Selling Your Film Outside the U.S.

May 16, 2014
posted by sheric

Selling Your Film Outside the U.S.At long last, an announcement on the new edition of our book.

Volume 2 in the Selling Your Film series

Selling Your Film Outside the U.S. is the second volume in the “Selling Your Film” case study book series. While our first book, Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul, focused on U.S releases and case studies, this volume takes a deep dive into digital distribution (and distribution generally) in Europe and provides several case studies of films released there.

The series began in 2011 as an attempt to encourage transparency in an industry that has always been quite reluctant to do so. Three years later, we are proud to have led the charge towards this goal, and we are encouraged that others are embarking on other projects that attempt to do the same.

Within the pages of this book, you will find marketing and crowdsourcing strategies, real distribution budgets, community building activities and detailed ancillary and digital distribution revenues for independently produced films.

By stripping away the mythology surrounding independent film distribution, we aim to present a more realistic picture regarding how filmmakers can earn revenue—and when they cannot—from a variety of release strategies. While there is no one model that will work for a particular film, the books in this series highlight a multitude of new techniques filmmakers are using to directly connect their films with audiences, effectively reach them through the power of the global Internet, and build a sustainable fan base to last throughout a career.

One of the chapters in this book employs the phrase “Carpe Diem.” In the context of digital distribution, this has dual meaning. First, in a harsh world that can tire of one thing and move onto the next in the blink of an eye, we encourage filmmakers to jump into action and formulate a viable and expedient distribution strategy as their films move from the festival circuit onto a larger arena. Second, the digital distribution space is a constantly changing one, where platforms come and go at an astonishing rate. Therefore, it is important that filmmakers not only empower themselves by learning how to navigate the landscape of digital distribution, but by keeping this knowledge up to date as well.

To that aim, we offer Selling Your Film Outside the U.S.—containing chapters by The Film Collaborative co-executive directors Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Winter; marketing strategist and social media expert Sheri Candler; documentary filmmaker and independent film consultant Jon Reiss; and Wendy Bernfeld, managing director of the European content curation and licensing company Rights Stuff BV—as the starting point for any filmmaker (whether they are U.S.-based or not) who wishes to explore distributing their film in Europe.

 

 

How do you attract sponsors to your film project?

October 14, 2011
posted by sheric

As stated in the last post, Jon Reiss and I (and Orly Ravid joined us for a bit) were recently part of a weeklong discussion on the D Word site about marketing and distributing documentaries. One of the questions came from a woman who asked about attracting sponsorship to a film project. She asked, “would you talk about some of the particulars of sponsorship in your case [with our book], and what process you went through to develop those sponsors?” I was also prompted to write about this after receiving a message via Linkedin from a connection who wanted me to send him my contact list of sponsors so he could use it for his project. I’m not too prone to turning over my list of contacts, but anyone can find them online. Just look at our list of sponsors in the free pdf copy, Google their websites and hit the Contact button.

So, about attracting sponsors. First you have to determine what are you really offering a sponsor. I don’t mean logo space on your website or key art, inclusion in your credit roll, or pre or post roll ad space. If you don’t have a large amount of web traffic, there is no pre sale in place guaranteeing your film is going to be widely distributed and you can’t demonstrate that a lot of publicity that is beneficial to the sponsor will be generated by your film’s release, it is going to be very difficult to get money out of a sponsor. They can buy targeted media space on well established outlets with a better guarantee of their brand being seen. So really think about this before you send out proposals to sponsors offering logo space on your website as something worthy of spending thousands of dollars of their marketing budget on.

