As a partner and founder of Film & Ink, Trisha Gum takes pride in leading the firm’s team of lawyers and staff, but her passion remains working directly with clients. A diverse and evolving legal career has allowed Trisha to develop the skill, experience, and judgment needed to face the challenges of the current media transformation.
Beginning at Screen Actors Guild, Trisha learned the intricacies of the various guild collective bargaining agreements. She successfully handled arbitrations for a diverse client base – from actors to stunt performers, singers to pilots, and the occasional puppeteer. She zealously represented her clients on disputes that made a major difference in their lives – working conditions, payment of salaries and residuals, and pension, health, and welfare contributions – and issues meaningful to artists such as compensation for reuse and merchandising.
Shifting in-house to MGM Studios, Trisha handled business and legal affairs matters for the home entertainment department. She negotiated acquisition and negative pick-up agreements for the studio’s large-scale direct-to-video release enterprise and license agreements with international distributors for the studio’s active sublicensing program. She advised marketing executives in planning campaigns, drafted agreements for regional and national promotions including commercial tie-ins, sweepstakes, contests, and events, and ultimately ensured the execution of these promotions complied with legal (including FTC and COPPA), talent, guild and MPAA obligations Foreshadowing her transition from distribution to production, Trisha was also responsible for all legal aspects of producing and clearing promotional films, including obtaining talent approvals, licensing third-party materials, addressing copyright, music, and guild issues, and negotiating producer work-for-hire agreements, talent releases and license agreements.
With this foundation, Trisha made an entrepreneurial leap and opened a firm with her law partner, Natasha Mandich, providing business and legal affairs representation to major studios, individual talent, as well as companies outside of the entertainment industry, including technology companies. While growing Film & Ink, she has also grown her individual practice, handling development and production for television and animation projects, including underlying rights acquisitions and talent agreements for major studio television productions. Trisha guides clients through the WGA separated rights arrangement so that they can monetize merchandising, publishing, theatrical, and live stage rights. She also counsels clients on potential pitfalls relating to derivative productions including spinoffs, prequels, sequels, remakes and reboots, including with regard to copyright terminations.
Still, distribution remains a meaningful part of her practice, including rights clearance for digital media, theatrical, and home video exploitation of television product. Trisha continues to be involved in licensing her client’s vast library. Adapting her marketing experience at MGM to new platforms, she regularly advises clients on recent developments such as FTC requirements to train social media influencers.
Through a career arc that has traversed all sides of the changing media business, the one constant is that Trisha remains absolutely passionate about providing first class legal services to her clients.