Sales of Film
After the post-production process is completed, the producer will be left with a film that is ready to be viewed by the public. Unfortunately, it can be easy for filmmakers to get caught up in the creative and technical processes associated with the actual production of a movie and forget about the necessity of creating effective marketing strategies. A producer could make a compelling and original film, but if they are unable to sell and distribute the content, no one will be able to see it. There are a variety of ways to get your film out to the public after the final product is completed, depending on the size, financing, structure, and goals of the production.
FINDING A BUYER FOR YOUR FILM
In some cases, producers will look to sell their independently produced movies to studios or distributors, which will then usually pay for all advertising, marketing, and other distribution costs to promote the film. These deals can be tough to negotiate for a variety of reasons, and there are many terms which can vary, depending on the scenario in which the film was produced.
First, producers must get a studio or distributor interested in buying their film. This is often done by getting the movie into a film festival where it can receive feedback and a general audience response can be gauged. Successful marketing at a film festival might include a PR firm, an agent, and/or a producer’s representative.
Once a distributor is interested, they will make an offer to the producer, called an “advance.” Negotiating the terms of this advance are very important, as further profits are not necessarily guaranteed, and this advance can be used to pay off investors in the film. It is unlikely that this advance will provide more than the production cost of the film.
One of the most difficult thing about selling a film to a studio or distribution company is the negotiation of profits and their allocation. In most deals, the distributor pays for marketing, then the studio and the producer share the revenue that the movie produces. Each party would receive an agreed upon percentage of profits. However, the cost of marketing (as determined by the studio) will be deducted from the producer’s share.
The sale of a film to a distributor can be made at any time during the film production process, although it is usually done toward the end of shooting or during post-production when the producer has a clearer idea of total costs, possible markets, and probable reception.
LEGAL GUIDANCE DURING FILM SALES
Throughout the entirety of this process, legal counsel can help ensure that a producer is maintaining as much control as possible over their film. Negotiating favorable terms in a contract with a distributor who is interested in buying your film can be tricky. In addition, an attorney will help draft and review contracts with any firms, agents, or individuals who work with the producer during this stage in the production process. Call Pinnacle Law Firm today at 818-707-5236 for a consultation on your case.