Regarding how we did it for our book , first The Film Collaborative‘s Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Winter are well known in the industry, especially among distributors and festivals so we knew we would have some support with spreading the word about the book through Sundance, AFI Fest, Palm Springs International, Los Angeles Film Festival, some European festivals like Sheffield Docfest, some LGBT festivals like Frameline and Outfest and we all have contacts at bigger print media like IndieWire, Screen International, Variety (who wouldn’t cover us it turns out), Filmmaker Magazine plus well known indie film bloggers like No Film School, Filmmaking Stuff and Film Directing Tips .  Then we have Jon Reiss who is a teacher, a filmmaker, an author and has many personal connections, his own fan base as well as industry connections at CalArts and IFP that he can call on to spread the word. And then there’s me and some people know me and when I ask them to help me, they do. Those people are all over the world and mostly on Twitter and Facebook so that helps. We all also do a lot of public speaking on panels, workshops, keynote addresses. The more visibly we are promoting the book, the more attention it gets.

We took these media contact names and their website traffic stats and festival names that are our connections and combined them with the well known (in indie film circles) brands of all of the authors and put them in a sponsorship deck that outlined what the book was going to be, who exactly it was written for, how we planned to reach those people, how the book would be distributed and how much coverage we were likely to get through our efforts and we chose sponsorship levels of support and the benefits associated with each level. We knew how much we needed to raise in basic development costs (because initially the book would only be digital) and later printing costs when we decided to print. We didn’t take into account our own fees for writing, that was gravy if we raised more than the development costs (we did end up with money for writing fees).

But what one needs to make off of sponsorship is beside the point to potential sponsors. They want to know how their objectives are going to be reached through sponsoring your project. When we sent out the deck to the sponsors, we crafted a letter that addressed why we thought their involvement would be beneficial to them. Knowing we were going to be launching at a large, annual event targeted at independent filmmakers helped our efforts because it wasn’t just a book launch into the market, it was coupled with a larger event with more media coverage which is valuable to a sponsor.

Next, we made lists of what companies we knew, who knew us and what we stood for and how we are known, and we sent them the sponsorship proposals. We also sent proposals to any company looking to reach the audience we would be targeting. At the end of the day, only the companies we had direct relationships with actually supported us. Even though many others showed interest, ultimately those companies didn’t pony up.

Since the book has been widely distributed for free and self published (so we hold all the rights and can do whatever we want with the book), we have had inquiries after we released about wanting to sponsor it and we will follow up to see where the fit is. We can’t put their ad in the printed copy for this printing obviously and we won’t be taking down the digital editions on Amazon or iTunes any time soon because it is a bit of a pain in the head process, but we have a website that can be sponsored, we have an active blog, we have a newsletter, we appear in person where we give shoutouts to our sponsors (by the way they are Prescreen, Area23a Movie Events, Dynamo Player, Gravitas Ventures, Topspin Media, SnagFilms, EggUp and other media sponsors listed on our website and in the copies of the book) so there are other opportunities for sponsors if they want to become involved.

It was also important to us and to our sponsors, that a version be available for free. Why? Free makes downloading the book a no brainer and the more downloads we have, the more the sponsors’ messages spread. Also, TFC is a non profit (on purpose!) entity and part of their mandate is devoted to education. This book is an educational resource and we wanted all filmmakers to be able to have the knowledge. We also wanted to get as much attention for the filmmakers who participated in the book as we could. Wins for all involved!

In my chapter of the book, I take a look at people distributing their work for free in order to serve a goal. It might be name recognition, building a following for subsequent work, raising funding (crowdfunding) or in the case of Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues, distributing her film for free and making money with other things.

You don’t use free to keep working for free. You use free to serve a purpose to something else that will get you paid and there needs to be a plan in place for getting that. In our case, we had sponsorship that allowed us to make money before even one copy of the book was sold. Free served the purpose of getting more eyeballs for the sponsors, more attention for the authors, building up a bigger base of  loyal filmmaker fans, those fans turn to us when they need to hire someone to help. Free is a means to another revenue stream. Those in the film business do A LOT of work for free but it has to have a defined purpose, a way to make money somewhere. There is no strategy to throwing up a film on Youtube for free. One has to determine what the strategy behind free is, what purpose is it ultimately going to serve? There has to be more revenue streams set up besides just making money selling copies of your film.

There must be other filmmakers out there who have successfully found sponsors. I welcome anyone who wants to share that information with us.

