You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Patti Felker: Legal eagle in harmony with talent’s family

Youth Impact Report 2012: Primo Percenters

When it comes to her clients, entertainment attorney Patti Felker doesn’t care whether they’re adults, adolescents or children. All that really matters to the power lawyer is inking the best possible deal.

In addition to negotiating contracts for Jeremy Renner and overall deals at Warner Bros. for Greg Berlanti, Felker has recently put pacts together for 24-year-old Zac Efron as well as such up-and-comers as 15-year-old Asa Butterfield, 17-year-old Callan McAuliffe, 19-year-old Bridgit Mendler and 23-year-old Corbin Bleu.

Felker credits “the rising success of movies based on young adult books” for making what was once a challenging bargaining marketplace for young talent into one that pays, for the most part, in accordance with a child thesp’s market value.

“Especially since ‘Harry Potter’ there is and will be an emergence of young actors who will carry movies. We see the casting of these actors and the fees they are commanding becoming commensurate with their adult counterparts,” says the legal partner at Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.

Felker says these days one of the trickiest components of handling youth talent is establishing that “the family unit is harmonious.”

“When you decide to represent a minor, you don’t just have to satisfy one client, you have to satisfy several clients because there are parents involved. So I’m really careful. I meet the whole family.”

Felker, who has represented Brendan Fraser since he was 17, says she is particularly excited for her younger clients.

“There are more vehicles for them to appear in, which helps them maintain a career that carries them through adulthood.”

Impact: Negotiated the “Hugo” and “Ender’s Game” deals for client Asa Butterfield, among others.
Next: Client Callan McAuliffe will play a young Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby.”
Causes: Inner-City Arts, Pups for Peace and Heifer Project Intl.

Return to the Youth Impact Report 2012 >>

More Voices

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • FX Confronts Streaming Thanks to Disney

    Kicking and Screaming, FX Is Forced to Confront Future in the Stream (Column)

    During his network’s presentation at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, FX chief John Landgraf made waves — and headlines — by mounting perhaps his most direct criticism yet of Netflix. Landgraf, whose briefings to the press tend to rely heavily on data about the volume of shows with which FX’s competitors flood the [...]

  • Longtime TV Editor Recalls Working for

    How a Bad Director Can Spoil the Show (Guest Column)

    I have been blessed with editing some of TV’s greatest shows, working with some of the industry’s greatest minds. “The Wonder Years,” “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Pushing Daisies” and, most recently, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I have earned an Emmy, ACE Eddie Awards, and many nominations. But whatever kudos I’ve received, over my [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content