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Entertainment Industry Expert Witness & Litigation Support

Kathryn Arnold

Kathryn Arnold

9200 Sunset Bl.
Ste. 1200

Los Angeles, California 90069

Phone(323) 610-2029


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Kathryn Arnold, an award winning film producer and executive with more than 20 years of experience in production, acquisition, distribution, international sales and gap financing. Extensive experience in development, packaging and financing, working with talent agents, production crew, distribution executives, investors, lawyers. Ms. Arnold has produced six feature films and directed a documentary on the iconic band Earth Wind & Fire. She worked in Corporate Sponsorship, Commercials, Product Licensing, Corporate Relations and Product Placement. Kathryn has served on over 6 dozen litigation cases.


Kathryn Arnold can advise on a broad array of issues including: loss of wages, financial forecasting, economic damage analysis, intellectual property rights, copyright issues, likeness usage, chain of title, hiring probabilities, new media, licensing, contracts, business practices, and contract issues as these relate to entertainment industry standards.

She provides advisory and consulting services on film, television and media development and production created from magazine articles, books, life rights, images and other intellectual and copyrighted property. In addition, she can provide findings on motion picture sales, distribution, and royalties.

She relies on her strong and extensive hands-on experience, training and education in delivering clients with reports, findings and information to achieve responsible results in their cases. Experience with deposition and trial testimony.

Ms. Arnold also provides consultant services to attorneys, financiers, investors, production companies, international sales organizations in all areas related to entertainment industry practices and standards.

Litigation Support Services

Kathryn Arnold serves as an expert witness on cases involving loss of wages claims, economic damage, economic forecasting, chain of title, breach of contract, partnership disputes and intellectual property rights issues as they relate to the entertainment industry.

Areas of Expertise

Additional Expertise:

International Film Sales, Motion Picture Distribution.


Kathryn Arnold's career has straddled the Studio system and Independent Film worlds, as well as Corporate Sponsorship Programs. Starting out as an executive at The Maltese Companies, Arnold developed and produced television and feature projects financed by Wall Street ad agencies. She oversaw the production of "Pound Puppies", an animated feature produced with Kushner Locke, "Mutiny on the Bounty" for television, directed by Robert Altman, and was a staff researcher/writer on "Manhunt Live", a reality based crime show for ABC.

At The Guber-Peters Entertainment Co. Ms. Arnold was involved in the development of feature films, with the company that produced "Rain Man" and "Batman". She was the Assoc. Producer on "Pizza Man", written and directed by Jonathan Lawton of "Pretty Woman" fame, and procured the financing and co-produced "The Webers' Fifteen Minutes" with Jennifer Tilly and David Arquette.

Arnold then began her partnership with Louis Venosta. Venosta who wrote and co-produced the Mel Gibson romantic comedy, "Bird on a Wire", as well as the Tri-Star release, "The Last Dragon". They launched Venosta's directing career, with the highly acclaimed feature short film "The Coriolis Effect" which won the 1994 Venice Film Festival.

Arnold went on to produce "Nevada", starring Amy Brenneman, Gabrielle Anwar, Kirstie Alley and Angus Macfadyen, was the Executive Producer on "Façade", starring Eric Roberts and Angus Macfadyen, and "The Velocity of Gary" with Vincent D'Onofrio, Salma Hayek, Thomas Jane, and Ethan Hawke.

She launched Cineville International's foreign sales division in Cannes of 1997, and handled foreign sales, acquisitions, and gap financing, in addition to packaging and production responsibilities.

Arnold then produced "Cowboys and Angels", starring Adam Trese, Mia Kirshner and Radha Mitchell. The highlight of 2000 was writing and directing "Shining Stars": "The Official Story of Earth", "Wind & Fire", a documentary film based on the electric and legendary band, released on DVD and Television Internationally in 2001.