SXSW, upcoming film events, book to be in print

August 23, 2011
posted by sheric

Just a little update for all the readers here.

I am involved in 2 SXSW panel proposals for the 2012 festival. Both contain some pretty awesome people and information that I think you will all find valuable.

Connect with Fans + Reasons to Buy = $$$

This is a workshop/speed brainstorm type of event moderated by Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt , an online blog focused on analyzing and offering insight into news stories about changes in government policy, technology and legal issues that affect companies’ ability to innovate and grow.

My fellow panelists are Ross Pruden, founder of the Twitter discussion panel #infdist among other things and Jon Reiss, I think most of you are familiar with him. :) We will be taking  film project examples from participants in the room and dreaming up alternative revenue streams to help maximize your ROI. Gone are the days where you can be completely dependent on making money from selling copies of your film. When copies can be obtained for free online, you could try and sue, issue take down notices OR you could build in other ways to make money so that your revenue isn’t completely dependent on selling copies. New business models are emerging every day in other sectors, why not in film?

I envision a very high energy session with ideas flying out from everywhere so bring a recording device to catch them all. If you think this would be a much more useful session than just listening to the same industry folks sitting at a table talking about how bad everything has become, VOTE! We want to shake things up at SXSW.

Selling Your Film Without Getting F*#ked

Yes the title is a little racy, but we were told that’s what gets attention when people look through the event catalog to choose sessions they want to attend. Besides, you’re INDIE so you can take it.

This is a panel I am moderating and it will include several independent filmmakers who have traveled the distribution path less taken. All have retained some rights over their work and received attention and revenue for their films be it organizing their own theatrical tours, using festivals as a source of revenue by charging screening fees, or enlisting the help of high power industry people to champion their films. Some have even managed to do equitable deals with distributors! Our panelists are Ava DuVernay, Casper Andreas, Thomas Woodrow and our very own co author of Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul, Orly Ravid who is also the founder and co executive director of The Film Collaborative, a non profit (on purpose!) organization dedicated to brokering equitable deals mainly with the filmmaker in mind. If you would like to hear from real people in the trenches of the business of independent film who can offer you good and usable advice, VOTE for this panel.

moving on….

I will be traveling to 2 important independent film events in September. The first is the Business of Film Conference held at Rice University in Houston, Texas on September 10. I’m going to be speaking on DIY marketing, some of the tools you can use right now and how best to use them. I will also be on a panel with my friend Orly to talk a little about why we wrote SYFWSYS, key takeaways we learned through talking to all of our filmmaker participants in the book, and how The Film Collaborative helps filmmakers who are trying to negotiate the best distribution deals for themselves, not for the distributor.

Next will be our book launch at IFP Week in New York City. I am scheduled to be a panelist on Monday September 19 for Walking the Line: The Fine Art of Self Promoting Your Film so if you are attending that talk, come up and say hi after. Our launch cocktail party hosted by SnagFilms will be in the evening from 6-8pm and if you want to be invited, leave your email address on the SYFWSYS site under the Get tab. All of the authors will be in attendance and we will be selling printed copy books that you can have autographed if you want or just stare at us in disbelief! There will be wine and I will be having some.

Speaking of printed copies of the book, yeah there will be that option. I know what you’re thinking, this was supposed to just be a digital book with all the lovely bells and whistles currently available such as video, url links, social media sharing. It still will be that and for the month of September, right after launch on September 13, it will be completely FREE on ALL platforms thanks to the sponsors who have helped us make the development of the book possible. Starting in October, that price climbs to a whopping $4.99. But now, due to a multitude of feedback that says to me filmmakers aren’t the early adopters I thought they were, we will have physical copies of the book too just so you can highlight, dog ear and not worry about the battery life of your reading device when reading it. Gigantic thanks to our sponsors, Prescreen who upped their sponsorship commitment for this and Area23a Movie Events, for enabling us to go to print without any personal outlay of money. We are planning to have the physical copies in by our launch party on September 19 and you can leave a presale request on our site. I think a Topspin shopping cart is going to be implemented within days to allow for that. The retail price on the paperback is $19.95

Ok folks, we’re in countdown to launch mode. We have a tips series going on indieWire over the next few weeks. You can find our advice about things to know before you embark on the festival circuit here and audience building tips from me and some of the participants in the book here.

