Mr. Thompson is the Chief Operating Officer and General Legal Counsel for Dr. Ron Archer's television and movie business. He is an entertainment attorney who has recently relocated from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Georgia. While he manages some very established names in the music industry, he also manages up and coming artists. I would like to publically thank him for allowing me to interview; University of Michigan for Undergrad and Law School
CME: How many artists do you currently represent?
DT: Over 50 clients currently
CME: What kind of services do you typically provide as a music lawyer?
DT: I am not just a music lawyer. I am a full entertainment attorney. I represent clients in music, television, film, even live theatrical plays; almost any form of entertainment. I am an entertainment transactional attorney as opposed to a litigation attorney. As a transactional attorney I review, draft and negotiate contracts, and then just provide general counseling on entertainment matters. I’m the guy who either drafts a contract for my clients or when they’re presented a contract, I review and negotiate the contract for them.
CME: As an entertainment transactional attorney, I’m sure that makes you a very knowledgeable and effective manager.
DT: Absolutely. As a practical matter, because I’ve been doing this so long and have a lot of relationships, I actually currently manage some artists and I have in the past.
CME: You wear many hats as the General Manager ofKarew Records.
DT: Yes, I am also the general manager of Karew Records, which is the home of the Clark Sisters, Karen Clark Sheard, Jonathan Nelson and Kierra Sheard. I’m a very busy guy, so time management is extremely important.
CME: On a management team, what positions would deem imperative for the advancement of the artist?
DT: A publicist for each project, a promotions team which gets the song to radio, a marketing team that work closely with the online community and social networking sites. If you’re trying to sell records, you need to get the message out. You need to market it and get publicity, which is a free form of marketing. Publicity helps you get to placed on the right blog sites and/or magazines, television shows, personal appearances, and live appearances. You’d need a manager to oversee the artist and interact with the record label, and you need a qualified entertainment attorney. When you reach a certain point or if there’s an important deal and you want to make sure everything is done correctly, there’s no substitute for having someone with that experience draft up the appropriate documents or review the appropriate documents to make sure everyone has the same understanding and the artist is protected.
CME: What advice would you give to new artist managers?
DT: Be diligent. Fight for your client. Remember, that’s who you represent. You’ve got an opportunity to work for someone else and you’re basically promoting them. You have to make sure their interests are protected; you want to get other people around to support you. You should make clear, wise decisions. Stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry [in which] you’re working. Make sure you know what’s new, what’s trending, what’s hot; new opportunities. Especially in today’s digital world, it’s so much easier. You don’t have to go the old, traditional route. You can sell stuff yourself. Make sure you’re as prepared as possible. Know as much about the business side; let them [the artists] stay as artistic as possible. You don’t have input into their artistic creativity, but the manager certainly has to make sure the business side is taken care of. Read as much as you can; learn from others who do [the same]. Stay on top of everything. Make sure you’re at the top of your game and as prepared as possible to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves so that you can advance your artist’s career.
As a manager in the entertainment field, business consultant, and life-long learner, Victoria Fisher achieves powerful results for her clients by providing guidance, mentoring and coaching.
Victoria’s roster includes Carl Stephenson Multi-Platinum Producer for “Beck,” Rajah, the singer/songwriter opening for Toto with Sony Europe record deal, the Independents” licensing through Cleopatra Records for AFI; and “Gabriela,” Brazilian artist recording 6 tracks with Dr. Dre’s camp, that opened the 2002 Police and Fire Games.
Her clients include Joey D. Vieira, (The Patriot, Ferris Buellers Day Off, Voice Over for Disney Pixar “Cars.” Joey recently received the Pioneer Award at the Moondance Film Festival, Chris Cory, an Independent Producer client, had his short accepted at The Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod.
Recent projects include development of a cartoon, pitching treatments and representing Syncmasters, a company that writes and produces film clips and audio clips, currently creating music for Oprah’s TV show. Served as Associate Producer on August Wilson’s Theatrical production, “Jitney,” winner of two 2007 Ovation Awards for Producers and Ensemble Cast.
Victoria has also handled TV sales programming under TV Veteran Producer Ernest Cartwright, and for Byron Allen of CF Entertainment. Victoria’s casting background also includes being mentored by two top Casting Directors from Universal Pictures where she learned the process of casting for TV, film and commercials. Her first Executive Production is titled “Showrunner” directed by Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights & Grey’s Anatomy) and produced by Michelle Hardy, also starring DeDe Phiffer.
As far as athletes on her rooster she has Pro MMA Fighter Jimmy Smith (Star on Discovery’s Fight Quest) Producers are currently creating a film treatment for him. You can also see Jimmy Announcing for Bellator Fighting Championships on Fox Sports, Ex Barefoot Kicker for the Los Angeles Rams Mike Lansford, Ric Drasin, Pro Wrestler and Scot Mendelson Worlds Strongest Man, and NFL Minnesota Viking Tight End Coach Clancy Barone. While the music industry is a bit in the past, Victoria and her business partner Brandon Kjar just signed Marva King, Singer, Actress for Prince and Carman who has fifteen Gold Records in the Contemporary /Gospel field. Victoria is delighted to now be on the team for Dr. Ronald Archer Author, Motivational/Inspirational Speaker/Evangelist.
Greg Johnson has been in publishing for more than 25 years. Before becoming a full-time literary agent in 1994, he wrote and published 20 works of nonfiction with traditional publishers, as well as being an editor for a teenage boys magazine for five years. In his years as an agent, he has personally represented more than 2,300 books and negotiated more than 1,800 contracts to over 85 publishing houses. These works include adult trade books (non-fiction and fiction), children’s books, specialty Bibles, movie options, video curricula, audio products, gift books and greeting cards.
While Greg’s stable of authors is near full, he will occasionally take on new authors and new projects. Along with representing a broad array of adult nonfiction and fiction, Greg works with pastors and speakers, male and female, who have important and compelling messages to author for their constituents. He has also carved a niche by representing military nonfiction/memoir for those who have served our country from WWII until today. Business books, health and humor rounds out what he is looking to acquire.
Greg is married to Becky and together they are parents of six adult children and seven grandchildren. They make their home near Denver, Colo.