Frequently Asked Questions
How much does an entertainment attorney charge?
There are different payment structures depending on the type of work being done, if the work is one time or ongoing, the financial situation of the client, etc. Many entertainment attorneys charge on a percentage basis, usually 5%-10% depending on the type of deal, if the attorney brought the deal to table, etc. Contract drafting, reviewing and negotiations are often done on a "per contract" or individual basis either on a flat fee or hourly rate. Hourly rates for entertainment attorneys can range from $250 to $500 per hour and up, depending on the attorney, their level of experience and their location.
Do I need an entertainment lawyer?
Before you sign ANY agreement with anyone, you should always contact an entertainment attorney. Every contract is simply a starting point for negotiations, having an attorney that understands what should and should not be included in a contract or a deal can be the difference between earning substantial money and finding success in the entertainment industry and having an artist, producer, writer or company end up with little to nothing for their hard work and creative efforts.
Do I need an entertainment attorney if I already have an agent?
In most situations Yes. An agent in most entertainment settings (movies, television, music, literature, etc.) helps you find opportunities in your specific area and often negotiate the larger deal points and often payment. The entertainment lawyer often drafts or negotiates and finalizes the "long form" contract, making sure that everything that the client and their agent expected and negotiated are accurately represented in the contract. A good agent and attorney should be able to work as a team, each playing their respective roles to help the client further their goals and of course, maximize earnings!
I have a writing or creative partner, do we need an attorney?
Yes, definitely! Parties that create with each other on a consistent basis will probably benefit greatly by having a partnership agreement and/or possibly functioning through their own corporation. An entertainment attorney with experience in business development and formation can help guide you into the corporate entity that would be best for you as well as work with you to create a detailed partnership agreement to clearly define responsibilities, who owns the group name, how splits on copyrights or created materials should take place, what happens if the partnership ends, etc.