Help Us Choose a Book Title

May 4, 2011
posted by sheric

I may have bothered a few of you with this on Facebook to help narrow down the choices (thanks for taking the time!), but now we are asking all of our filmmaker friends to help us choose a title. This will be a digital book (to start with, other formats to follow but will be less cool) to take advantage of all the great ways to layer in content, context, additional resources and social media capabilities (c’mon how can we NOT?). It is due for release during IFP Week in September. I am co authoring it with The Film Collaborative’s Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Winter as well as Jon Reiss so you know it will be the real story, no sugar coating, real numbers. It will be a collection of case studies with practical advice from those in the hybrid distribution/DIY distribution trenches and I think it is going to be epic!!

We’ve got a good cross section of subject matter; documentaries, narratives and my chapter even includes a web series (as well as films) using P2P networks to distribute. I’m going to be taking a look at the piracy debate and creators who have chosen to use the internet as their primary distribution method. In the coming months, you will be hearing more about this, but we need your help to give it a name. Promotion ALL starts with a name. The choices are a mix of the academic to the subversive so we’ll see what wins out.

We will probably test more things like cover art too, but for now, please help us with this most basic element. You can take the survey right here

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VJDLH8Q

Update: we did arrive at a title. “Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul” will be released in September 2011. Thanks to all those who helped us choose!

PMD’s Should Know Deliverables

April 15, 2011
posted by sheric

If you don’t, don’t worry many inexperienced filmmakers don’t know all that is expected either to deliver the film to a sales agent/distributor for a theatrical and/or DVD deal. But since you have elected to undertake the job of marketing AND distribution, you will need to be keeping up with these elements all along the production phase.

I asked my friend Orly Ravid from The Film Collaborative to give me a list of the kind of deliverables distributors are requesting right now in contracts. She sent me a few and they all seem pretty boilerplate similar.

Initial Delivery Items

A.            PUBLICITY MATERIAL

1.            Key Art – Physical delivery of key art in fully layered photoshop files on CD.

2.            Advertising/Publicity Material – All publicity which may have been prepared in connection with the Picture, but not less than one complete set of all advertising materials available, including, without limitation, press books, posters and publicity material.  In addition, a written report of all additional photography in existence, including, without limitation, special shoots, photo agency art, etc. These materials may be delivered on CD or DVD.

3.             Artwork Images - Physical delivery of fifty (50) or more color digital images of cast/characters as they appear in the film (no behind-the-scenes) with a corresponding index in English including appropriate captions identifying the subject and scene depicted in each digital image.  Any and all approvals or other authorizations that may be required in connection with the use of said digital images will be secured and delivered.  These materials may be delivered on CD or DVD.

4.            Press Kits – Three (3) press kits which include a synopsis, production notes, biographies for key players, director, producer, screenwriter, and credit list of both cast and crew (and their English translations, if in a foreign language)

5.            Electronic Press Kit – If available, delivery of EPK Materials on Digital Betacam Videotape.

B.            DOCUMENTATION MATERIAL

1.              E&O APPLICATION – Completed and signed application for Producer’s Errors & Omissions insurance (Distributor to supply form).

