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Getting the Deal Done: A Discussion of Common Pitfalls Facing Dealmakers When Negotiating Film and TV Deals

SKU: IP4200
Total Credits
1 - 1.5
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Recent high-profile cases demonstrate that even among the most experienced dealmakers, failing to pay sufficient attention to the details of some of the most common agreements can result in cratered deals, strained relationships and expensive disputes. With so much at stake, producers, writers, directors and financiers need to know when they are exposing themselves to these unnecessary risks. But how? This CLE program will focus on some of the biggest legal and business traps facing dealmakers and how to avoid them.

Topics include:

  • Co-Production Agreements: how to avoid getting tossed off your own film
  • Option Agreements and Shopping Agreements: when control of the IP is not enough --- when and what to own
  • Whose Idea Is It?: What is protectable IP and avoiding the common traps
  • The Back-end: how to make sure you get what's coming to you in an ever evolving media landscape

Lecturer Bios

Andrew P. Hurwitz, Esq.

Andrew Hurwitz is a partner in the Entertainment Group at Frankfurt Kurnit and Managing Partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office. He has represented award-winning entertainment talent and leading media companies for almost 20 years, and is widely considered one of the nation’s top film and television industry lawyers.

Mr. Hurwitz provides a full range of transactional and advisory services to clients in the motion picture, television, and digital rights businesses. He has negotiated and structured virtually every type of development, production, financing, and distribution agreement. He also advises on corporate matters - including acquisitions and joint ventures and on employment matters for senior media executives. He has brokered the sale of many high-profile films to major studios and individual rights buyers in the US and abroad. His clients include writers, directors, actors, producers, financiers, foreign sales agents, and media companies and their executives. Mr. Hurwitz consistently ranks among the nation’s best entertainment lawyers.

Mr. Hurwitz has taught the entertainment law seminar at New York Law School as well as motion picture business classes at Yale University and the Czech film school FAMU in Prague. He is a frequent panelist at industry and continuing legal education events and has written articles for The Hollywood Reporter and other publications.

Mr. Hurwitz is admitted to practice in New York and California. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Services for the UnderServed, a not-for-profit company serving New York City’s Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and persons with mental and developmental disabilities and AIDS. He is also an active member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) -- an environmental advocacy organization affiliated with the National Resources Defense Council. Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, he was a partner at the entertainment law firm Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP (2007-2011).

Joseph R. Taylor, Esq.

Mr. Taylor represents individual and corporate clients from all over the world in litigation matters related to media, entertainment, intellectual property, sports, gaming, technology, hospitality, insurance and employment. He has tried and litigated to resolution hundreds of entertainment industry disputes over 30 years of practice. He often represents entertainment industry clients in matters against the six major American studios and their networks.

High-profile individuals and companies in numerous other industries and endeavors (including major consumer technology, sports, real estate, restaurant, insurance brokerage, and Internet companies) also turn to Joe for driven and detail-oriented advocacy in a wide range of disputes and administrative proceedings.

Mr. Taylor practices in California state and federal courts, New York federal courts, and the Federal Appellate Circuit. He also regularly represents clients in matters before the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild; before arbitration tribunals such as the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, and the IFTA Arbitration Tribunal; and before the California Department of Industrial Relations, and other California law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Taylor serves on the Advisory Board of the Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law at UCLA School of Law. He has taught entertainment law classes at UCLA School of Law and Pepperdine Law School. Chambers USA regularly includes Mr. Taylor in its coverage of California's top media and entertainment litigators.

Victoria S. Cook, Esq.

Victoria S. Cook is a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit and a member of the Entertainment Group. She focuses on motion picture and television work, representing award-winning filmmakers, writers, directors, actors, television producers, film financiers, and television networks.

She is immersed in both the independent and Hollywood worlds, and her clients often work in all aspects of the entertainment business - from major studio films to cutting-edge political documentaries. Variety recently named her to its Womens Impact Report, and the New York Law Journal recently included her in its inaugural Top Women in the Law list.

Ms. Cook is also a frequent public speaker who lectures regularly on film and television finance and production at film schools, law schools, and producer conferences, including NYU/TISCH, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Independent Feature Project, and the Producers Guild of America. She has appeared on numerous panels at all the major film festivals and markets, including Cannes and Sundance. She is a regular mentor at the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Conference as well as the Sundance Institute Catalyst Conference for film investors. She has moderated the State of the Union panel at the Sundance Summit for the last several years and in 2013 was one of the keynote speakers. Ms Cook is a member of the Advisory Board for the Hamptons Film Festival.

Outside of her law career, Ms. Cook has worn many hats in the industry. She co-produced "Screwed", a feature-length documentary about New York pornographer Al Goldstein, co-founded the New York Underground Film Festival, worked at CourtTV, and was the head of domestic sales at Cinetic Media. Ms. Cook is admitted to practice in New York.

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