Before a TV pilot is shot or even the first scene of a movie is filmed, actors must be auditioned, cast, and signed. The last step requires talent agreements, not just for the leading roles, but every part involved in the production. Members of the Dickinson Wright Entertainment, Sports and Media group have spent their careers negotiating and drafting talent agreements on behalf of major movie studios and television production companies, as well as agents, managers, actors, and directors. Having been on both sides of the table, we have a deep understanding of what motivates each party, and how to best protect a client’s interests.
Whether it’s a summer blockbuster movie, indie film, long-running primetime drama, or a new reality show, our lawyers know the unique requirements and demands of every kind of production. We pay attention to both the finer details, such as compensation, profit-sharing, and who gets top billing, while maintaining a wider focus so that important issues involving intellectual property, rights of publicity, and waivers of liability are not overlooked. At all times, our work is driven by the knowledge that talent agreements are at the heart of a production and crucial to bringing together a gifted collection of individuals, who are all actively engaged in a project’s success.
Our work in this area includes:
• Negotiating and drafting talent agreements for all types of film and television productions.
• Representing movie studios, television production companies, agents, managers, actors, and directors.
• Addressing issues such as revenue sharing, back ends, gross and adjusted gross profits, deferments, box office bonuses, and other compensation issues.
• Anticipating all forms of distribution, including online and mobile.
• Protecting valuable intellectual property rights, particularly with respect to licensing and merchandising.