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Financing and Distributing "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013
  • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St Santa Monica, CA 90401


  • $20 at the door
  • $35 at the door
  • $15 at the door
  • $45 at the door
  • $30 at the door
  • $25 at the door with proof of membership

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Financing and Distributing
Lee Daniels' The Butler
An Advanced Case-Study of a Successful Independent Feature
presented by Schuyler Moore, Esq.
with producer Pamela Williams and co-producer David Jacobson

Join preeminent corporate entertainment attorney Schuyler Moore (partner, Stroock & Stroock & Lavin, LLP), producer Pam Williams, and co-producer David Jacobson for a case-study on their experiences working on the financing and distribution for "Lee Daniels' The Butler", one of the most successful independent films of 2013.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” was the epitome of independent film financing and distribution. For the film to be produced, 41 financing pieces had to fit into a unified waterfall for financiers, the initial major studio, and participations. The net result was a Byzantine multi-layered financing with at least thirty documents, THREE separate collection accounts with 41 parties (not counting talent participations), but a film that has now grossed over $100 million U.S. box office.

In this case study, the presenters will discuss in detail:
    - getting rights out of development hell at a major studio
    - finding up-front equity that could be spent prior to a completion       bond
    - finding equity financing through a private securities offering
    - complying with securities laws
    - tax benefits & tax deductions
    - foreign pre-sales
    - gap loans
    - financing transactions for production & post-production tax             credits
    - domestic deals and distribution.

Light refreshments will be served.
Event begins at promptly 7:30 pm.

[1 hr California MCLE available for attorneys]


Schuyler M. Moore is a partner in the corporate entertainment department of Stroock, practicing entertainment, corporate, and tax law. Mr. Moore holds his undergraduate degree from UCLA (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude) and his law degree also from UCLA (first in class).  Moore has been practicing in the entertainment industry since 1981, and he represents a broad spectrum of clients throughout the entertainment industry, including producers, sales agents, foreign distributors, and financiers, and he has handled some of the largest financing transactions in Hollywood.  He is the author of The Biz: The Basic Business, legal, and Financial Aspects of the Film Industry (CCH), a popular book in its 4th edition, Taxation of the Entertainment Industry (CCH), and What They Don’t Teach You in Law School (William S. Hein & Co.).  He was an adjunct professor at both the UCLA Law School and the UCLA Anderson School of Management, teaching Entertainment Law and Finance for many years, and he is a frequent speaker and writer on a wide variety of entertainment subjects.

Mr. Moore has been a mainstay on Hollywood Reporter's "Power Lawyers" list of the top 100 entertainment lawyers in the country for many years, and he has been consistently listed as one of the top 25 entertainment lawyers by Variety.  He has also been recognized twice as one of the top 100 lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and named one of the National Law Journal's "Most Influential Lawyers" (and one of the top three in media).

Pamela Williams is a film and television producer. She was the lead producer on the feature film, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, which just passed the $100MM domestic box office milestone. Written by Danny Strong and directed by Lee Daniels, the film stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, James Marsden, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, and Terrence Howard. The film is distributed by The Weinstein Company.

For the past 12 years, Pamela has been Laura Ziskin’s producing partner at Laura Ziskin Productions (“LZP”), based at Sony Pictures. There, she oversaw LZP’s slate of film and television development including THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE BUTLER, PIONEER WOMAN, THE SPELLMAN FILES, and HOW TO BE GOOD. Pamela was also a producer on the 2007 and 2002 ACADEMY AWARDS® produced by Ziskin. Collectively, the two broadcasts were nominated for 17 Emmy Awards.


Free event parking is available under the Ken Edwards Center. In case of overflow, please park nearby in the Santa Monica city parking garages. The first hour and a half are free followed by modest fees. 



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MCLE Provider # 1248.

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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