Using corporate sponsorship skills and acumen received while working with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Arnold worked with Internet Studios, and raised close to $500,000 in a 6 week period for the Sundance Online Film Festival. She then worked with Infinity, Inc, producing and hiring for corporate videos, direct marketing pieces and events for National Corporations. Woven in, Arnold produced and production managed commercials for well-known brands such as Certs.

Currently, Arnold consults with European and American based production companies on packaging and film financing, and serves as an expert witness on cases involving loss of wages claims, economic damages, economic forecasting, chain of title and intellectual property rights issues.

Areas Served

All States

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Professional Experience

Ms. Arnold has over 20 years of hands on experience in the film production and distribution arenas. Having produced, directed and overseen the production of over 6 feature films, dozens of corporate videos, commercials and events, as well as working in both the studio and independent film environment, Ms. Arnold understands the inner workings of the entertainment industry, its hiring practices, business development and the economic complexities and nuances involved in a world that very few understand. Working closely with each client, she brings the full benefit of this valuable experience to bear on the client's unique case.

Ms. Arnold knows what it takes to conduct investigations quickly, discretely and cost-effectively. An extensive rolodex and diverse background give Ms. Arnold an insider's view of this mercurial business and she knows exactly what to look for in employment and earnings history, gross revenues and profit and loss statements, and where to point to in determining the validity of a loss of wages/economic damages claim.

Legal Experience & Services

Kathryn Arnold has been retained as an expert witness and consultant on close to 6 dozen cases, with plaintiffs and defendants, such as actors, writers, directors, on-air personalities, producers, spokespersons, production crew, production/distribution companies, and other entertainment related personnel and corporations.

She has provided expert reporting, expert testimony, expert opinion evidence, financial forecasting and referrals for clients on cases involving persons in the entertainment industry who had loss of wages and economic damage claims from disfigurement, personal injury, health concerns, wrongful death, wrongful termination, breach of contract, partnership disputes and copyright infringement.

Case list upon request.


Los Angeles Venture Association

Awards & Honors

UNIDO-CARIBBEAN Partnership for the Creative Audiovisual Industries: Cinematic & Entrepreneurial Motivation Award
Winner of the Venice Film Festival, Best Short Film 1994
Winner of the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival 2001
Billboard Top 5 Video ("Shining Stars: The Official Story of Earth, Wind & Fire")

Seminars & Training

Facilitator for UNIDO-CARIBBEAN Partnership for the Creative Audiovisual Industries
Trainer and Course Leader for in their program for Continuing Legal Education
Frequent keynoter, speaker and seminar leader for American Film Institute, Women in Film. Keynotes focus on business development, film financing, and personal empowerment
Frequent commentator and industry expert for Bloomberg West, CCTV, CNBC, Al Jazeera, NPR/Marketplace


"The Entertainment Industry — Points to Consider When Evaluating a Case" Text Course for

Professional References

Michael P. Verna
Bowles & Verna LLP
(925) 935-3300

"Kathryn is the person you want on the stand when dealing with economic damages/loss of wages in a case in the entertainment industry. Her testimony was on point, clear and her wealth of knowledge and experience gave great credibility to her opinion." Michael Verna

The Law Firm of Schumann, Rallo & Rosenberg LLP
Tiffany Ly, Esq. (714) 850-0210

"Kathryn provided excellent ideas and insight into the entertainment industry which we used to our advantage in the case. She was knowledgeable and thorough. In addition, she was a pleasure to work with. She was professional, courteous and prompt in her responses to our request for assistance. She was a gem to work with." Tiffany Ly

Further references upon request.


Ms. Arnold holds a BA in Economics and French from UCLA and the University of Paris. Ms. Arnold also regularly attends professional training sessions, both as a student and instructor maintaining certifications by obtaining continuing education in film finance, distribution, public speaking, NLP training, business development and leadership training.

Articles Published by Kathryn Arnold

Link Oral Agreement v. Written Agreement… That Is the Question

The film business has often been notoriously known as a handshake business ¬— deals done at upscale bars, a few ideas written on a napkin, all while clinking overpriced martinis. That being said, the film industry is a high-risk business with millions of dollars at stake. An oral agreement becomes precarious when disagreements arise. Can an oral agreement obligate someone to invest, and/or are they enforceable in a court of law?

