Skip to main content

I am a first time feature film producer with a background in the theater. I am looking for an entertainment lawyer.

New York, NY |
Filed under: Entertainment law

What is a ballpark figure for a flat fee for wall to wall legal, from development to distribution? Are their Entertainment lawyers out their who will help with casting getting the screenplay into the right agents hands? What should I look for in hiring this lawyer? I want someone with reach & track record of working with names. Where should I look for this person.

I know its a lot of questions any answers are greatly appreciated ... Thanks!

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Mr. Michelen is right. Legal fees are usually broken up in stages since most attorneys charge hourly for development, finance & distribution work, but a flat fee for production legal since that part is included in the production budget. Also, most attorneys do not pitch scripts for financing, casting or distribution - even at big firms. You really do need an agent and/or good casting director for that. However, if you have some financing in place, you should be able to find good legal help. If you need legal help re: financing though, you'll find out fast what a Catch-22 you're in.

    I know how hard it is for first-time filmmakers to get help. I've done exactly this type of work for over 25 years in LA & NY. I'd be willing to talk to you. Call or email me.

    Please note that this answer should not be considered "legal advice" and no attorney-client relationship is formed by answering this question. You should hire an attorney licensed in your state and familiar with the relevant areas of the law to conduct an analysis of your situation and provide you with fully informed legal advice. This answer is posted for general purposes only.


  2. It's hard to answer your questions as they are varied and complex. The kind of lawyer you seek may best be found in a large firm for example like Gibson Dunn but they may not accept you as their unsolicited client on your first project and their fees will be high. Smaller firms like mine have the kind of legal experience you seek but we generally do not get involved in finding you an agent and getting your screenplay into their hands. It might be best for you to first seek an agent for your screenplay. Legal fees can be expensive and most film producers work that into their budget when they seek financing. It is hard if not impossible to quote a flat fee for everything at the start. Normally we price our services in stages and base the fees on the amount of work requested of us. Perhaps your first step ought to be seeking an initial consultation to get oriented in the field and to konow what is necessary now and what will be necessary down the road. Then you can budget accordingly.

    The answers given are informational only and do not constitute legal advice.


  3. I suggest you try using the Find A Lawyer tab on Avvo.

    The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  4. It's very difficult to answer. My firm charges a flat fee for production work, and one the financing is clear, which may affect distribution, we agree on flat fees there too. Much depends on the complexity of financing, and production. It's not simple, or easy.

    This post does not create an attorney-client relationship between my firm and the asker. In all events, the asker is well advised to secure advice from an attorney with experience in the area covered by the question asked. This answer is posted for general purposes only.


  5. This is a situation where you would be best served meeting with an attorney for an initial consultation. Once you sit down with them and explain your needs, then your potential attorney will outline his or her fee structure. Some attorneys are willing to work with less established clients, but many are not. I also believe that while an attorney may be out of your price range, they may be able to refer you to someone that is willing to take you on. And some of the things you are asking for are not things a typical attorney does, so they may refer you to a non-attorney that does specialize in the things you need. So I suggest you ask colleagues and mentors for some referrals and make an appointment to meet with a local entertainment attorney and go from there. Even if they are out of your price range, they can be a valuable resource and may be able to point you in the right direction. Good Luck.

    ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. I have not heard the whole story and have not had the opportunity to review the relevant documents. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by viewing or responding to this post. If you need an attorney, you should contact a local attorney, rather than relying on a post on the Internet. Kalyan is licensed to practice law in California (State Bar number 259947.) This is a communication concerning my availability for professional employment within the meaning of California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400(A). Viewing of this post does not constitute the provision of legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by viewing or responding to this post

Entertainment law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics