Sally Helppie is a lawyer and film producer. She is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, where she was a Teaching Assistant and a member of the national moot court team. She currently practices Entertainment Law and business litigation at Vincent Lopez Serafino Jevevein, P.C.
Sally’s entertainment law practice runs the gamut from representing very high-budget Hollywood productions to small independent producers, as well as individual writers, actors and financiers. She negotiates acquisitions and distribution, drafts a wide variety of financing documents, advises on insurance and bonds, addresses Guild and Union matters, handles copyright and trademark issues, performs script clearances, prepares production contracts, and litigates disputes. She has performed the legal work on such films as “The Tourist,” starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp; “The Young Victoria,” starring Emily Blunt; and Martin Scorsese’s 3D feature, “Hugo.” Similarly, she has negotiated and drafted contracts for multiple television pilots and series, including Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management,” “The Glee Project,” “The Bachelor,” “Children’s Medical Center,” “Donna Decorates Dallas,” “Texas 28,” “Texas Troubadours,” and several shows launching in 2013.
Sally also is a seasoned trial attorney who has been lead counsel in literally hundreds of cases on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, smaller businesses and individuals. She has tried cases before juries in state and Federal courts, and has represented parties all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her litigation background is invaluable in negotiating and understanding complicated entertainment deals.
In the last five years, Sally has produced four feature films: “Exit Speed,” starring Lea Thompson, Desmond Harrington and Fred Ward, and “The Beacon,” starring Teri Polo, David Rees Snell, Michael Ironside, Elaine Hendrix and Ken Howard, both of which had platform theatrical releases, wide releases in foreign, frequently are shown on Showtime-TV, and currently are available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and digitally; along with “Beyond the Farthest Star,” starring Renee O’Connor and presently in post-production; and “Infiltrators,” which just finished principal photography and stars Nathalie Kelley from “Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift,” as well as Robert Picardo, Steve Railsback, Gregory Jbara and Hallee Hirsh.
Sally is a sought-after speaker and serves on the Board of Tall Castle, Inc., a non-profit educational film production corporation. She was the 2011 Chair of the DBA’s Sports & Entertainment Law Section, past Chair of the DBA’s Business Litigation Section (which won the Section of the Year award under her leadership), a member of the Texas Motion Picture Association, Women in Film, the TESLAW Council, and the Producers’ Network at the Cannes Film Market.