2.            CAST/TALENT/PERSONNEL AGREEMENTS – Fully executed agreements for all cast, crew and other entities and related personnel who have been accorded paid advertising and/or screen credit.  For any person listed in the billing block or main titles who does not have an agreement, please deliver a signed Certificate of Ownership (form to be provided by Distributor).  ANY CAST/TALENT/ PERSONNEL AGREEMENT CONTAINING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, EXCLUDED AD OBLIGATIONS, PAID AD, KEY ART, OR ON-SCREEN CREDIT OBLIGATIONS, ARTWORK TITLE ENTITLEMENTS, CREDIT TIES, NAME AND LIKENESS APPROVALS OR OTHER RESTRICTIONS OR TIES SHALL BE DELIVERED TO DISTRIBUTOR WITHIN TEN (10) BUSINESS DAYS OF EXECUTION OF THIS ACQUISITION AGREEMENT.  If there are no such credit obligations included in these agreements, they may be delivered at any time up to the Initial Delivery Date.

(a)            Cast/Talent/Personnel Agreements must include a waiver of injunctive relief, “work-made-for-hire” language, and allow for the use of name and likeness.  If such agreements do not include the aforementioned language, Licensor will obtain signed Certificates of Ownership (form to be provided by Distributor).

(b)            Composer Agreements shall include the above-mentioned language and provide for underscoring on an all media buy-out basis (Distributor to provide a Composer Certificate of Ownership upon Licensor’s request), and evidence of payment shall be delivered for each composer of underscoring for the Picture.

(c)            Agreements shall be delivered with an accompanying English translation if not in English originally.

(d)            In the event that the Cast/Talent/Personnel Agreements for the Picture do not meet the above requirements and Licensor delivers Certificates of Ownership, Licensor will also deliver the defective Personnel Agreements if these agreements include any credit obligations, artwork title obligations, name and likeness provisions, or any other provisions that would have any bearing on the creation of artwork or marketing materials for the Picture.

3.              CREDIT INFORMATION – Statements and/or lists in English summarizing all contractual credit/likeness obligations applicable to the Picture, including, but not limited to the following.  Credits must comply with all applicable guild and union requirements, and any and all guild related waivers or determination must be obtained prior to Delivery.  LICENSOR MUST INFORM DISTRIBUTOR OF ANY EXCLUDED AD OBLIGATIONS, PAID AD, KEY ART OR ON-SCREEN CREDIT OBLIGATIONS, ARTWORK TITLE ENTITLEMENTS, CREDIT OR LIKENESS TIES, NAME AND LIKENESS APPROVALS, LOGO OBLIGATIONS, OR OTHER RESTRICTIONS, OBLIGATIONS, OR TIES RELATING TO THE CREATION OF ARTWORK OR MARKETING MATERIALS, WITHIN TEN (10) BUSINESS DAYS OF EXECUTION OF THE ACQUISITION AGREEMENT.

(a)            Screen Credits

(i)            A list of all contractual screen credit obligations.  (If there is no contractual obligation to accord a certain credit which has been accorded on screen, the “obligation” should be stated as “Licensor’s Discretion”).

(ii)            A typed list of the final main and end credits as they ultimately appear on screen.

(b)            Paid Advertising Credits

(i)            Artwork title credit obligations, inclusive of proper positioning information.

(ii)            Billing block credit obligations, inclusive of proper positioning information.

(iii)          Excluded advertising credit obligations.

(iv)            Any and all logos that Licensor is contractually obligated to include below the billing block in paid advertising, together with the underlying agreements substantiating any logo obligations, such as Sales Agency Agreements and Financing Agreements.  Any such underlying agreements shall be delivered to Distributor within ten (10) business days of execution of the Acquisition Agreement.  Logos must be provided on CD as “.psd” files in full color and B/W.

(c)            Key Art Obligations & Photograph/Likeness Approvals

(i)            A list of all cast members who are contractually entitled to appear in the key art and paid ads for the Picture, and/or whose contractual entitlement is tied to one or more other persons in the Picture, and/or who have been granted approval rights (as well as specifics regarding those rights) over the photographic images or artistic likenesses used in any artwork or marketing materials for the Picture (e.g. percentage of kills alone, percentage of kills with one other person, etc.).

4.            STATEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RESTRICTIONS – If requested, a statement in English from Licensor listing all dubbing, subtitling, editing, cutting and any other third party restrictions applicable to the Picture of which Distributor and its licensees must be aware.

