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The Film and TV Actor's Pocketlawyer: Legal Basics Every Actor Should Know

The Film and TV Actor's Pocketlawyer: Legal Basics Every Actor Should Know

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The Film and TV Actor's Pocketlawyer: Legal Basics Every Actor Should Know

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5/5 (1 valutazione)
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213 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 27, 2018
ISBN:
9781543924831
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

"The Film and TV Actor's Pocketlawyer" is an educational handbook for actors to use and reference whenever they are presented with an underlying contract for a talent management deal, a talent agency deal, a series regular role for a television show, or a speaking role for a major independent or motion picture film and the book is organized into six helpful chapters: Chapter One: The Talent Management Agreement. Chapter Two: The Talent Agency Agreement. Chapter Three: First Television Series Regular Role. Chapter Four: First Major Indie or Motion Picture Role. Chapter 5: SAG-AFTRA FAQs. Chapter 6: Spearheading Your Own Projects.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 27, 2018
ISBN:
9781543924831
Formato:
Libro

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The Film and TV Actor's Pocketlawyer - David Yung Ho Kim

Conclusion

Congratulations for coming this far! You are here now because you’ve decided to take your acting career seriously. Instead of paying hefty attorneys’ fees, you’ve bought this book so that you can learn how to better protect yourself and your acting career. Congratulations on taking your career into your own hands.

While it is always encouraged to retain you own attorney, for those who can’t afford attorneys, you at least have this handbook to use as your legal guide. The Actor’s Pocket Lawyer can help you know what to watch out for in contracts, be it what to be aware of when booking roles and opportunities for your acting career, what you should know when getting into disputes and what to negotiate when getting a new talent manager or talent agent.

This handbook is written to educate U.S. actors, like you, on the important legal items you should be aware of in your day-to-day career, including what to keep in mind when booking jobs, working on set and ultimately safeguarding your interests for years to come. Through this book I will aim to go over, in as much non-legalese (non-lawyer lingo) as possible, everything I think may be helpful for you to know, be it the differences between a GSA contract and a SAG-AFTRA contract, the basic rights you have as a SAG-AFTRA member on and off set, signing a management or agency contract, the distinctions between and industry parameters of television roles and film roles, negotiating your own television series regular or feature film main lead role contract, protecting and preserving of your brand for further growth, handling potential dispute situations and protecting your interests while partnering with other actors, filmmakers and/or industry folk in your own projects.

Please keep in mind that although this handbook is intended to be a quick reference guide for actors during particular stages of their careers, NO actor or individual should solely rely upon this handbook as being full and competent legal counsel. Everyone reading this book is encouraged to hire his/her own attorney when seeking legal advice.

Alright, now that you know what you can expect to learn from The Actor’s Pocket Lawyer, it’s time to begin. We will first start with the talent management and various talent agency agreements before we work our way back to the protocol, paperwork and language you should be familiar with when booking work and being on set, and the overall legal basics an actor should know.

When someone says manager, nowadays people tend to think of famous music managers like Matthew Knowles (Beyonce’s dad), Scooter Braun, Troy Carter – all three well known in the music industry, instead of the traditional film and television talent manager. For the purpose of this book however, we will be limiting our discussion to that of the traditional talent manager for film and television and not music managers so please keep in mind that the terms for music management vary differently and this book should not be relied upon for any music management related terms and lingo.

Talent managers for film and television generally want to manage their clients in all areas of entertainment, although some talent may request to have that music be excluded if the talent is a singer-songwriter, recording artist or music producer. If music is included in the scope of the management, then the commissions are most likely to be different from traditional talent manager percentages, be it different rates for different categories (i.e., music v. film/TV v. brand endorsements/sponsorships/collaborations) or one average weighted percentage taking into account all of the different areas and bookings entailed for the representation (i.e., Scooter Braun - manages Justin Bieber 360 in all areas, including music). When music is excluded in the scope of representation for the talent, the commission percentages for talent managers tend to be very standard with occasional percentage markups for certain circumstances and reasons, which we will go over in a bit. Note that music should generally be excluded in the scope of representation for talent because most talent managers in the film and television industry don’t have the expertise, resources and/or experience to manage in music. It’s important that you always make sure your manager has the expertise, resources and/or experience to be able to even manage you in your field, be it music or acting (film and television) - trust me, there are a lot of fakes in this industry.

The Most Important Deal Points For a Talent Management Agreement

Once you’ve decided to procure a talent manager and/or talent management company (an essential step in your career) and you’ve been offered a talent management contract, you might find that you have no idea what it says, what it means, what you’re signing away your life to and whether any of it matches up to what the talent manager or management company rep told you. This is the time to retain an entertainment attorney… or is it if you can’t afford to retain an attorney? Well, with the tips I give you here, you should be able to negotiate in your own basic contracts if you don’t have the money to retain an attorney - you’re welcome.

The important terms/areas to look out for in any management agreement are (not in any particular order):

Scope (areas of entertainment, territory(ies), exclusivity)

Compensation

Term (duration of contract in year(s))

Duties - Talent Manager

Duties - Actor

Expenses

Power of Attorney / Check authorization

Indemnification

Termination / Curing Breach

Jurisdiction / Forum

We will go over each area in detail, while also delving into the other miscellaneous provisions of a talent management agreement. Note that because talent managers and talent management companies aren’t governed by SAG-AFTRA, talent management agreements don’t have to follow a certain form or contain certain language. As such, it is especially important for you to pay attention to this section so you can know what you’re getting into when you get your talent manager, and that is also why Chapter 1 (Talent Management Agreement) is the longest chapter in this handbook.

