Photo provided by Wynne PR
Schuyler "Sky" Moore has always had a rebellious streak, from his wayward youth to his current passion for motorcyles. He owns nine bikes, and refuses to ride a car despite a number of serious accidents, one that cost him his spleen. But the Stroock partner is as steady as they come in the area of entertainment financing, consistently recognized as one of Hollywood's leading atttorneys.
Among other current deals, Moore, a 1981 graduate of the UCLA School of Law, is representing Exclusive Media and Aramid Entertainment in their financing matters, Ciitbank on its film workout loans and a number of foreign investors in U.S. films.
Lawdragon: I know that you practiced tax law for a while. How did you begin to develop a focus in the entertainment industry?
Schuyler “Sky” Moore: I started as a tax lawyer at a boutique entertainment law firm, and it grew from there.
LD: What about it has kept you at it? What makes it fun to go to work everyday, or at least more often than not?
SM: I get to reinvent the world every day, since everything about our industry changes at light speed, including (a) media of distribution, (b) financing structures, and (c) legal developments.
LD: What about the job do you dislike?
SM: Screamers, schemers, and dreamers.
LD: What advice would you give law students who are interested in developing a similar type of practice?
SM: Take all the hard law school classes you can - tax, securities, corporations, anti-trust, labor law. Don’t screw around with internships. Study hard. This is your last chance to do nothing but learn, so use it.
LD: I read that you had trouble with drugs and petty crime in your teens. What turned you around and enabled you to become a serious student?
SM: I was sitting on a bench at the police station at three in the morning for a drug arrest, handcuffed and with hair over my eyes, when a cop said “whoever sits here has to hold open the door to these stairs with his foot,” and then he laughed to his partner about how clever he was to fool me as he walked up the stairs. It occurred to me then that my current path was not exactly working and that I could do better.
LD: Once you did, what led you to pursue a career in law of all things?
SM: I am a fourth-generation lawyer.
LD: Talk a little bit about your love of motorcycles. How did that begin?
SM: At age 14, I rode a mini-bike up and down my dead end street, and I think I hit puberty on that ride. It was a rush that spoke to me, and I have never got off bikes since then. I have nine now and no car.
LD: Commuting in Los Angeles can be horrible regardless of the means. What makes riding a motorcycle superior in your mind?
SM: I have no patience, and I can get through any traffic on my bikes. I also love the speed and movement and adrenaline.
LD: Are there certain rides you do to blow off steam?
SM: I would never ride to blow off steam. It is dangerous enough without adding that.
LD: What’s the worst crash you’ve ever been in?
SM: I have slid under a truck on a freeway on-ramp, had a head-on with a Mercedes, t-boned a BMW, and crashed from a blow out on a freeway. But the worst was from falling asleep in Northern California and going off a freeway. I lost my spleen in that one and almost died.
LD: Do you have any safer hobbies?
SM: I love snowboarding, because you can be wild and crash and get back up (unlike most bike crashes).
LD: I’m sure there are lots of students whose rebellious nature might make them hesitant to pursue a law career, unable to picture long hours in the office, constant memo writing and meetings. What would you say? How can you make it work?
SM: I tell them that being a lawyer is fantastic because (a) it is cerebral, and you get paid for learning every day, (b) you learn the rules of the game, so no one can take advantage of you, and (c) you can control your own destiny by having your own clients. If you are a rebel and like freedom, then nothing beats having your own clients, since no one can tell you what to do. You have no fear of being fired. You are free.