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Entertainment Law: Mingling With the Stars

Matthew Chung (L'19)
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 3:30pm

My passion and interest in life is the entertainment and legal industry. Congruently, that is where my legal interests lie. I want to be behind negotiating the contracts and deals for the biggest talent and the most cutting-edge content in the business.

This summer, my journey towards becoming an entertainment dealmaker has taken me to the production side of the business. I have moved to Los Angeles for the summer and I am working in legal and business affairs for two different production companies: Global Road Entertainment and Jesse Collins Entertainment.

Global Road Entertainment is a relatively new company after a merger between Open Road Films and IM Global TV. I work for the unscripted and alternative team which works on documentaries, competition shows, and game shows. The work that I do focuses on format option agreements and attachment agreements.

Global Road targets and licenses a tv show concept from another region and then gets a license to bring that content to the U.S. Also, it connects with other production companies to create new shows. I work to draft these documents based upon the specific terms of the deal. I also track the termination dates for these contracts.

Jesse Collins Entertainment does a mix of live TV events and scripted content. I work with the company’s chief counsel and my focus thus far has been the BET Awards which were on June 24.  I was on-site at Microsoft Theater for the week of the show working on redlining agreements for performers and presenters. Anyone getting on stage during the show, from headliners to backup dancers, needed to sign a release since their image and likeness would be on TV.

Most people sign beforehand, but some people we get to sign back stage. It was exhilarating running around backstage and interacting with talent. I got to chat with 2 Chainz, interact with Big Sean, and saw as Tyra Banks strutted onto the stage. It was such an amazing experience seeing all of the components that go into a live show!

Both experiences are very distinct and I am learning, not only about how these deals come together, but about the many ways that content is developed, from idea to the screen.