A group of seven attorneys in Barnes & Thornburg’s Entertainment, Media and Sports practice group have been named to and profiled in Variety Magazine’s 2019 Dealmakers Impact Report, which highlights the most significant transactions in the entertainment industry throughout the country. Among them are deals for top production companies (Ingenious Media, Bento Box Entertainment) and media giants (Viacom, HBO, MGM Studios).
Carolyn Hunt, Jason Karlov, Rebekah Prince, Bryan Thompson, Scott Witlin and Amanda Taber of the Los Angeles office and Steve Weizenecker of the Atlanta office were recognized for achievements in several areas, including film financing, production incentives and distribution deals; business-altering talent deals; corporate partnership deals; undeniable impact deals; and major union and guild deals and agreements.
Hunt received acclaim for her representation of film and television financing ,incentive and distribution deals involving a number of projects, including production financing for “The Rook,” a television series based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley, the Mexico co-production financing for the Netflix film “El Baile De Los 41” and documentary series “Taco Chronicles”, support of Freckle Films in connection with financing of the film “355”, and the financing the 2019 film and “Queen & Slim” and the upcoming “The Long Night” and “Postcard Killings”. She also serves as outside counsel to the Columbus Film Commission with regard to its unique regional incentives program, including in connection with grants made to finance the films “Electric Jesus” and “Run of the Hitman”, and provides ongoing representation to independent film producers and distributors, including FilmNation, Highland Film Group, Code Entertainment and eOne.
Karlov, who is chair of the firm’s Entertainment, Media and Sports practice group, was recognized for his work on behalf of clients including Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, T Bone Burnett, the publishing catalog of the Grateful Dead, and Michael Bolton. Karlov was also instrumental in making the deal happen for Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door, a liquor label. Additionally, Karlov and Taber represented the National Football League and NFL Networks with strategic partnerships and in connection with live events, including the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show featuring Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi.
Prince was noted for counseling clients such as professional basketball stars Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook and Candace Parker on a variety of projects. Additionally, she has advised fitness company F45 with endorsement agreements and represented Wolfgang Puck Worldwide in domestic and international franchise deals for Wolfgang Puck Express casual dining restaurants.
Thompson, a partner with the firm who previously worked at Fox, Yahoo! and Whalerock Industries, worked with Hunt on development, production, financing and distribution of films and television projects for Hercules Films, worked with high-net-worth individuals in connection with the independent development and production of television and feature film projects, helped close a major corporate conversion transaction for an immersive technology company, and worked alongside Karlov to represent a company that engages in various types of entertainment activities, including app development, podcasting, and live events.
Weizenecker, a partner in the Atlanta office and chair of the Georgia Government Affairs practice, regularly represents clients in film, television, music and videogame industries. This year, he was involved in numerous deals involving production incentives around the world, including production incentives and financing of the feature films “Flag Day,” shot in Canada and directed by Sean Penn, and “The Comeback Trail” starring Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman shot in New Mexico, which were both financed by a UK film fund. During 2019, he also represented major entities like Viacom, HBO, NBCUniversal, Netflix, TV One, Bounce TV and MGM with regard to entertainment content production incentives.
On the labor and employment side of the entertainment industry, Witlin, a partner in the Los Angeles office, represented a number of producers and entertainment companies with their negotiations with major entertainment unions and guilds including the producers of “BoJack Horseman.”
Additionally, Taber was recognized for several matters, including her work in the areas of music, podcasts, social media, live events, licensing, and copyright, and working with Karlov on a number of corporate partnership deals and major impact deals, including for MGM Studios and FiveCurrents.
With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.