Practicing law in the entertainment industry differs from other law practices in many ways. The differences are due to several factors including the culture of show business, myriad and sometimes secret industry standards, the need to nurture creativity by shielding individuals from overly oppressive legal burdens and concerns, and the unique nature, personality, and demands of the individuals involved.
Prior to practicing law, Ty Supancic worked for over 15 years in the arts and entertainment industries. He spent more than a decade representing artists; first as a talent agent and then as a personal manager. Ty represented actors, writers, producers, music acts, and even a Las Vegas headliner. Aside from Ty’s brief foray into Vegas, the majority of Ty’s work as an entertainment attorney has been in negotiating production deals, publishing deals, talent contracts, option agreements, and music licensing.
In Family Law matters, Ty's entertainment experience makes him uniquely qualified to address issues unique to entertainers and composers such as the division of intellectual property, protection of artistic integrity, and complex issues involving pensions such as those administered by ASCAP, BMI, SAG/AFTRA and other guilds. Ty’s clients say his firm but easy-going style is ideally suited for the role of representative and negotiator for creative people.
When he was a manager, potential clients would often ask “What’s the difference between an agent and a manger,” Ty’s first response was often a joke, “5-10 percent.” But he’d go on to explain that if you use the analogy of Hollywood as a battlefield, with artists as soldiers - an agent is like a general or commander. They send several bodies onto the field with the hope that a few break through. By way of contrast, a manger is more like the soldier’s flak vest and helmet. The agent is not as interested in who makes it, as long as somebody makes it. The manger, who typically has far fewer clients and only one of a type, is committed to ensuring that their artist is the one that succeeds.
As an attorney who was both an agent and a manager, Ty sees his role now akin to armored protection, fire support, and battlefield strategist. All lawyers have the duty of zealous advocacy and Ty brings that zeal to the protection of his clients’ interests. We’ve already established that agents have no particular loyalty to their clients (and vice versa) but they generally have a good overall perspective. Meanwhile, the loyal manager is often denied the scope of vision because they are in the trenches with their artist (as they should be). At the same time, the manager has to juggle their personal interests in maintaining relations with executives since they have neither a talent agent license nor a license to practice law. Without a professional license, a manager has only goodwill and contacts, both of which can be quickly depleted.
This explains why some artists go without agents, and some go without managers, but very few go without an attorney to negotiate and review their contract.
Ty’s broad experience in entertainment and law afford him a unique perspective and definite advantage, while his unique experience of working as an agent and manager provide him a better insight into the heart and mind of the artist he represents.
To speak to Ty Supancic today about your entertainment law matters, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our toll free number at (818) 348-6700.