Hollywood Law Impact Report

Firm: Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz

The practice: The New York-based indie finance and distribution guru just changed to a new firm — which straddles both the studio and indie finance worlds — ending a long working relationship with Sue Bodine at Epstein Levinsohn Bodine & Weinstein.

After graduating from Georgetown Law in 1988 and entering the corporate realm, he found himself more interested in film finance and took night courses at NYU to learn about that world.

“What I liked then about financing, and still do, is that there’s nothing cookie-cutter about it,” he explains. “I’ve always liked the creative way lawyers get involved in structuring the financial aspect of a movie and the important role that plays in whether movies are made.”

Raising enough coin to allow client-directors such as Michael Moore, Ang Lee, Jim Sheridan and Bennett Miller to fulfill their cinematic visions excites Hurwitz, who says more money these days is coming from outside the States, even if a project is U.S.-based.

“We’re always looking globally,” he says. “Even though a movie is shot in New York, I’ll get two-thirds of the financing out of European equity sources and presales.

“If we’re raising money for filmmakers, we don’t try to understand the motivation of the financier beyond closing the sale. At the end of the day, what we do is try to understand who the investor is and what do we need to do to greenlight the picture.”

POV: “It’s the lawyer, more than any other player on the team, who is charged with the responsibility of film financing. That’s the value added we provide — knowing how to secure and structure the sources of financing.”

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