Schuyler (Sky) M. Moore

Partner
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Biography

Schuyler (Sky) Moore, best known in Los Angeles for closing high-dollar, cross-border entertainment deals, is highly valued among dealmakers for his concise communications, willingness to quantify risk, and ability to get complex deals to the finish line as fast as possible.

“Complex and time sensitive deals are what I do best,” says Sky.

He represents a broad spectrum of clients, including producers, sales agents, distributors and financiers, and has handled some of the largest transactions in Hollywood, including a number of large studio slate financing transactions (Hemisphere with Sony and Paramount, Hunan Group with Lionsgate), cross-border transactions (Reliance investment in DreamWorks), M&A transactions (Millennium, Gravitas), and single picture transactions (“The Butler,” “Snowden,” and “Silence”). In recent years, Sky has developed a niche practice in Hollywood-China partnerships, representing the likes of Alibaba Pictures, Pegasus Media Group, and Leomus Pictures.

Deep expertise in tax and corporate law

One unique skill Sky brings to deals and financings is his deep expertise in taxation and tax consequences. He specialized in tax in law school and has been a tax expert his entire career. He is a recognized tax authority, having written a leading tax treatise (Taxation of the Entertainment Industry) and writing numerous articles and giving seminars on a wide variety of tax issues, including on tax issues relating to real estate, partnerships, and cross border transactions.

He also possesses a broad legal knowledge base that is tapped into by his entertainment clients and colleagues, including pertinent information on recent cases, statutes, and regulations on corporate, securities, copyright, trademark, publicity, partnership, LLC, bankruptcy, entertainment matters. “Colleagues affectionately call me ‘the answer man,’” says Sky.

Streamlined process gets clients to the goal line, faster

While Sky receives praise as a very practical and business savvy advisor in matters of crafting appropriate corporate structures and unique film financing opportunities, his “trademark,” he says, is very short documents.

“I know what needs to be in a contract, and I know what doesn’t. Writing in plain English streamlines the process. I want clients to understand the contracts they are signing, so we can get to their goal faster. The longer and more complicated the document, the more likely there are contradictions and ambiguities within an agreement, and that just raises more problems.”

Complex film financing specialty

Sky has completed some of the most complex film financings of all times. For example, “The Butler” had 40 different pieces of financing, “Snowden” 15, and “Silence” had a dozen. They included tax credits, bridge financing, junior and senior mezzanine financing, junior and senior equity, bridge loans, tax credit loans, senior loans, distribution advances, and more.

“Integrating all the different pieces of financing can be challenging, and instruments are always evolving. I’m a deal maker, not a deal breaker,” he says. “But, I won’t let clients sign half-baked term sheets, deal memos, or letters of intent unless they’re not binding.”

Industry recognition

Sky is the author of The Biz, a popular book on the film industry, and the treatise, Taxation of the Entertainment Industry. He is a mainstay on Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyers” list of the top 100 entertainment lawyers in the country. He is consistently listed as one of the top entertainment lawyers by Variety and was recently recognized in the publication’s annual “Dealmakers Impact Report.” The Daily Journal honored Sky as one of its Top 100 Lawyers in California, and The National Law Journal named him to its list of “Most Influential Lawyers.”

Awards

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law  (J.D., Order of the Coif, 1981)
  • University of California, Los Angeles  (B.A., summa cum laude, 1978)
    • Phi Beta Kappa