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03/02/2001 - Entertainment Attorneys

How to Produce Movies for Television

"And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others."

-- Nelson Mandela, 1994 inaugural speech

Entertainment Attorneys

People who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of excellence care about preserving their image. They are keenly aware of how important it is to align themselves with entertainment attorneys who conduct their business affairs with integrity.

In spite of all the "lawyer jokes" that we hear, it's reassuring to know many entertainment attorneys are not only trustworthy but also team players when it comes to protecting their clients' best interests.

Choosing the right entertainment attorney is critical. For example, if you are interested in securing the rights to a project, the image that your attorney represents on your behalf will often make or break a deal.

Established entertainment attorneys bill at $250 - $300 dollars an hour, and even higher. Artists who are starting out simply can't afford to meet those hourly fees. The good news is that some attorneys will accept a "contingency fee" - meaning that in the event the deal is secured on your behalf and you receive compensation for your services, you agree to pay your attorney 5 percent of your gross earnings.

How, you may ask, can I ever convince an attorney to take the risk of accepting a contingency fee? The answer may be more simple than you think. It's all in the way you present yourself and the merit of the project that you want to secure rights to.

Every so often, entertainment attorneys leave the Business Affairs departments of studios, independent production companies, or theatrical agencies where they have been previously employed in order to start their own entertainment law practice. Some of these attorneys are able to accept contingency fees from newcomers because they have already worked out retainer fees with established clients who have followed them to their new practice for legal representation.

Our own personal experience has taught us to that it's always best to be open and honest with others. Not only will you be treated with respect for your candor; in your search for legal representation you'll find that there are attorneys out there who want to be associated with quality writers, producers, actors and producers.

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Many of these attorneys have worked under stressful conditions at oppressive corporate environments where they were not allowed the freedom of self-expression. That's why they had eventually decided to leave and take the risk of starting a new business where they can develop and sustain a practice and an image that will attract
Important clients.

Nelson Mandela's words apply: When you allow your inner light to shine, you do give other people permission to do the same.

Be honest and open with the people that you seek out to represent you. Believe it or not, there are agents, personal managers and entertainment attorneys out there who are not only responsible and dedicated professsionals; some of them also care enough to protect your best interests and to do the right thing.

Let your light shine on. The rest will follow.


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