45th Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium


Webinar Series

The Show Must Go On…line?
Life after Hollywood’s Longest Year

Webinar Series

June 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2021

Jason Blum

Keynote Address by Jason Blum, Founder & CEO, Blumhouse Productions


For Hollywood, as for many of us individually, 2020 was the longest shortest year.  On the one hand, the global Covid-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented industry-wide shutdown of production activity, representing a rare lull in the "Peak TV"/"Streaming Wars" era.  On the other hand, this year of global economic and social upheaval has dramatically accelerated several long-term trends affecting the industry, especially around corporate consolidation and the collapse of traditional exhibition and compensation models.  The 2021 Symposium will look back on this year of unparalleled paralysis and progress, and look forward to what "the new normal" may look like in a post-pandemic industry.  At the same time, it will explore how many of the year's most prominent and urgent issues -- from free speech to income inequality to the country’s national reckoning with race – are being experienced by and reflected within the entertainment industry.  A timeless Hollywood adage is that, even in the face of adversity, "the show must go on"; but in 2020, the show went online, and the town will never be the same.

Program

 

June 2, 2021

Week 1 Syllabus

5:00 - 5:05 pm (PDT)
Dean's Remarks

Presenter:
Jennifer L. Mnookin, Dean, Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

5:05 - 5:50 pm (PDT)
2020 to 2021: Apocalypse to Streaming Odyssey

US one day box office down to $4.00! Streaming subscribers hit record highs! Cable and satellite subscriber numbers crater! The Symposium begins with Tom Wolzien's Status Report to set the stage – it was an ugly year past, and we're looking to a year of recovery ahead. Many are asking, where's the growth? The more important question is, where's the potential growth? And where will the scars of the pandemic remain?

We're going to explore huge headline percentages from small numbers – when one-million percent increases from 2020 will look great, but mean almost nothing. We'll anticipate the next levels of broadband from Biden's Big Deal rural initiative – will it rival the New Deal's rural electrification? We'll watch as Elon Musk's low-earth-orbit broadband satellite trains reflect across the evening sky, and we'll explore at what price countries with broadband upside will allow streaming growth. We'll experience the impact on free speech as international producers face new pressures. We'll struggle with cable networks as their digital initiatives try to offset the fees and ad dollars crushed by reduced subscribers, and ask, if there is to be a post covid world, will the combination of streaming and in-person theatrical distribution actually increase the total spending by consumers and by distributors on content? If so, for how long?

Presenter:
Tom Wolzien, Chairman, Wolzien LLC and The Video Call Center, LLC

6:00 - 7:00 pm (PDT)
From Intent to Impact: How Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Make (Necessary) Business Sense

The entertainment industry is in a unique position to affect real and meaningful change in the area of DEI – both through the content it sells and by the organizations that make it available. New studies are highlighting the economic fallout from ignoring a more inclusive and equitable industry. The McKinsey & Company report included in the materials estimates the lost revenue opportunity in the film and TV industry alone to be roughly $10 billion annually; but like everything else in this business, successful execution is key. This panel features leaders within top organizations in our business who will share: (1) what DEI means to their organizations; (2) their approaches to addressing DEI on a macro industry level to a more micro level within their organizations; and (3) how success and impact is measured. As DEI is dramatically changing the entertainment industry, this panel is a must-attend for those ready to have an impact on diversity-related goals and their company's bottom line.

Moderator:
Catrice Monson, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Right Size Media

Presenters:
Bing Chen, President & Co-Founder, Gold House
Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia
John Landgraf, Chairman, FX

Week 1 Syllabus

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this event, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 0.75 hours of general credit and 1 hour of elimination of bias in the legal profession and society credit.


 

June 9, 2021

Week 2 Syllabus

5:00 - 5:45 pm (PDT)
Dead or Alive: Is the Theatrical Motion Picture Business Still Viable Post-Covid?

In the aftermath of the havoc wreaked on the theatrical motion picture business by a once-in-a-century pandemic, it's uncertain if people will return to movie theaters and, if so, when and in what numbers. In a post-Covid world exhibitors must make a compelling case for the theatrical experience. Time will tell if they consolidate or perhaps become subsidiaries of AT&T, The Walt Disney Company, Comcast or Netflix. The traditional windows between theatrical release and availability for in-home viewing have been compressed in a market where the major studios have product that needs to find an audience. With Universal, Disney and Time Warner all releasing titles day and date on streaming platforms, all eyes are on the relationship between exhibitors and distributors. How will this affect: the types of films getting greenlit, the economic model for film production and distribution, the survival of independents, and, finally, what does the lack of a theatrical release mean for talent participating in box office success? Will the theatrical movie business be limited to tent poles and art films? How can exhibitors adapt to this changing landscape in order to survive? This panel will look at crucial issues surrounding the existential crisis that the theatrical exhibition business is facing from the legal, studio, independent, and producer's point of views.