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Link Sales Company's Liability for Low Film Sales

Sales of independent film is a volatile undertaking, even under the best of circumstances. The competition is stiff, buyer’s tastes shift, and thousands of films are produced globally each year. According to IMDB, in the last 10 years, film production has doubled from 4,585 in 2005 to 9,387 films in 2015.

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Link Strong Thesis Leads to Clear-Cut Opinion in John Steinbeck Estate Trial

Serving as an expert on the John Steinbeck Estate trial (Waverly Scott Kaffaga, as Executor of the Estate of Elaine Anderson Steinbeck, Plaintiff, vs. Thomas Steinbeck, Gail Knight Steinbeck and The Palladin Group, Inc. Case No. 14-CV-08699 TJH FFMx) this past year was both complicated and clear-cut.

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Link “Day and Date” Release Patterns: What is Video-on-Demand's (VOD) Impact on the Distribution Timeline?

Release windows in content distribution are still a challenge for the exhibitor, distributor and filmmaker alike. The exhibitor wants exclusivity in the theatre for as long as possible so they can earn as much revenue before other platforms claim their share of the pie.

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Link John Steinbeck's Son Breached Contract Over Talks Over "Grapes Of Wrath"

When Thomas Steinbeck, the eldest son of Nobel Prize-winning fiction author John Steinbeck, died at the age of 72 in August 2016, he left behind a bitter family dispute that occupied more than three decades of his life.

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Link False Representation vs. Breach of Contract in Film Financing – Who Wins?

Investment in film has potential for high reward but is always combined with high risk. Little or no collateral, lack of liquidity, changing consumer demand, market competition and over zealous promises made by the filmmakers all contribute to the risk factor. Investors must rely on strong market analysis, distribution pre-sales and the integrity of the filmmakers. If any one of these elements is fraudulent, that can mean disaster for the investor and potential violation of contract elements.

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Link Economic Damages - A Case Study: The Actor

The large majority of lawsuits that involve individuals in the entertainment industry revolve around lost wages or fees. These claims often allege millions of dollars in lost earnings depending on the role the person plays within the industry. Given the exorbitant amount that some actors, writers, directors and producers earn, it’s easy to understand how often these claims get made. However, the operative word in this scenario is some.

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Link Transmedia Infusion...Are Indie Film Distributors' Days Numbered?

Hollywood’s move into the OTT/direct to consumer service, seen by HBO and potentially Showtime and Starz, is both inevitable and a game changer. As more and more consumers cut the cord and view their programing direct from the creator —as seen for the last several years on YouTube— and now on Netflix, Amazon Prime and others, it makes sense for the major content creators like HBO to follow suit.

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Link To What Length Will Broadcasters Go to Exploit Human Drama?

He's either recognizable, or he's not, was the relevant question on a recent case where I served as an expert on behalf of a deceased man’s family. They were horrified and distraught after seeing their loved one in his coffin, on a highly successful cable network. Yes, the man was shown in his blue suit, in a coffin over 11 times during a 5-minute segment. Even though his faced was partially blurred, it was not blurred enough, and the family recognized him.

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Link A Case Study: Guild Residual Calculations – Studio vs. Independent Film Finance Models

While serving as an Expert for a production/distribution company who was being sued by one of the major guilds to pay outstanding royalties on a slate of pictures, the fundamental difference between the way Studios and Independent production/distribution companies finance and distribute films became very apparent.

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Link Unpublished Authors and The Battle Against Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is a hot topic in the entertainment industry and I have worked on my fair share of cases on this issue. Having testified for both Plaintiffs and Defendants, successful and not so successful writers, the published and the unpublished, the questions remain the same - don’t all authors deserve copyright protection?