5.            CHAIN OF TITLE

(a)            All documents evidencing proof of ownership and all documents evidencing proof of payment in connection with any transfer of rights (including, but not limited to, Writer Agreements, Option/Purchase Agreements, Assignments of Copyright; Assignments of Rights, etc) (translated into English if not in English originally);

(b)             A filed U.S. Copyright Registration form for the Screenplay.   If this form has not yet been submitted to the US Copyright Office, please allow us to approve the filing beforehand in order to avoid the time and cost associated with incorrect filings.  In the event that the endorsed registration form has not yet been received from the US Copyright Office (USCO), we will accept on a provisional basis a filing packet consisting of:

  • a copy of the Form PA as filed, a copy of proof of payment, and a copy of the courier receipt evidencing date of submission.  When received, a copy of the endorsed Form PA must be sent by Licensor to Distributor; or
  • a copy of the Form PA as filed, a receipt from Thomson CompuMark or other filing agency evidencing date of filing, and a copy of proof of payment. When received, a copy of the endorsed Form PA must be sent by Licensor to Distributor; or
  • a copy of the electronic Service Request Detail from the USCO reflecting the online filing of a Form CO (equivalent to the old Form PA), a copy of the e-mail payment confirmation, a copy of USCO bar-coded Deposit Copy Shipping Slip for Deposit Copies Sent to Accompany an Electronically Submitted Application, and a copy of the FedEx Airbill evidencing shipment of the DVD to the Copyright Office. When received, a copy of the endorsed Form CO must be sent by Licensor to Distributor.

(c)            A filed U.S. Copyright Registration form for the Motion Picture.   If this form has not yet been submitted to the US Copyright Office, please allow us to approve the filing beforehand in order to avoid the time and cost associated with incorrect filings.  In the event that the endorsed registration form has not yet been received from the US Copyright Office (USCO), we will accept on a provisional basis a filing packet consisting of:

  • a copy of the Form PA as filed, a copy of proof of payment, and a copy of the courier receipt evidencing date of submission.  When received, a copy of the endorsed Form PA must be sent by Licensor to Distributor; or
  • a copy of the Form PA as filed, a receipt from Thomson CompuMark or other filing agency evidencing date of filing, and a copy of proof of payment. When received, a copy of the endorsed Form PA must be sent by Licensor to Distributor; or
  • a copy of the electronic Service Request Detail from the USCO reflecting the online filing of a Form CO (equivalent to the old Form PA), a copy of the e-mail payment confirmation, a copy of USCO bar-coded Deposit Copy Shipping Slip for Deposit Copies Sent to Accompany an Electronically Submitted Application, and a copy of the FedEx Airbill evidencing shipment of the DVD to the Copyright Office. When received, a copy of the endorsed Form CO must be sent by Licensor to Distributor.

(d)            Title Report dated within sixty (60) days of Delivery, and a Title Opinion, if available;

(e)            Copyright Report dated within sixty (60) days of Delivery; and

(f)            Two (2) original Certificates of Authorship.

6.            IRS FORMS:

  • For domestic licensors, one (1) completed and signed original Form W-9.
  • For foreign licensors, one (1) completed and signed original Form W-8BEN.  Distributor will provide all foreign licensors with full instructions on how to correctly complete this form.

7.            FACT SHEET:  One (1) completed original Fact Sheet in English.

COMPLETE DELIVERY ITEMS

A.            FILM AND VIDEO MATERIAL:

1.              Pre-Print Elements

(a)            Lab access to the 35mm fully assembled original negative, if available

(b)            Lab access to the 35mm Interpositive of the full feature, if available

2.            Videotape Elements

(a)            Physical delivery of the following high definition (“HD”) videotape masters:

For 1.85:1 or 1.78:1 films:

HD Cam SR 16:9 (1.33 side-matted)

HD Cam SR 16:9 full frame (1.78)

For 2.35:1 (or other scope measurement) films:

HD Cam SR 16:9 (1.33 side-matted)

HD Cam SR 16:9 full frame (1.78)

HD Cam SR 16:9 (2.35)

Each HD videotape master shall be recorded at 1080/23.98Psf. Each HD videotape master shall have the 2-track LT/RT printmaster on channels 1 and 2, and the 2-track LT/RT M&E on channels 3 and 4, and the 5.1 Printmaster on Channels 5-10. Textless backgrounds for the main, insert and end titles shall appear sixty (60) seconds after Picture in each videotape master. The textless backgrounds shall be color corrected to match the corresponding texted shots.

