Making it in the entertainment industry is tough. For many, it takes years to get noticed and gain some form of popularity. While working towards their dreams, there are many decisions a new artist, writer or actor needs to make. Some are quick to sign the first contract they are presented with, and more often than not these deals do not work out in their favor. These early decisions are important because a career in entertainment is hard to maintain. That is why it is essential to form a good team of people around you who can be trusted. The first member of this team should be an entertainment attorney.
When Contracts Are Involved
A lawyer is required to look out for the best interests of their client. Therefore, if you are given a contact written by someone else's lawyer, it should be thoroughly reviewed. All contracts are not created equal, and there is no standard entertainment contract. They all have nuances and legal language that should be looked over by a professional. Even some of the most experienced artists have signed contracts that they later regretted. It is so very important to think long term when signing a contract. An entertainment lawyer will know exactly what pitfalls to stay clear of. Lawyers, like John Branca, have been in the industry for years and have many contacts. In the entertainment field, knowing the right people and making the right connections can get you far.
When You Have a Partner
Many creative people thrive when they can bounce ideas off another person. Songwriters, comedians, and producers all benefit from having a partner. A large number of musicians start off in groups formed by record labels. This may be beneficial creatively, but legally partnerships can be tricky. At the beginning of a partnership, everyone is always excited and on the same page. However, creative differences can surface at any point. When projects start to get noticed, and negotiations begin, you and your partner may find yourself on opposite sides. This is where an entertainment attorney comes in. You are more likely to protect a creative partnership when the legal negotiations can be done through a third party.
When Working With Existing Material
If you are creating new fresh material, that is ideal. However, a lot of the time new material is created from, or inspired by, other existing material. When your song, book or screenplay is adapted from something else or based on a real person, rights for the material need to be acquired. This usually involves negotiations and a firm knowledge of intellectual property laws. Entertainment lawyers are well versed in these situations.