Director, Business & Legal Affairs
Sony PicturesVan Nuys, CA
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Full Time Job
Director, Business & Legal Affairs
The Director of Business & Legal Affairs is responsible for reviewing, interpreting, negotiating, and drafting short and long form development, production, licensing, and production agreements and providing business and legal advice across a variety of unscripted programming, including without limitation documentary series and features, reality and competition shows, on behalf of Sony Pictures Television Nonfiction and its related companies. The position will have a strong focus on production business and legal affairs. The Director also will be involved in various employment, corporate and litigation matters, and will work closely with Creative, Production, Finance, HR and other departments to provide information and advice on a regular basis.
• Provide timely advice and counsel on all day-to-day legal matters from development through pre- and post-production and delivery, including advising on contract issues, intellectual property matters (chain of title, fair use, copyright and trademark clearance, usage and registration), privacy and rights of publicity, defamation, reputational risk, risk management, music licensing and usage issues, production releases and location and access agreements, editorial standards and practices; and advise on production employment and union and guild matters.
• Negotiate and draft agreements for producers, directors, talent, vendors, rights acquisition agreements (books, articles, podcasts, music, etc.), materials license agreements (clips, images, etc.), and other production-related personnel and matters.
• Develop solutions that allow executives to execute their creative vision in compliance with corporate and buyer policies and guidelines, while minimizing overall legal and business risk.
• Work closely with internal business and creative executives to implement best practices, formulate new processes, maintain accurate project tracking, retain project documentation, and create and revise agreement templates.
• Perform pre-broadcast/pre-publication review of content for copyright, trademark, and legal risk related to claims of defamation, rights of publicity and privacy, and other potential issues.
• Negotiate and draft development, production and co-production, first look, and overall deals for unscripted programming across all television and new media licensees/platforms.
• Interface on a day-to-day basis with various internal and external groups (creative, production, buyers, finance, music, outside counsel, etc.) and production personnel.
• Must have a JD from an ABA-accredited law school and admitted and in good standing to practice in California (or admitted to, and in good standing with, at least one state bar and eligible to register as in-house counsel in California) and have at minimum 5 years of experience in a TV production Business and/or Legal Affairs department or at an entertainment law firm.
• Significant hands-on unscripted production business & legal affairs experience.
• Strong drafting, negotiation and organizational skills; experience drafting and negotiating all manner of contracts for development and production deals for television and new media series.
• Demonstrated experience with production clearance issues and the ability to handle copyright, trademark, defamation, and rights of privacy and publicity matters.
• Working familiarity with distribution-related and/or acquisition agreements.
• Excellent presentation skills and communication skills, both written and verbal.
• Tech-savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and database systems.
• Excellent attention to detail and ability to respond to matters in a quick yet accurate manner.
• Collaborative ability in building strong relationships across the industry, both internally and externally, and comfort with interacting at all organizational levels. Demonstrated ability to successfully negotiate and interact with agents, managers, and outside attorneys.
• Proficiency in entertainment industry customs and practices, from deal making through day-in and day-out of production operations.
• Willingness and ability to take on matters outside of normal duties.
The anticipated base salary for this position is $128,100- $170,000. This role may also qualify for annual incentive and/or comprehensive benefits. The actual base salary offered will depend on a variety of factors, including without limitation, the
qualifications of the individual applicant for the position, years of relevant
experience, level of education attained, certifications or other professional licenses held, and if applicable, the location of the position.
*Sony Pictures Entertainment is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected characteristics.
USA - Van Nuys - Industrial Media