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Business Affairs Manager, Original Production, London

CategoryContent Development;Production and Programming
Job typeFull Time
CountryUnited Kingdom
Job Summary:

We are looking for an experienced manager of Business Affairs to join our Commercial & Business Affairs team and work with high profile content providers and creators industry. This role is permanent and based in our London head office in Hammersmith.

The Manager Business Affairs will be negotiating commercial deals with external content suppliers and production companies in relation to EMEA Original Productions and Acquisitions for The Walt Disney Company in EMEA. This will include managing negotiations with producers, co-producers, talent representatives, distributors and licensors for original productions, co-productions and pre-acquisitions with talent representatives with an emphasis on negotiation applying best practice and in alignment with The Walt Disney Company international policies and standards.

The successful candidate will create and manage processes, workflows and a framework for deals that are competitive, agile and adhere to the Disney brand values as well as liaising between external and internal stakeholders locally and internationally. This will involve handling negotiations, and support Director of Business and/or Commercial Affairs in negotiating development, talent and production deals, pre-buy deals, as well as coordinating c information flow and approval processes with adjacent departments including Creative, Finance, Production Management, Legal Affairs, Marketing etc., and data input and maintenance in systems relevant to support and police the relevant deals.

It is essential to the success of this role to have either a multi-year experience in business affairs and to have worked on scripted production projects. Ability to interact internally in collaboration with colleagues that account for different functions within the business is key as well as ongoing interaction with the local teams while handling a high volume of deals within short timelines successfully.

Finally, this role will provide key support on fulfilling company standard deal key terms and policies in production, co-production and pre-acquisition deals in order to guarantee consistent conditions in the content business and compliance with Disney standards and procedures.


  • Partners with Creative and Production Executives on projects, both in negotiating and greenlighting development and production projects.
  • Manages negotiations or supports line managers in deal making with producers and their relevant legal and business affairs departments with the aim to deliver deals on time, on budget and within company standards and creative parameters.
  • Facilitates business process between Creative, Legal Affairs as well as other relevant executives and the production company to ensure clear communication and effective translation of vision to production on basis of creative greenlight.
  • Creates and revises deal templates for all types of deal making for original productions and acquisitions.
  • Manages exchange with local and international Legal Affairs teams - including ongoing development of best practise and setting acceptable precedents.
  • Carries out deal management, including data input in Disney deal management systems, maintenance and update of deal data and polices deal timelines.
  • Ability to read, interpret and provide solutions on contract drafts, and sync with Production Management, Creative Affairs, Finance and Legal Affairs.
  • Ability to read, understand & consult on budgets.
  • Understands production guidelines and talent agreements.
  • Facilitates development and production greenlights and approvals.
  • Vets processes working closely with Production Management and Legal Affairs to ensure that Company policies & standards are met.
  • Ability to supervise and track progress on multiple deal negotiations on and off system (incl. deal trackers).
  • Manages delivery and of all underlying paperwork, including communication with the production partners to ensure all paperwork is turned around timely.
  • Coordinates cost allocation reviews with Finance, Production Management and production executives.
  • Consults with Acquisitions, Legal Affairs within and outside EMEA to facilitate Acquisition, Legal Affairs needs with contracts and approval issues.
  • Attends and presents at Production, Development, Programming, Finance and Legal meetings.
  • Understands the roles and interdependencies of Marketing, Research, Legal Affairs, etc. and develops the relationships within these departments to assure high quality and efficiency.
  • Manages internal approval procedures and deal execution.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Seasoned Manager with solid experience in television production deal making within original programming.
  • A thorough knowledge of the current commercial deal-making market.
  • Working knowledge of contract drafting.
  • Knowledge of contractual key terms and conditions for production, co-production and pre-acquisition deals, talent deals, and chain of title assessment.
  • Ability to anticipate potential issues of each step for deal making in production and budgetary issues.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to inspire and enthuse producers and build strong collaboration with producers and with production studios worldwide.
  • Thorough understanding of European regulatory environment including content and investment quota obligations, in particular for SVOD services.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Understanding of the pre-production, production, and post-production process.
  • Ability to critically assess progress, anticipate production issues, provide solutions and promptly supervise the execution of new measures.
  • Exceptionally organised and great attention to detail: ability to evaluate production, co-production and pre-acquisition proposals, underlying rights (chain of title).
  • Excellent time and budget management skills.
  • Strong ability to multi-task and prioritise; and always 'stay ahead of the game'.
  • Flexible and result-oriented: not afraid to challenge the status quo; and pro-active to suggest new approach. Always ready to 'go the extra mile'.
  • Resourceful and strong initiative.
  • Excellent negotiation skills, especially in resolving production problems with producers and co-producers, and maintaining Disney's priority requirement in each production.
  • Fluent written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of at least one other EU language advantageous.

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.
EmployerDisney Media & Entertainment Distribution

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