THE DEALMAKER: Peter Dekom has represented many of the biggest names in town in the kind of closed-door situations that such deals demand. Yet his most lasting legacy may be in the public arena as principal architect of the incentive program that turned New Mexico into Tamalewood.
Dekom, who is of counsel with Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall, says the New Mexico plan began when state officials asked him to come up with a program that would work.
“I suggested the state have something we refer to as a refundable tax credit, which is now simply called a rebate,” Dekom says.
The program found a supporter in Gov. Bill Richardson, and New Mexico’s film business quickly took off.
Dekom continues to represent owners of intellectual properties from established film and TV talent to comicbook publishers, and shares his opinions at conferences and by writing books on the significant economic challenges the industry faces.
“I think the U.S. motion picture and television industries have a huge marketing barrier we have to deal with, along with a consumer base that has shifted its values and its content consumption patterns,” he says. “We better start paying attention to it.”
KEY DEALS: Restructured New Mexico’s film incentives to reflect massive market changes.
DEALMAKER DOS: “Precedent has absolutely no meaning in a sea of rapid change. That’s an admonition to both sides.”
DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Don’t take any wooden nickels or net profits.”
TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: “Kevin Huvane, who rises to the level of a statesman in his negotiations … people like Chris Silverman who are open to change and help administer it, make it work well. … At the studios I think Steve Spira and Patti Connolly are two extraordinary dealmakers.”