Steven Krone Appointed Director of the Biederman Institute
Following an extensive national search, Steven G. Krone, former President and Chief Operating Officer of Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment and recently a member of the Chapman University law school and film school faculty, has been appointed Director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute and Professor of Law, commencing this month.
In announcing the appointment, Dean Garth said, "As a senior entertainment lawyer and executive, experienced legal educator and former U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, Professor Krone brings invaluable expertise and insight into the law and business of the entertainment and media industries from both a practical and academic perspective. We are delighted that Professor Krone will play a crucial role in the growth of our highly regarded Institute as it begins its second decade."
Professor Krone's responsibilities as Director of the Biederman Institute include the development and supervision of the Institute's curriculum, externships, research agenda, symposia and other public programming, the entertainment law LL.M. program, local and international summer programs, strategic planning and fundraising. Professor Krone will also initially teach Contracts, as well as Law, Lawyers and the Legal System in Film and other courses as time permits.
Professor Krone comes to Southwestern from Chapman University, where he has been a visiting associate professor at the law school since 2007 and an associate professor at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts since 2009, teaching Torts, Contracts and entertainment law courses.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Dean Garth and all of the talented faculty and staff at Southwestern," Professor Krone said. "The Biederman Institute already boasts an extraordinary full-time faculty, an extensive network of seasoned adjunct faculty, and a fabulous array of externships, summer programs, and other opportunities to learn and work in the entertainment and media arena. I'm looking forward to continuing to advance the Institute on all of these fronts — and to launching some exciting new initiatives."
Previously, Krone served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment, a major independent film production company. During Professor Krone's nine-year tenure, VRP amassed an impressive library of nearly 50 titles with production budgets totaling almost $3 billion and worldwide box office receipts of nearly $7 billion, including The Matrix trilogy, Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve, Analyze This, Three Kings, Training Day, Space Cowboys, Mystic River, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Happy Feet.
Krone originally joined VRP in 1998 as Executive Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs, was appointed Chief Operating Officer one year later, and added the title of President in 2003. In the latter capacity, he was responsible for all non-creative operations, including business and legal affairs; physical production; finance, marketing and distribution; strategic planning; and human resources and administration.
His key responsibilities included negotiating and managing co-financing arrangements with major studios such as Warner Bros. and Paramount; negotiating key rights acquisitions and talent agreements; overseeing the film greenlight process; supervising the business and legal affairs, physical production, and marketing and distribution departments; and managing new business initiatives. During this time, Professor Krone also taught entertainment law at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California.
Professor Krone's appointment has been greeted with enthusiasm from the entertainment industry. Wayne Levin, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations for Lionsgate and a trustee and alumnus of Southwestern, said of Krone, "Steve's extensive experience and connections to the industry will no doubt further enhance the Biederman Institute's programs and its recognition as an international resource for students, practitioners and scholars in entertainment and media law."
Prior to joining VRP, Krone was an entertainment attorney at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown in Beverly Hills, where he represented film and television producers, directors, writers, actors and executives. According to partner Bruce Ramer, "Steve was and is an excellent and well-trained lawyer, with all the skills necessary to succeed in the entertainment practice. He is also a natural teacher and leader. Southwestern and its students are fortunate to have landed him as director of the Biederman Institute."
Krone earned his A.B. degree in Cinema-Television Production at the University of Southern California film school and his J.D. degree at the University of Chicago, where he served on the Law Review. Between film school and law school, he worked as an account executive for Yuguchi & Krogstad, a Los Angeles-based advertising, marketing and design firm, where he signed and managed the largest account in the history of the company, Baskin-Robbins.
After law school, Krone served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justices William J. Brennan, Jr. and David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.
"Professor Krone's standing as a highly respected lawyer, business executive and teacher, as well as his considerable creative, interpersonal and administrative skills, will be of enormous benefit in leading our Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute," Dean Garth said. "We look forward to welcoming him to the Southwestern community."