Hollywood in Toto

What Does an Entertainment Lawyer Do?

“Just signal right here” might be three of the scariest phrases an artist will ever hear.

It’s why leisure legal professionals exist, to navigate gifted souls by way of the thicket of fame, wealth and profession obstacles.

Entertainment lawyer and movie producer Dan Mark started at Greenberg Traurig in Los Angeles, and was later in-house counsel for Warner Bros. movie studios.

He later joined the leisure boutique legislation agency based by his spouse, Rachel Tan. They presently apply leisure legislation collectively representing artists, producers, writers, administrators and, extra just lately, digital influencers.

Mark goes above and past the leisure lawyer’s job description.

He created his personal movie manufacturing firm, King Street Pictures, bringing motion pictures like “Heavenquest: A Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Snakehead” and “Fiction and Other Realities” to audiences worldwide.

HiT reached out to Mark to share a day within the lifetime of an leisure lawyer and the way the digital age makes life as a social media famous person so difficult.

HiT: You’re caught on an elevator and somebody asks what you do for a dwelling … what’s your response?

Dan Mark: I’m a movie producer and leisure lawyer. I make motion pictures and symbolize filmmakers and others within the leisure business.

HiT: How did your profession steer towards this facet of the legislation, and what was essentially the most difficult half earlier in your profession?

Marks: I all the time needed to work in movie and leisure. Years in the past in faculty I had an internship in Physical Production at Universal Pictures, and the dream form of caught with me from there. I went to legislation faculty in D.C. and most of my pals had been taking jobs with legislation companies on the East Coast.

I initially hailed from the Bay Area in Northern California, however I knew my coronary heart was to come back again to LA. So I took my first legislation agency job at a agency in LA that represented a number of shoppers within the leisure business.

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The most difficult a part of beginning each my careers — as an leisure lawyer and as a movie producer — is the barrier to entry. No one opens the door to welcome you into both business, particularly in case you’re an individual of religion or a minority, it’s important to discover a strategy to open the door your self. Thankfully that’s beginning to change, however it takes individuals getting in bravely to be the primary and preserve the door open for others.

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If I had been an aspiring leisure lawyer another time, I’d extremely advocate data of privateness legislation

I all the time inform individuals, ‘discover no matter particular talent you will have, and use that as your method in.’ The leisure business wants individuals of all totally different form of abilities. For me, my method of moving into leisure legislation was my background and coaching in mental property (emblems and copyrights).

And for movie producing, it was with the ability to do contracts and negotiate offers for unbiased productions who wouldn’t have been capable of afford a lawyer in any other case. For others it could be their background in advertising and marketing, accounting, their writing talents, nice public talking and skill to pitch, and many others.

HiT: Where do most of your shoppers fall — TV? Film? Music? Other arts? Is there a specific subset of leisure that requires extra authorized assist?

Mark: Most of my shoppers are within the movie world, however my spouse Rachel has shoppers in TV and particularly within the digital influencer area. That is an space of legislation and the business that’s booming proper now. Because as media will get increasingly more customized, individuals don’t make their shopping for selections based mostly on evergreen kind commercials focusing on the broad market.

They need first-hand suggestions from individuals they know (or really feel like they know by following them on social media). If I had been an aspiring leisure lawyer another time, I’d extremely advocate data of privateness legislation. That’s the following huge frontier with everybody’s knowledge in all places and elevated scrutiny from regulators world wide.

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HiT: What’s essentially the most misunderstood facet of your work, both by the individuals you meet alongside the best way and even your shoppers?

Mark: People suppose they will simply obtain some contract from the Internet and so they’ll be secure. We have so many purchasers who’ve tried that and when that comes again to chew them, we get introduced in to sort things. Also the thought which you can survive in Hollywood with out a good leisure lawyer.

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There are sadly so many sharks preying on individuals new to the business and the sorts of issues we see individuals getting pressured to signal are appalling and unconscionable. Never signal something with out a correct lawyer’s evaluate. I’ve seen that trigger issues for them years later down the street. And don’t simply assume that as a result of somebody says one thing is non-negotiable it’s actually not negotiable.

entertainment lawyer dan markEntertainment lawyer and movie producer Dan Mark.

Everyone says that, however all the pieces is all the time negotiable. We love these form of David versus Goliath instances, mentoring people who find themselves up towards massive studios or manufacturing firms.

HiT: How has know-how and digital advances impacted the work you do for shoppers — from mental property rights to incomes income from the digital area?

Mark: The digital world has modified all the pieces. Digital influencers can these days earn more money that film and TV stars. And the thought of “expertise” has modified. It was once you needed to be the best actor or singer to make it. Now it’s about your capacity to garner consideration and catch eyeballs and market your self. For higher or worse, that’s the place we’re as an business. It’s tougher to remain true to your self on a regular basis and never be “on” 100% of the time.

HiT: How has the pandemic impacted your work, or the work of these in your subject?

Mark: Interestingly sufficient, by God’s grace and provision, our workload has truly elevated throughout the pandemic. I can’t communicate to others, however I do know that now is an efficient time for creators to sow seeds into their future tasks. Development is hotter than it’s ever been. Production could also be on pause, however tons of content material is being developed in early phases proper now.

HiT: Is it crucial to be positioned both in NY or LA to do your work, or has distant work allowed your friends to name almost any metropolis residence?

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Mark: Being in LA nonetheless has its benefits for networking, however occasions are altering. We run a totally distant digital workplace, and I feel that’s the long run. That method we don’t have overhead in workplace area, staff and many others., and we are able to go the fee financial savings onto our shoppers as our billing charges are half of what huge leisure legislation companies normally cost.

Zoom has revolutionized all the pieces.

Don’t simply assume that as a result of somebody says one thing is non-negotiable it’s actually not negotiable.

Face to face conferences even after the pandemic is probably not the norm anymore. So sure I do suppose it’s doable to be distant in at the moment’s atmosphere so long as you may generate the shopper enterprise.

HiT: What have you ever discovered about artists over time … persona traits, strengths/weaknesses, and many others?

Mark: Artists get a foul rap. While a few of the criticism might be deserved, they’re individuals, too, and we’re all fallen. Glory was meant for God and never for man to comprise. So it will possibly simply destroy you. Artists are sometimes robust feelers who need to channel their emotions into their work, and that may be painful, scary and lonely to place your inside out to the world on a regular basis.

But what I like is that we’re capable of pray for our shoppers. For those who’re believers we get to wish for them one on one once they’re going by way of one thing troublesome. For others we pray behind the scenes. But I consider that’s our true secret weapon — once we pray, negotiations change. Bad conditions resolve. Terms get higher.

We don’t all the time bear in mind to wish, however it’s one thing we wish to do extra of. Because finally knowledge and judgment are essential, however having God in your facet is much more so.

HiT: Would you advocate a teenager simply beginning his or her authorized coaching pursue this specialised space?

Mark: Definitely privateness legislation. That’s the following huge factor and has been for a while.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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