Veteran attorney Alan Schwartz brings both a thriving entertainment practice to Greenberg Traurig LLP and a lot of showbiz stories, especially about his client of 40 years Mel Brooks.
There was the time, for instance, when Brooks was trying to make a movie called "Springtime for Hitler," and Schwartz went with him to pitch producer Joseph E. Levine, who at the time was getting a haircut in his office.
"Neither of us knew what we were doing," Schwartz remembered. "Levine says, 'OK, Mel, go ahead.' Joe is being turned around by his barber and Mel is following him around, acting out the characters," Schwartz recalled.
"Levine said Brooks could do it but he's got to change the name." And so was born "The Producers."
Four decades later, Schwartz put together the deal to finance the new movie version, based on Susan Stroman's blockbuster Broadway musical.
In his role as entertainment-business attorney, he also is involved in arranging a $500 million film-financing fund and representing a variety of producers and international media companies.
Schwartz also continues as the trustee for the Truman Capote Literary Trust. "I represented Truman from 1969 until he died in 1984," Schwartz said. "He was a good friend."
Schwartz, who recently joined Greenberg Traurig as a shareholder and member of the entertainment practice, comes from the entertainment practice at Manatt Phelps & Phillips, where he was partner.
He brings a considerable roster of clients to Greenberg, including producers of motion pictures, television, music, videos and theater, as well as distributors, publishers, directors, writers and actors.
Schwartz lives in Los Angeles with his wife Louise and their 13-year-old son. He also has two adult children from a prior marriage.
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