Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law – Film and Television

Brenda Feigen specializes in the fields of intellectual property and entertainment law, including film, television, multi-media, literary, art, music and sports matters. Click here for representative clients.

In 1980, Ms. Feigen became associated in New York City with a large firm thatlater merged into one of the largest nationwide entertainment law firms, Loeb & Loeb, where she learned the practice of movie and television law. She began by servicing big production company clients, giving her necessary know-how about what they look for and how they protect themselves. After several years, Ms. Feigen went on to work in business affairs at the William Morris Agency where she specialized in motion picture literary and television packaging matters. She soon became an agent and gained clients who were producers, actors, writers and directors. She continues with these types of clients as an attorney now in her own practice. Her emphasis remains on transactions, negotiations usually on behalf of "talent" and production companies with buyers, usually studios.

In 1990, Orion Pictures released Ms. Feigen's movie, NAVY SEALS, starring Charlie Sheen, Bill Paxton and S. Epatha Merkerson. It was her first producing experience, but it brought to her understanding of the law as it applied to big-budget movies a practical approach to assuring that deals close and movies get made. Producing a movie also provided Ms. Feigen with a complete understanding of production contracts with all the usual cast and crew members, as well as the timetable by which they must be completed.

Today, she represents many screenwriters for television and feature films, as well as producers and directors. Ms. Feigen also represents rights owners, be they book authors or life story rights owners whose stories are to be made into films. Her clients have included actors Jane Alexander, Karen Allen, Loretta Switt, Mike Farrell, Matt Smith; producers Lamar Billups, Stephen Haft, RealStreaMedia; and screenwriters Joanne Parrent, Chuck Pfarrer, Richard Murphy and assorted directors. She is presently representing producers of a documentary about the Gulf oil spill, producers of a movie about Hurricane Katrina (as well as the author of the book on which the movie is based) and of a movie about a young, gay actor and his comedic relationship with his elderly aunt. She also represents a writer-producer whose action movie set in Los Angeles' inner city is ready to start pre-production and a director who is transitioning from documentary to narrative feature films. Ms. Feigen is also representing a rap music video producer whose script is expected to attract major black actors. She has worked on the financing of these projects, as well as securing the rights to all necessary elements. Soon she will be negotiating distribution deals for them. Another recent project is that of a graduate film student at USC whose documentary about South Africa required her help for financing, rights clearances and distribution. In television, she recently negotiated a contract on behalf of a news anchor with the Fox Television Network. She also represented an executive at Warner Bros. in her contract negotiations with that studio. (See Ms. Feigen's article for the October 2003 ABA Forum on Entertainment Law: "Books Becoming Movies.")