THE DEALMAKER: With an approach that’s decidedly behind the scenes, attorney Bruce Ramer keeps his high profile clients, such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, David O. Russell, Demi Moore and Ben Stiller, happy. “There are maybe 100 hours of office work,” Ramer says, “before you spend three hours with the client figuring out where you are.”
He and partner Harold Brown were behind Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” deal, and, along with partner Kevin Marks, Ramer has been maneuvering on behalf of the ever-active Eastwood. Ramer’s standing in the realm of top industry dealmaking is so firm that the changing industry landscape hasn’t been a factor: “I would say (the work) is a bit more complicated than it was 20 years ago. And it retains its interest.”
Persistently tight-lipped about his methods (“We really can’t discuss the interstices of the deal”), Ramer’s attention to client care is readily apparent nonetheless. “Each of our clients are very different people,” he says. “You need to get a sense of the scope that’s new and different to each client, and explain what life is going to be like if you make (a given) deal. There’s a moment when you see what it looks like, and the client sees what it looks like, and says ‘yes,’ or, sometimes, ‘no’ … and that’s where you see all the pieces falling into place.”
KEY DEALS: Ramer and partner Jeff Mandell worked out what Ramer calls “a fascinating deal — at the cutting edge” for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to direct “Babel.” Using innovative distribution and financing strategies helped the film do “really well indeed,” says Ramer.
DEALMAKER DOS: “Be prepared.” “Deal honorably.”
DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Don’t be misleading.”
TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: “My partners here (at Gang, Tyre Ramer & Brown) are the best examples of negotiators, innovative thinkers and honorable practitioners that I know.”