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Link A Banker’s Perspective: Banks, Hedge Funds and New Distribution Platforms

Adrian Ward is a smart, producer friendly banker who has been in the trenches of independent film financing for close to 20 years. Having started with the Lew Horwitz Organization, a stalwart in the indie film world of the 90’s, Adrian is now at Pacific Mercantile Bank. I sat down with Adrian to get a banker’s perspective on the industry landscape and where producers should be putting their energies.

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Link How to Make Indie Filmmaking Profitable in the Age of Tentpole Franchises

To some, indie filmmaking is an art form, to others a dream of of seeing their story come to life on the big screen, however, it is meant to be a profitable business. Investors put money into a film, and expect to get their money back and receive a decent return on their investment. Cindy Nelson-Mullen, Co-CEO of MonteCristo International, an international sales agent/production company, and discusses with her the elements it takes to make a profitable film.

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Link The Sales Agent Perspective on Indie Film Financing

In the first installment of our interview with Michele Taverna of MonteCristo Entertainment, "The New Core of the Film Industry," we discussed your position as sales agent being the “natural first stop” on the road to producing films. Let’s take a look at how you go about making the all important decisions on which films to produce and how to get them financed.

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Link The New Core of the Film Industry - The Sales Agent

The film financing and distribution arena is constantly changing, and with that so does the epicenter of action. It is a well-known fact that talent drives movie making. Since the advent of CAA in the late 80’s the gatekeeper to those stars has been the agent, and still is. However a new power-broker in film financing has surfaced in the last couple of years…and that player is the International Sales Agent.

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Link Getting Real with Indie Film Finance and Distribution...Part 2

In Part I, we talked with Financier/Producer Michael Mendelsohn about Hedge funds and what they are looking for in terms of financing films. They prefer slates, which create a portfolio effect with which they can amortize the risk across a variety of film, genres and budgets. If that’s the game Hedges funds are playing, what are equity/wealthy individuals looking for?

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Link Getting Real with Indie Film Finance - Part 1

Seeking to get an inside look from a former banker now producer, I asked Michael Mendelsohn, Chairman and CEO of Patriot Pictures, what is really going on with film finance in today’s market. The following is his down to earth and “genuine” perspective on the indie film biz.

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Link In the Trenches…The Producers Part 2 – The Shifting Landscape

Continuing the dialogue with producers Jonathan Dana and Cindy Cowan, let’s take a look at the shifting landscape of film financing and distribution.

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Link In the Trenches…The Producers Part 1 – Independent Film Production

I often receive inquiries from around the world on how best to go about obtaining film financing. Projects come in all shapes and sizes – a wide array of genres, varying budgets and an assortment of experience levels. In every case, the biggest questions are: How do I put together financing for a movie? What elements need to be attached? Where does the money come from?

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Link Writers, Producers, Directors — The DEAL

In addition to film financing, the writer, producer and director deals are a major factor in getting films produced − each deal differs depending on the experience and clout of the players involved. These deals will in turn have a huge impact on back end money that may or may not be available for the producer.

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Link Economic Damage Claims in the Entertainment Industry – Speculative or Beyond a Reasonable Certainty

The large majority of lawsuits that involve individuals in the entertainment industry revolve around lost wages or fees. These claims often allege millions of dollars in lost earnings depending on the role the person plays within the industry. Given the exorbitant amount that some actors, writers, directors and producers earn, it’s easy to understand how often these claims get made. However, the operative word in this scenario is some.

Read Article

Link The Basics of Film Finance

Financing of film projects often requires an elaborate patchwork of investors, banks, soft money tax credits and in-kind services, and some companies specialize in financing specific stages of production. One of the overall themes of the industry that can at times make obtaining financing hard is the risks involved in making films, many of which may have very little tangible value at the end of the process.

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Link The Entertainment Industry — Points to Consider When Evaluating a Case

Of the thousands of screenplays written every year, only 450 to 500 of these are "lucky" enough to be made into motion pictures. Of those produced, less than half are released in theatres and of those remaining, only a portion are released directly to DVD.

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