Saturday, 13 February, 2010 2:03 AM
attorney Richard Rattner to give speech at WSU Oakland Center on
Rattner sits in a conference room at Williams Williams Rattner &
Plunkett, P.C. in Birmingham, Mich.
Rattner is an entertainment attorney at the law office Williams
Williams Rattner & Plunkett, P.C. in Birmingham, Mich. He will
be giving a speech at Wayne State University's Oakland Center titled
"Are You Ready to be America's Next Star" on Wednesday,
Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free for WSU Alumni Association
members and current students. It is $5 for graduates who are not
members of the Alumni Association and $10 for everyone else.
career in the entertainment business started when I was younger,
of course I played in bands," Rattner said. "When I got
into the practice of law, I had a lot of friends that were involved
in music. A lot of people had played in groups, a lot of them jazz
players. As a result, they asked me to start teaching a course at
Wayne State University on the business of music. I didn't know much
about it at the time -- studied a little bit, took over the class
several years ago. I told them I'd do it for a few years to help
them out because they were just starting the jazz studies program
attorney is very supportive of Michigan's 42 percent tax incentive
for the film industry.
think it's terrific," he said. "Not only does it have
to do with film, but it also allows us to do the solid second unit
work in other types of work that helps this state. Added to that,
you have painters and carpenters and electricians and plumbers.
All of those people are employed by the movie industry. This area
was always a good area for production -- in music especially. In
the heyday of the car industry and the last part of the 20th century
when GM, Ford and Chrysler were at their top, we had tremendous
amount of talent in this town. We did a lot of industrial music,
we did a lot of advertising, we did a lot of post-production work.
Those are the things that the movie credit helps us take part in
give us a preview of your upcoming speech at the WSU Oakland Center?
that we only have about an hour, part of that hour will be devoted
to questioning," Rattner responded. "My intent is to go
over some basics and parameters of what the performing artists should
really concern him or herself with in the industry. That involves
looking at and approaching contracts that they're probably not used
to reading. Very importantly the issue of copyright and also protecting
any type of intellectual property that they can create. Don't forget
that a performing artist is a creator. The most important thing
for that person is to delegate other jobs that are more suited to
accountants and lawyers and agents to those people so the artist
is free to create."
advice to students who are graduating in film and are looking for
their first job?
this point and time, you should canvass every production and post-production
house you can find on the internet and otherwise," he suggested.
"I would get a foot in the door any place you can. Work any
place you can. This is a tough industry. It's always been a tough
industry. But you can't even get into it and go forward into it
unless you're a part of it. So my advice to students getting out
of school is to get a job. If you're lucky enough to get a job in
the industry you want to get it in, you're in good shape."
says Michigan a great place to start for students graduating in
no doubt that the Los Angeles area and other areas of the country
have a plethora of jobs in the movie industry," the entertainment
attorney said. "But that doesn't mean that Michigan is not
a fertile ground for jobs. It might even be that the student who
graduates from a Michigan college or maybe a college near Michigan
may even be better off in this area because the contacts that that
person has made over a period of time and because the contacts they've
made in college. If you are situated in Michigan, you might find
a home in Michigan."
your average day like as an entertainment attorney?
day is spent in other areas of the law other than entertainment,"
he said. "I have specific clients that I handle in entertainment
and I don't do 100 percent entertainment law. So I don't want to
mislead you there. As an adjunct professor at Wayne State, and someone
who does have several clients in the industry, I am working hard
for them when the need arises. An entertainment attorney in this
town doesn't take the place of an agent and doesn't take the place
of a manager. There are attorneys who spent more time in entertainment
-- therefore, they take on more of a managerial role. My method
of operation doesn't include that. I like my clients to get different
experts in different fields."
your most proud accomplishment in the entertainment business?
would have to do with representing certain clients and their successes,"
Rattner responded. "I really can't talk about that because
that's their business. That's what gives me a great thrill and that
is to professional advise my clients so that they might be a success
in whatever performing industry they are in."
attorney is also an adjunct professor at Wayne State University.
State University is as good of resource as this area could ever
hope to have," he said. "Wayne State is servicing and
educating a tremendous amount of talented artists in all fields.
We have many, many great public universities in this state and we're
lucky to have them. The three biggest being Wayne, Michigan and
Michigan State. All of them do a terrific job. We have a lot of
talent here, a lot of natural resources if you will. We can be very,
very proud of living here. And you can make a success of yourself
here in the arts. It's important we understand the value we have
in this state."
here to order tickets for Richard Rattner's speech at WSU Oakland
Center. The event is open to WSU students, graduates and the general
public. Tickets are free for WSU alumni association members and
current students, $5 for WSU graduates who are not part of the alumni
association and $10 for everyone else. A networking reception begins
at 5:30 p.m. and the program kicks off at 6 p.m. The WSU Oakland
Center is located at 33737 W. Twelve Mile Road in Farmington, Mich.