Stephen Saltzman is the chair of the Asia and Europe Media & Entertainment practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm's London office. Mr. Saltzman has extensive experience in domestic and international transactions in the entertainment and media industries. His practice focuses on innovative and complex international distribution, co-production, and co-financing transactions, as well as cross-border transactions involving the creation, production, financing, and/or exploitation of content.
He represents U.S.-, European-, and Asia-based producers, production companies, studios, theme park operators, distribution companies, broadcasters, digital media companies, banks, film funds, directors, talent, and authors. His experience encompasses the legal and business aspects of the development, production, financing, and exploitation of feature film, television, videogame, and digital media projects, as well as related ancillary products such as print publications, merchandise, new technologies, and the deployment of intellectual property in theme parks and other location-based entertainment venues.
Mr. Saltzman utilizes his language capabilities and in-depth knowledge of both the U.S. and non U.S.-based film and television industries in representing the interests of international companies and individuals in Hollywood.
Mr. Saltzman frequently participates as a featured speaker and panelist in seminars and symposiums in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His German-speaking practice has been profiled in various German publications, and his Greater China practice and expertise have been similarly recognized both in China and the U.S., where Mr. Saltzman regularly appears on The Hollywood Reporter's "Power Lawyers Top 100" list and on Variety's "Dealmakers Impact Report" and "Legal Impact Report."
Accolades and Recognitions
Recognized in Variety's Legal Impact Report (July 14, 2020)
Recognized in Variety's Legal Impact Report (April 9, 2019)
Recognized in Variety's Dealmakers Impact Report (December 7, 2018)
Recognized in Variety's Legal Impact Report (April 18, 2018)
Recognized in The Hollywood Reporter's Power Lawyers 2018 (April 3, 2018)
Named in The Legal 500 US in Media & Entertainment (2017 edition)
Named one of "Hollywood's Top 20 Dealmakers" by The Hollywood Reporter (2016)
Named "Top Dealmaker" in Variety's "Dealmakers Impact Report" (2013-2016)
Named "Game-Changing Attorney" in Variety's "Legal Impact Report" (2012, 2014, and 2017)
Named "Top Lawyer" in The Hollywood Reporter, ESQ.'s "Power Lawyers Top 100" list (2011-2013 and 2017)
International Delegate, Shanghai International Film Festival (2010)
Named in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in California Media & Entertainment (2008-2014 editions)
Named "Southern California Super Lawyer" in Entertainment & Sports by Thomson Reuters (2015-2018)
Named in Guide to the World's Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers
Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1986
Georgetown University, B.S., 1982, magna cum laude
Panelist, U.S.-China Entertainment Summit with Asia Society Southern California (October 2018)
Moderator, The U.S.-China Film & TV Industry (UCFTl) Expo (September 26, 2018)
Moderator, The U.S.-China Film & TV Industry (UCFTl) Expo (October 20, 2017)
Speaker, Film Finance Forum Speaking Engagement (May 19, 2017)
Panelist, China and the U.S. connect: A look at the opportunities in cross-border e- commerce between the two largest e-commerce players (May 9, 2017)
Speaker, How to combine Chinese culture IP movies with international film finance (April 21, 2017)
Moderator, The U.S.-China Film & TV Industry (UCFTl) Expo (November 2-4, 2016)
Moderator, 2016 U.S.-China Film Summit (November 1, 2016)
Speaker, 2016 International Islands Tourism Expo (September 21-24, 2016)
Speaker, 4th Annual Shanghai Film Finance Forum (June 13, 2016)
Speaker, Festival De Cannes (May 14, 2016)
Speaker, The Asia Society Southern California's U.S.-China Film Summit (November 5, 2015)
Speaker, 2015 London Annual Summit on Commercial Dispute Resolution in China (July 6, 2015)
Speaker, 2015 Shanghai Film Festival Film Financing Seminar (June 13-21, 2015)
Moderator, 2015 Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference (April 10, 2015)
Moderator, Serial Dreams: Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Episodic Programs for Broadcast TV or Digital Distribution, Asia Society Southern California 2014 U.S.-China Film Summit (November 5, 2014)
Speaker, The First Annual United States and China Film and Television industry Expo (September 16, 2014)
Moderator, Asia Society Southern California 2013 U.S.-China Film Summit (November 5, 2013)
Speaker, China Cultural industry Forum (May 28-29, 2013)
Moderator, Cross-Border Collaboration, Harvard Law School Entertainment Law Symposium (November 16, 2012)
Speaker, Globalization of Talent, U.S.-China Film Summit (October 30, 2012)
