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Director of Business Affairs, Original Productions

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 774659BR Location Hammersmith, England, United Kingdom Business Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Date posted Feb. 19, 2021

Job Summary:

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Business Affairs Director to join the team working across Disney+ and Star streaming platforms.

Reporting to the Vice President, Acquisitions & Commercial Affairs, the Director will be the point person for negotiating commercial deals with external content suppliers and production companies in relation to EMEA Original Productions for The Walt Disney Company. This will include leading and supporting negotiations with producers, co-producers and licensors for original productions, co-productions and pre-acquisitions, as well as oversight and management of negotiations with talent (writers, producers, directors, actors) handled by production companies, with an emphasis on applying best practice and in alignment with The Walt Disney Company worldwide.


  • Partners with Creative and Production Executives on projects, both in negotiating and greenlighting development and production projects.
  • Negotiate development, talent and production deals, sign-off commercial/business terms and coordinate information flow and exchange with internal adjacent departments such as Creative, Finance, Production Management, Legal Affairs, Marketing etc.
  • Manage negotiations with producers and their relevant legal and business affairs departments involved to close deals on time, on budget, and within company standards and creative parameters
  • Create a framework for deals that are competitive, agile and adhere to the Disney brand values
  • Create and revise deal templates for all types of deal making for original productions and acquisitions
  • Vet processes; work closely with Production Management and Legal Affairs to ensure that Company policies and standards are met
  • Interpret and provide solutions on contract drafts, and sync with Production Management, Creative Affairs, Finance and Legal Affairs
  • Supervise and tracks progress on multiple deal negotiations on and off system (incl. deal trackers)
  • Manage timely delivery of all underlying paperwork, including communication with the production partners
  • Coordinate cost allocation reviews with Finance, Production Management and production executives
  • Build and maintain relationships with multiple functions in the business, understanding their roles and interdependencies Marketing, Research, Legal, Finance, Programming etc.
  • Consult with Acquisitions and Legal Affairs within and outside EMEA to facilitate needs with contracts and approval issues
  • Coordinate, guide, advise and support local teams based in EMEA involved in the production, co-production and pre-acquisition of Originals on their negotiations, deal assessment and support them in building a local best practice/framework for Originals.
  • Close a high volume of deals within short timelines successfully

Basic Qualifications:

Experience required
  • Seasoned executive with extensive experience in television production deal making at senior level with a focus on original productions
  • Thorough understanding of the pre-production, production, and post-production process
  • Strong knowledge of contractual key terms and conditions for production, co-production and pre-acquisition deals, talent agreements, and chain of title assessment.
  • In-depth experience across scripted content is essential for this role
  • Working knowledge of contract drafting
  • Strong knowledge of the current commercial deal-making market, including terms of trade, streamer vs PSB etc.
  • Good understanding of European regulatory environment including content and investment quota obligations, in particular for SVOD services
Skills required
  • Ability to inspire and enthuse producers and build strong relationships with production studios worldwide
  • Excellent negotiation skills, in both deal making, and in resolving production problems
  • Ability to critically assess progress, anticipate both budgetary and production issues in the deal, provide solutions and promptly supervise the execution of new measures
  • Strong communications skills essential; able to interact with multiple heads across different functions within the business, as well as counterparts across EMEA
  • Exceptionally organised and great attention to detail
  • Excellent time and budget management skills
  • Strong ability to multi-task and prioritise; and always ‘stay ahead of the game’
  • Flexible and results-oriented: not afraid to challenge the status quo; and always ready to ‘go the extra mile’
  • Resourceful and pro-active in suggesting new approaches
  • Fluent written and spoken English essential, working knowledge of at least one other EU language desirable

Additional Information:

  • This role will require limited business travel
  • Applications close on Sunday 7th March 2021

About Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution:

Comprised of the Company’s international business units and various direct-to-consumer streaming services, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) aligns technology, media distribution and advertising sales into a single business segment to create and deliver personalized entertainment experiences to consumers around the world.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with The Walt Disney Company Ltd., which is part of a business segment we call Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The Walt Disney Company Ltd. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, colour, religion or belief, sex, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, disability or pregnancy or maternity. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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