Negotiating Deals in Hollywood (CDMP 150)

Hollywood sign with palm trees Are you interested in learning more about wheeling and dealing in Hollywood? Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education offers you a new non-credit course exploring the business of film – Negotiating Deals in Hollywood (CDMP 150). In this online course taught by entertainment manager Amotz Zakai, you will learn about the Hollywood business environment and acquire negotiation techniques to help you in your film career.

Who should enrol in CDMP 150?

This online course is for anyone interested in learning how deals are made and what it’s like to work in the Hollywood film industry. It will appeal to individuals looking to gain negotiation strategies which can be applied not only to film production deals, but also to personal negotiations (e.g., asking for a raise at work, buying a car).

Join us for an Online Information Session about Negotiating Deals In Hollywood (CDMP 150)

Have questions about this course? Get more information in time for the Fall 2015 term!

Date: Friday, August 28, 2015, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Visit our event page to RSVP for the information session and receive the link.

Course Information

This course is very unique in that it allows students to role-play jobs in Hollywood such as a talent agent, a studio executive, and a film and TV producer. By structuring film deals and green-lighting movies, students will learn negotiation techniques, how film financing works, and how compensation for above the line talent is administered. We also focus on famous Hollywood deals from the past to learn how they were negotiated to the best possible outcomes.

See CDMP 150 for scheduling and fee information.

Course Design

CDMP 150 is an online course designed to provide you with an understanding of how to negotiate. You will learn how it feels to be a producer, agent, or studio executive, and you will understand the complexity of making Hollywood deals in the film business. Online learning tools include media-rich PowerPoint presentations and interactive Google Docs submissions.

Consult the Sample Distance Course Outline for further details. Note that there will be some group work requiring you to connect with your classmates by email during the week.

Your Instructor: Amotz Zakai, Manager, Echo Lake Entertainment, LLC

Amotz Zakai has been working at Echo Lake Entertainment for over 12 years. He is a manager (think “E” from Entourage and not “Ari Gold”) representing writers, directors, and actors from all over the world.

Before that he earned his BFA from The Rochester Institute of Technology School of Film and Animation and an MFA at the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California.

Echo Lake Entertainment is an independent film production, financing, and management company with exclusive access to a private investment fund. Oscar-worthy films produced include Tsotsi (Oscar winner), Water (which was released via Fox Searchlight and garnered one nomination), and Sarah Polley’s Away From Her (released via Lions Gate with two nominations). Echo Lake recently produced and partially financed Alexander Payne’s Nebraska as well as Romeo & Juliet, The Numbers Station starring John Cusack, and Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In and I’m So Excited.

Amotz received the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award in 2013.

Check out a Craft Truck podcast with Amotz – Producing with Amotz Zakai of Echo Lake Management – for some practical advice and behind-the-scenes insight into his management role.


Check out what some of our students have to say about CDMP 150:

“With the abundance of creative screenwriting and filmmaking classes, it’s hard to find a comprehensive course on the business end of the film industry. CDMP 150 provided me with a direct link to an industry expert. Amotz Zakai is a very responsive and passionate instructor. The online presentations were concise and visually dynamic, referring to real-life negotiations in Hollywood to illuminate the content. The role-playing exercises provided me with a firm understanding of the film production/negotiation process, and I have since connected with two classmates (both Toronto-based film professionals) outside of the course. I would highly recommend CDMP 150 to both aspiring and working film/television professionals.”
Joanna T. (2014)

“This interactive online course is a must for anyone looking to understand the complexities and subtleties of negotiating a deal within the film industry. Amotz Zakai provides sage negotiating strategies and practical advice on how to approach any deal be it selling your car, asking for a raise or selling a script. As a result of the course I’ve gained valuable information regarding the standard compensation packages for all those involved in making a film and the various options and pitfalls to watch for when negotiating for a share of the profits from a film. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to get a solid and practical understanding of the intricacies of negotiating a deal in Hollywood.”
Michelle T. (2014)

Ready to enrol?

You may enrol in person (350 Victoria Street), by mail, or online. Consult Enrolment or contact Debbie Wilk, Manager, Program Support, at or 416.979.5000, ext. 6975, with your enrolment queries.

For More Information

For further course details, contact CDMP 150 instructor Amotz Zakai.

For information on Film Studies at The Chang School, visit