you an email.
                Thank you so much!! I just emailed you back. This forum is awesome! By the way, I followed your suggestion and became a paying member of this site. I finally get to see what's behind the curtain
                Manfred Lopez Grem
                Writer - Director

                REEL - IMDB

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

                  Originally posted by manfredlopez View Post
                  Thank you so much!! I just emailed you back. This forum is awesome! By the way, I followed your suggestion and became a paying member of this site. I finally get to see what's behind the curtain


                  Check out the deals each month. The archives are awesome, too. I use them all the time when I research managers...

                  I try to check them out either by week or at the end of the month. You learn a lot about managers, agents, lawyers prodcos and who has deals with studios/networks.
                  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Brandon Blake, www.filmtvlaw.com

                    Originally posted by The WayWard Uncle View Post
                    This firm has asked for a fee based retainer model with a 2 month minimum since I am a newbie with something he says, "Sounds interesting," but don't they all say that to get the hook into you? When asked about milestones or results he sounded pretty straight forward he mentioned that he would advise on the package, include a breakdown of casting options, and submission studios, execs, for submissions etc. I would be apart of the process which sounds good.

                    And he does seem to have some creds on his name. Anyone with any more input, watch-outs, feedbacks with this model? My main concern is like in other industries, the pricing reflects the fact there will be "many" pieces that nickle and dime you to death then your bill becomes outrageous or you just can not afford it in the end. Any comments? It would be greatly appreciated.
                    Listen I know it might seem enticing especially if its a package you're trying to get off the ground so let me say this loud and clear. No legit person in this industry will ask you for money before the project has been set up. No agent, no manager, no lawyer. Money never comes into the equation this early. You shouldn't me paying an attorney to have them on commission for two months. It just doesn't happen. So please don't get suckered.

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