"Let's Do Lunch!"
The art of negotiating, tinseltown style
With all the glamour surrounding Hollywood, it's easy to forget that the entertainment industry is, arguably, the most entrepreneurial of all. Whether it's negotiating for a song, a TV show or a multinational media conglomerate, players in "the industry" are always making deals. Here are some great insights from a few seasoned and accomplished practitioners of the art:
Ask the experts. "Get yourself an advisor who knows something about the business, its economics and the players-be it an agent, an attorney, a banker or a CPA. Otherwise, you may get taken for a ride." This advice, from David Davis, senior vice president in Los Angeles of the entertainment division of investment bank Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin, applies across the board, whatever the deal, whatever the industry. No deal-maker needs to go it alone. Negotiation is a team sport, and the complementary skills of a well-chosen set of professionals are among the best predictors of success at the bargaining table.
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