Scope

Generally, as stated before, talent management agreements either cover the scope of all areas of entertainment and media (i.e., film, television, new media, digital, licensing, radio, commercials, endorsements, merchandise, etc.) inclusive of music (i.e., songwriting, publishing, recording, etc.) or just everything in entertainment and media but music. Therefore, it’s important to know what areas the talent manager would be managing and advising you in before signing the contract. One thing to be particularly careful of is while a talent management agreement may state that the management only concerns the entertainment industry, sometimes, because of draftsmanship error or even pure intent hidden in disguise, the compensation provisions might include any income made by the talent, even outside of the entertainment industry. Stay tuned to learn more about this when we get to compensation provisions for a talent management agreement.

Territory(ies)

In addition to the areas of entertainment and media that are commonly defined and listed in the scope of representation, other elements that must be present and clear are those touching upon exclusivity and territory regarding the manager’s scope of representation for you. Will the talent manager or management company be managing you worldwide, or just in North America? For example, if the talent manager has no established relationships, connections or prior experience in managing talent outside of the U.S., it might make sense to limit the territory to just North America. However, in today’s globalized digital society most talent management agreements stipulate the territory to be worldwide and not just a particular country or continent. Yet, in instances where the actor is from or based in a foreign country for a major part of his or her career, it might make sense for the actor to have a talent manager in each distinct territory/continent, as a U.S. talent manager would most likely have no idea how things of the industry and culture in the different countries and may not be able to provide competent advice and direction. It’s important to point out that there are many downsides to having different talent managers in different companies as well, as it’s hard to get different egos to all agree to a particular project, plan, vision, or even scheduling. Thus, while it’s most likely the case that you cannot really negotiate the scope of representation being in just film, or just television, or just commercials because otherwise talent managers would not have that much incentive to represent you in just one area of entertainment, it might be worth trying to negotiate the territories in which your talent manager would be representing you. Whether this will be beneficial for you or not depends on you, your career, your ambitions and intentions; a business decision needs to be made first and so will not be further discussed in this book.

Exclusivity

Another area commonly addressed in the scope of representation for a talent manager/talent management company is whether the representation will be non-exclusive or exclusive to the manager. While it’s always the case that talent managers/talent management companies insert language stipulating that they themselves are non-exclusive to the actor and are free to take on, manage and/or represent other talent, it is always most often the case that these talent managers/talent management companies require the actor to be exclusive to them, meaning that the actor cannot have any other individual or entity in the same territory(ies) and areas of entertainment advising or counseling the actor in the same capacity as the talent manager/management company (please note the brief discussion on territory(ies) in the prior paragraph and its relation here). This makes sense, as it would be counterproductive to have more than one person/entity telling you what he/she/it thinks you should do in regards to your career for that particular territory and area of entertainment. As such, the exclusivity language isn’t something an actor can really negotiate unless the actor is already a high profile talent who has the ability and leverage to request a non-exclusive management deal with a talent manager/management company. In such an instance, then the talent manager/management company would generally only be entitled to receive commission on any income generated from opportunities that the manager introduced or advised in any way to the actor.

Given all of this, here are a few examples of the language in talent management agreements that touch upon the scope: areas of representation, territory and exclusivity. Please keep in mind that because each talent manager/talent management company is different and retains its own legal counsel, the talent management agreement drafts an actor may come across in his/her career may vary widely as to language and form, although generally similar in substance. As such, all of the examples in this book are merely samples provided to you as references.

EXAMPLE 1

Artist now desires to retain Manager as Artist’s exclusive talent manager in regard to Artist’s career and services as a songwriter, performer, artist, actor, author, writer, product endorser, publisher, endorser or holder of Third Party Rights in the Entertainment Industry worldwide. As used herein, the term Entertainment Industry includes, without limitation, all services and activities in such fields of endeavor as phonograph records (including but not limited to recording and production), transcriptions, musical and/or dramatic performances, singing, radio, endorsements, corporate appearance, television, motion pictures, radio and television commercials, commercial merchandising, endorsements and tie-ins and for all and any other media of entertainment for which Artist may be or become qualified; and the sale, lease or other disposition of musical, literary, dramatic or other artistic material which Artist may create, compose, write or collaborate, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, in any and all fields; any act, unit or package show of which Artist may be the owner or part owner, directly or indirectly; and all other activities and interest in any way connected with or appurtenant to the entertainment industry and related fields including the uses and licensing of Artist’s name, voice and/or likeness and/or branding in connection with Artist. For the purposes of clarification all references to Artist’s services herein shall be deemed to refer to Artist’s services as a solo artist, writer or Artist or as a member of any recording or production group previously formed and/or hereafter assembled or otherwise, including, without limitation, any proprietorship or entity owned or controlled, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly by or on behalf of Artist, which has any Third Party Rights. As used herein, Third Party Rights shall be deemed to include, without limitation, rights held by Artist relating to the ownership, acquisition, control, holding, exploiting, dealing in or exercising (or refraining from exercising) of any rights in, to or relating to any third party(ies) and/or a third party’s products or services and/or the results and proceeds thereof, in and throughout the Entertainment Industry, to which Artist is or may hereafter become entitled.

Scope: All areas of entertainment plus some more

Exclusivity: Yes

Territory: Worldwide

EXAMPLE 2

"Manager shall represent you as your exclusive talent manager in North America in all

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