Moderator:
Elsa Ramo, Managing Partner, Ramo Law P.C.

Panelists:
Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Senior Vice President, Content Strategy & Inclusive Programming, AMC Theaters
Jim Orr, President, Domestic Theatrical Distribution, Universal Pictures
Tom Quinn, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NEON

5:55 - 6:40 pm (PDT)
Backend Participations in the New Age: How Do We Create a New Normal That Works for Everyone?

This past year offered a mix of survival and opportunity. As studios continue to experiment with release and distribution patterns, they must navigate how to attract and retain sought-after creative talent and investors, and how to fairly compensate them when the distributors only sell to themselves. This panel features points of view from all sides of the negotiation table: a transactional attorney, business affairs executives from an agency and a studio, and a profit participations auditor, who will explore whether market domination and meaningful backend participations can peacefully co-exist in the new distribution ecosystem.

Moderator:
Anita Wu, Managing Director, Profit Participations Services, Green Hasson Janks

Panelists:
Erik Hyman, Partner, Paul Hastings
Dan Scharf, Global Head of Business Affairs, Amazon Studios
Craig Wagner, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Paradigm Talent Agency

Week 2 Syllabus

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this event, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 1.5 hours of general credit.


 

June 16, 2021

Week 3 Syllabus

5:00 - 5:45 pm (PDT)
Public Speech, Private Platforms: How Should Government Respond?

Where television stations, radio broadcasts and newspapers might have been the primary information sources for a prior generation, today many of us gather our news and cultural insights from online interactions hosted by platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Parler. Thus, these platforms have found themselves embroiled in endless controversy. Many worry they filter too much information, or not enough. Others wonder if the protections offered by Section 230, which generally provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content, are mitigating the problem or only exacerbating it. This frank conversation will focus on the legal rules that govern information platforms and the strategies that might best promote thoughtful, honest and diverse engagement on topics of public importance.

Moderator:
Doug Lichtman, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Panelists:
Erich Andersen, General Counsel and Head of Corporate Affairs, ByteDance/TikTok
Sean Edgett, Vice President and General Counsel, Twitter
Jennifer Newstead, General Counsel, Facebook

5:55 - 6:40 pm (PDT)
The World of Influencers – Big Business, Big Deals and More

Influencer marketing continues its explosive growth and is expected to be valued at $13.8 billion in 2021 – up from $9.7 billion in 2020. Experts who represent major brands and influencer talent will discuss the challenging aspects of influencer deals and what has changed in the past year. Learn about the new SAG-AFTRA Influencer Agreement, fake followers and brand safety concerns, exclusivity, and other business and regulatory issues that are top of mind for these deal makers and their clients.

Moderator:
Keri S. Bruce, Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Panelists:
Ali Berman, Partner & Head of Digital Talent, United Talent Agency
Jenna Gambaro, Commercial Endorsements Business Affairs Executive, CAA
Stacy K. Marcus, Partner, Reed Smith LLP and Chief Negotiator of the Joint Policy Committee, the multi-employer collective bargaining unit that negotiates against SAG-AFTRA

Week 3 Syllabus

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this event, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 1.5 hours of general credit.


 

June 23, 2021

Week 4 Syllabus

5:00 - 6:00 pm (PDT)
The John H. Mitchell Panel on Ethics and Entertainment Sponsored by the Patricia W. Mitchell Trust
The Truth or Not the Truth: That Is the Question

Join as we explore a lawyer's obligation to be truthful in his or her professional capacity. Especially now, the line between zealous advocacy and truth seems to be more difficult to discern than in years past. The line may be different when speaking before a court as opposed to the media. What are the ethical duties lawyers need to consider when they are sued for defamation by opposing parties for things said to the press. Is there a fine line between legal liability and ethical duties in these types of cases? One thing is certain: entertainment lawyers must be aware of the press more frequently than other litigators due to the nature of their practice. This panel features a Hollywood lawyer who has been said can make just about any problem go away, a lawyer who advises lawyers in legal ethics and frequently serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice proceedings, and a native Los Angeles federal district court judge.

Moderator:
Scott Cummings, Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Panelists:
Ellen A. Pansky, Founder, Pansky Markle Attorneys at Law
Martin Singer, Partner, Lavely & Singer
Hon. Christina A. Snyder, Senior United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California

6:10 - 6:50 pm (PDT)
Keynote Address
Jason Blum
, Founder & CEO, Blumhouse Productions

Week 4 Syllabus

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this event, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 0.75 hours of general credit and 1 hour of legal ethics credit.


UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending all four (4) sessions, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 4.5 hours of general credit, 1 hour of legal ethics credit, and 1 hour of recognition and elimination of bias in the legal profession and society credit.

This program qualifies for New York CLE credit under the New York Approved Jurisdiction Policy. For more information, please visit: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/jurisdictions.shtml

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