Welcome! Introducing the Production Counsel Blawg

Greetings! Welcome to the Production Counsel blawg. I invite you to join me as I embark on an adventure: exploring the finer points of the law of the motion picture industry.

You probably noticed that blog is spelled differently from what you may be accustomed to seeing on other Internet sites. This isn’t a mistake, I didn’t invent this spelling, and it’s not an affectation I contrived. “Blawg” is a term given to a web log written by a legal professional on legal topics. The term was first used years ago when the first lawyers took to the Internet to write web logs to share information with their attorney colleagues. Perhaps they created this term to distinguish their writings from general blogs written for a lay readership.

In this case, the Production Counsel Blawg is intended for a readership of both entertainment professionals and their legal representatives (or those who aspire to be). It is my intention to write about the law seriously, however, so I chose to call this effort a blawg as a reminder of my mission to enlighten others in an entertaining manner without sacrificing accuracy.

A Little Bit About Me

I am an attorney based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in business transactions in the entertainment industry, copyright, trademark, and Internet law. I also consult with start-up companies on how to effectively set up and manage their businesses.

Like most people in Hollywood, my story began somewhere else. In fact, I grew up in rural Missouri and actually started my education in a one-room country schoolhouse. From an early age, I loved to read and write. In high school, I won a regional writing contest and placed in a national writing competition. From there, it was on to the prestigious University of Missouri School of Journalism for a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

After getting my journalism degree, I edited a regional newspaper in Missouri before heading to New York for graduate school in theater. While getting my Master’s, I was station manager for a radio station on Long Island. Theater lead to film school and a job with a major independent production company. There, I worked on a number of feature films and eventually formed my own production company.

Fast forward a few years. For complex reasons I can’t really articulate, at some point I decided to go to law school. Fortunately, I was accepted at several top schools and chose the University of Southern California Law School. While there, I was awarded First Prize in ASCAP’s Nathan Burkan Writing Competition in Copyright Law (which is a big deal among intellectual property lawyers).

Following law school, I joined a boutique entertainment firm in Beverly Hills and served as production counsel on a number of feature films in a relatively short period of time. Eventually, I struck out on my own and have since had a solo practice specializing in legal work for independent filmmakers and business entrepreneurs.

In the course of my work with entertainment professionals, I frequently hear from people who have decided too late that they need legal advice. Often, the expensive problems they face could have been avoided by early intervention from a knowledgeable attorney.

Interactions with such people prompted me to make it my mission to try to reach others like them (those who either can’t or won’t afford an attorney before they engage in a business transaction) through writings and public speeches to filmmaker and screenwriting groups. Some of those writings and lectures have been organized and recorded as the DVD/book series “What Every Filmmaker Needs to Know About the Law,” which I highly recommend.

This blawg is a natural extension of my ongoing mission.

What’s Next?

In upcoming articles, I look forward to sharing with you such topics as protecting intellectual property, buying and selling of rights, setting up an entertainment business, managing creative personnel, understanding contracts, how to effectively work with a lawyer, and entertainment law issues in the news. If you have a particular topic you’d like me to cover, please use the Contact form to let me know.

© Keith E. Cooper. All rights reserved. You may freely link to this post, but please do not copy (in whole or in part) without permission of the copyright owner.

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2 Responses to “Welcome! Introducing the Production Counsel Blawg”

  1. Bobby G says:

    Thanks for providing such a useful service!