As big-budget blockbusters dominate cineplex screens this summer, veteran entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren has a warning for the studios churning them out: making money won't be easy.
The founding partner of Ziffren Brittenham, one of the nation’s leading entertainment law firms, he was appointed as Los Angeles’ second Film Czar in 2014. Low-key but a towering presence in the industry, since 1978 he’s built up his firm into one of the most extensive and influential film and television production practices worldwide, representing creatives and A-listers including Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock, Steve Carell, Tim Burton, Sam Mendez, Ben Affleck, Emma Stone, Matthew Vaughn, Andrew Stanton, Tyler Perry, Scott Rudin, Tom Selleck, Hugh Laurie and Tina Fey.
His landmark deals include; Neutral Mediator in resolving WGA-AMPTP strike (1988); counsel to NFL in negotiating Network contracts (1993, 1998); counsel to Microsoft in forming MSNBC (1996); negotiated for DirecTV with studios on domestic and international pay-per-view agreements; negotiated for Starz with studios on premium pay movie channel; represented the TV Academy in negotiating the deals for the Emmys to be telecast over the four Networks (2003, 2011). In 2015 he gave a $5 million gift to his alma mater, the UCLA School of Law, which is creating the Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law. Ziffren also serves as an adjunct professor at the school.