Speaker, Toronto International Film Festival - Asian Film Summit (September 10, 2012)
Speaker, Asia Society Southern California 2011 U.S. - China Film Summit (November 1, 2011)
Speaker, 2010 Produced By Conference, Producers Guild of America, Twentieth Century Fox Studios (June 4-7, 2010)
Panelist, Co-Productions and Global Financing, AFCI Locations Trade Show (April 16, 2010)
Panelist, The Soft Power: Financial innovation Expansion, The 12th Shanghai International Film Festival (June 15, 2009)
Moderator, Financing for Production and Development, Bridging the Divide: Unlocking the Byzantine Film Model, UCLA Business Conference (May 4, 2009)
Host, An Intimate Briefing with the China Film Group (April 18, 2008)
Speaker, USC Gould School of Law 2007 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business (October 27, 2007)
Speaker, 10th Shanghai International Film Festival (June 16-24, 2007)
Panelist, Collaboration Agreements and Ethical Considerations (March 2006)
Moderator, 2005 Women in Film and Television Summit (October 29-November 1, 2005)
Speaker, Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section, SubSCREEN China Panel (March 9, 2011)
Moderator, Opportunities Across the Hollywood-Bollywood Bridge, India Rising (March 17, 2011)
Speaker, The State of the Film & Television Industry in Contemporary China: the view from the Industry, Media & Culture in Contemporary China (October 21, 2011)
Advisory Board Member and Member of the Media & Entertainment Committee, Asia Society Southern California
Steve Saltzman has advised on the following representative transactions:
Representation of Chinese state-owned enterprise Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co. Ltd. in connection with the development of a world-class Universal theme park in Beijing, tentatively scheduled to open in 2019. The park will include all-new attractions, as well as some of Universal's most popular themed entertainment experiences from around the globe. Providing advice with regard to intellectual property, entertainment and licensing matters related to the theme park.
Representation of Huayi Brothers in connection with several matters, including:
the $350 million capitalization and financing of a multimedia entertainment joint venture with Joe and Anthony Russo. The partnership will create and produce English-language motion picture, television and digital media content for distribution in China and South East Asia, and also allow the Huayi Brothers to exploit theme park construction, development and operations on future Russo- generated projects;
various distribution transactions, including distribution agreements for "King Killer" with Lionsgate and for "Fury" with QED International;
talent agreements for U.S. actors Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins to appear in Feng Xiaogang's latest film, Back to 1942; and
Chinese-US co-production transaction for the film Shanghai, co-produced with The Weinstein Company, starring John Cusack and Gong Li, and Love in Space, co-produced with Fox International.
Representation of Beijing-based Talent International Film Co. Ltd. (Tangde) in connection with several matters, including:
a directing services agreement for Scott Waugh to direct "Project X" starring Jackie Chan and John Cena;
a joint venture with "The Voice" creator Talpa Media, a Dutch media company owned by ITV Studios, to develop and exploit TV formats, trademarks and other intellectual properties owned by Talpa Media in Greater China;
a multi-year licensing deal of Talpa Media's singing-contest show format "The Voice", including the license to Tangde to develop local formats based on "The Voice" format and to distribute the local productions produced by Tangde based on the licensed Talpa format; and
various co-production and distribution transactions, and consulted in connection with its acquisition of co-promotion rights to The Hunger Games for China.
Representation of Le Vision Pictures USA, the American arm of Chinese media company LeTV, in connection with several matters, including:
a deal with former Paramount Pictures president Adam Goodman for Goodman to run the U.S. operations of Le Vision and oversee a slate of English-language films;
a co-development and production deal with director Rob Minkoff and producer Pietro Ventani (under their Flying Tigers Entertainment banner) for the live-action comedy Silkworms and the animated feature Wolf Totem;
a publishing/co-development deal with Dark Horse Comics;
the U.S. distribution deal with Sony Pictures Classics for Zhang Yimou-directed film Coming Home; and
various development-related transactions.
Advised Talent International Film Co (Tangde) and Dasym Entertainment in connection with production financing, guild matters, and other matters related to Skiptrace, the action adventure movie starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville.
