Lindsay Gunn Spiller is an entertainment attorney known to reach out to new musicians, film producers and writers. “My love and passion has always been music,” Spiller said in a recent interview in Santa Monica.
As a marketing agent early in his career, he represented some of the biggest names in professional sports, such as John Elway, Dan Marino and Moses Malone. About two years ago, Spiller ventured into representing entertainment professionals. At a Bay area Jazz festival, he met Dina Eastwood and her husband Clint (yes, the Clint Eastwood, known also for his love of Jazz). Spiller soon found himself providing council for a colleague of the Eastwoods, and he said most of his entertainment clients since have been producers or music supervisors for film and television. Spiller said he’d like to add more bands to his client list, in addition to his current efforts representing film and television professionals.
When asked about the most significant piece of legal advice he’d offer to indie or unsigned bands, Spiller said, “Not to be afraid to find talented professionals to help them structure a business. Ultimately, what they’re trying to do is establish a profitable enterprise that is art based.”
Spiller said that many artists he’s worked with only sought council “out of desperation,” after legal issues arose from a deal they didn’t seek advice on from the beginning. “They should really think about it from day one,” he said.
Spiller recommends the three most important advisers for any band are an attorney, an accountant, and eventually a manager. “There are always going to be lawyers and CPA’s and other professionals who really do want to help up-and-coming artists. You can structure deals that are amazingly cost-effective and affordable for them,” Spiller said about potential concerns from artists that professional legal and financial advice is too expensive.
Spiller enjoys utilizing social media as a means of contact and maintains profiles on sites such as Tribe Hollywood, Facebook and LinkedIn. But he still never discounts the value of direct, in person communication. “It’s always about the next deal,” Spiller said, relating to the trust and rapport that’s established when meeting someone face-to-face, compared to corresponding only through email, phone, or a social media message.
I took the opportunity to ask how he’d improve the independent music scene, with a focus on advice for bands that may have future offers on their work. Video below…