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Recognitions

Eight Barnes & Thornburg Attorneys Named To Variety 2020 Dealmakers Impact Report

December 11, 2020 Los Angeles | Atlanta

LOS ANGELES – A group of eight attorneys in Barnes & Thornburg’s Entertainment, Media and Sports practice group have been included in Variety Magazine’s 2020 Dealmakers Impact Report, which highlights the most significant transactions in the entertainment industry. Among them are deals for top production companies (Ingenious Media, Bento Box Entertainment), media giants (Viacom, MGM Studios), and recording artists (Bob Dylan, T Bone Burnett).

Carolyn Hunt, Jason Karlov, Rebekah Prince, Bryan Thompson, Scott Witlin, Ryan Barncastle 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; her projects include development and distribution transactions for the upcoming film “Remote Control” starring Gerard Butler, production financing for the upcoming film “The Ice Road” starring Liam Neeson, equity investment in the production company for the upcoming film “The Space Between,” and the financing of the documentary “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles.” Additionally, Hunt and Thompson represented MUFG Union Bank in closing a production loan for the film “Dog,” which was one of the first films to shoot in Los Angeles following the COVID-19 shutdowns. 

Hunt told Variety that production budgets are more complex due to “a lot of new COVID costs,” including testing and nurses on set.

Karlov, who is chair of the firm’s Entertainment, Media and Sports practice group, was recognized for his work on behalf of clients such as Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, T Bone Burnett, and Rufus Wainwright, as well as the publishing catalogs of the Grateful Dead, Imagine Dragons, The Killers and Michael Bolton. 

Variety quoted Karlov as saying “As music talent gets tempted by sky-high offers for their publishing rights, each client has a degree of human attachment to any deal for the copyrights that they’ve created over their careers. It’s like a photo album of their lives.”

Prince was noted by Variety for counseling clients such as professional basketball stars Russell Westbrook on a range of projects. Prince and Thompson recently represented Russell Westbrook and his production Company WhyNot Media in negotiating a deal to produce a documentary series and also represented Westbrook and WhyNot Media in negotiating a deal to produce and host a game show which is currently in development at a major cable network.  

Thompson, who previously worked at Fox, Yahoo! and Whalerock Industries, was acknowledged for working on development, production, financing and distribution of films and television projects. 

Weizenecker regularly represents clients in film, television, music and videogame industries. He also serves as vice chair of the Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Film, Television, Music and Interactive Entertainment Advisory Commission. Weizenecker was recognized for his work with Bounce Media, eOne, Ingenious Media, HBO, MGM and Viacom Intl. 

Barncastle has experience as a dealmaker across a broad spectrum of industries, including entertainment, media and sports.

On the labor and employment side of the entertainment industry, Witlin represented a number of producers and entertainment companies in their negotiations with major entertainment unions and guilds. 

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 Imagine Dragons and the NFL.

With more than 700 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, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews

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