Representation of IDG China Media Ltd. (and affiliates) in connection with several projects, including:
production financing and distribution of documentary films;
the co-financing deal with a US mini-major of Merchant of Shanghai;
Chinese distribution joint venture with Relativity Media; and
various aspects of Chinese co-production transactions, including Fox Searchlight's acquisition of US distribution rights to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, produced by Wendi Murdoch and Florence Sloan, and directed by Wayne Wang, and the production financing agreement between IDG and the producers.
Representation of Beijing-based New Pictures Film Co. Ltd. (principals, Zhang Weiping and Zhang Yimou) in connection with the film The Flowers of War (top-grossing theatrical release in China in 2011), including with respect to the agreement for Christian Bale's acting services, the U.S. distribution agreement with Wrekin Hill Entertainment, as well as in connection with several other agreements related to the production and exploitation of the film.
Representation of Linmon Pictures in connection with various distribution agreements and co-development/co-production agreements.
Representation of Hi-Show Entertainment in various distribution transactions, including a distribution transaction with Nu Image/Millennium Films for the Chinese distribution of the motion picture "Hunter Killer," starring Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Billy Bob Thorton; and "Escobar," starring Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Peter Sarsgaard, as well as various development agreements.
Representation of Original Force Animation in connection with the financing, production and exploitation of two animated films, as well as general operations of its US office.
Representation of Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures and parent company Astro Overseas Ltd in connection with several matters, including:
a five-year programming deal with Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network, which gives EI Rey access to the Celestial library;
co-development/co-production transactions with The Weinstein Company for the remake of two 1970s films, The Avenging Eagle and Come Drink with Me, which will be English versions of the classic martial arts titles; and
content-related aspects of the TV channel's joint venture with Saban Capital Group and Lionsgate, and other matters related to the Celestial library of films.
Representation of China Hero (Asia) Limited in connection with an actor services deal for Oliver Platt to appear in Chinese Zodiac aka CZ12, written/directed/produced by and starring Jackie Chan.
Representation of top Chinese musical artist Lang Lang, in connection with a motion picture project to be based on his autobiography "Journey of a Thousand Miles".
Representation of Taiwan/China-based model/actor Godfrey Gao in his acting services deal to play the role of "Magnus Bane" in Constantin Films/ Screen Gems' Mortal Instruments (and sequel films).
Representation of China-based financier and production company Leading Media and director/producer Dayyan Eng in connection with the film Inseparable starring Kevin Spacey, including the actor services deal for Kevin Spacey.
Represented Chinese martial arts film director Yuen Wo Ping and producer Anthony Wong in their respective directing and executive producing deals with The Weinstein Company for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny.
Representation of Alpha Entertainment in a deal with Bob Bacon, former executive at Disney and Paramount Pictures, for Bacon to serve as CEO for Alpha's new Los Angeles- based feature animation division, Alpha Animation, which will produce animated features for worldwide distribution.
Representation of Heyi Pictures in connection with the U.S. talent deals for the Jackie Chan picture "Bleeding Steel."
Representation of Chinese production company HLCG Motion Picture in a co-financing financing transaction with IM Global for the motion picture "Zoe," starring Ewan McGregor, Christina Aguilera and Rashida Jones; as well as in connection with Chinese distribution arrangements for the film and a deal for Chinese language remake rights.
Representation of Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. Ltd. in connection with several projects, including:
a joint venture with Digital Domain Media Group to create the new Digital Domain - Galloping Horse Studio in China to provide 3-D visual effects, animation and production services, as well as in connection with a co-production agreement with Digital Domain for the animated feature The Legend of Tembo; and
the successful acquisition of various assets of U.S.-based Digital Domain Productions, Inc., following Digital Domain'sfiling for bankruptcy.
Representation of Digimax, a Taiwanese animation and special effects facility, in connection with the development, production and financing of Quantum Quest, a 100% CGI "large format" film, and providing ongoing counsel in financing and production matters.
Represented an affiliate of Shanghai Media Group, producer of the upcoming film Last Flight, in connection with an acting services deal for Ed Westwick to star in the film.
Representation of Asia Tropical Films, producer of the film Last Flight II: Lost in the Pacific, in connection with an acting services deal for Brandon Routh to star in the film.