(b) Physical delivery of a Digital Betacam NTSC broadcast quality 16×9 anamorphic videotape master (respecting the original aspect ratio of the film) and 4×3 1.33:1 master with stereo mix on channels 1 & 2 and separate music and effects on channels 3 & 4 and the textless background sections included after the Picture. These elements may not be conversions.

(c)            Physical delivery of the following Sound Elements on DVD-R, DA-88 or Magneto Optical Disc or Harddrive conformed to the final version of the Picture:

Stereo 2 track Printmaster

5.1 Printmaster

5.1 M & E printmaster w/ Dialogue Guide on Ch. 7 and Optional Audio on Ch. 8

Separate Dialogue, Music and Effects Stereo Stems

Separate Dialogue, Music and Effects 5.1 Stems

3.              Promotional and DVD Added Value Materials – Licensor shall deliver a minimum of twenty (20) minutes of added value materials for promotional purposes or for the DVD release, including, without limitation, all outtakes, deleted scenes, and trims, soundtracks (whether negative, positive or magnetic) produced for or used in the process of preparing the Picture, “Making of”/ “Behind the Scenes” featurettes, storyboards, interviews, alternate openings/endings, or commentaries.  Additionally, Licensor shall deliver all added value materials resulting from any theatrical release of the Picture, whether inside or outside the Territory. Should Distributor elect to create extra commentary or other added value content in connection with the video release of the Picture, Licensor shall cause the individuals listed in Paragraph 1 of the Agreement (i.e., the director, stars, and producers of the Picture) to render services in connection therewith. Delivery of A/V materials shall be on HDCam (if available) with Stereo Comp on Channels 1&2 and Separate Production audio and Music as .wav/.aiff files delivered on DVD.

4.              Foreign Language Dub Versions –

(a)            If available, physical delivery of the Neutral Spanish (i.e. non-Castilian) overlay.

(b)            If available, free access to the Neutral French (i.e. non-Canadian) overlay.

5.              SHOOTING SCRIPT

(a)            Physical delivery of the final shooting script of the Picture.

(b)            If available, physical delivery of the final shooting script of the Picture on disk.

6.             DIALOGUE CONTINUITY/SPOTTING LIST

Combined dialogue action continuity and spotting list containing all spotted dialogue, narration, sound vocals, all opening titles and complete end credits appearing in Picture, as well as a cut-by-cut description of the action of the Picture in its final form, with footage and frame counts showing footage in, footage out and total duration of each line of dialogue (translated into English if not in English originally).

B.            TRAILER MATERIAL:

1.              Videotape Elements

(a)            Physical delivery of a Digital Betacam NTSC broadcast quality videotape master with stereo mix (if applicable) on channels 1 & 2 and separate music and effects on channels 3 & 4 and the textless background sections (if applicable) included after the Picture.

(b)            Physical delivery of Sound Elements on DA-88 or Magneto Optical Disc conformed to the final version of the trailer, with separate Narration, Dialogue, Music, and Effects tracks.

2.              Foreign Language Dub Versions – If available, free access to the Neutral Spanish (i.e. non-Castilian) overlay.

3.              Foreign Language Dub Versions – If available, free access to the Neutral French overlay.

4.              Dialogue Continuity/Spotting List – Required only if Distributor uses Licensor’s Trailer.

Combined dialogue action continuity and spotting list containing all spotted dialogue, narration, sound vocals, all opening titles and complete end credits appearing in Trailer, as well as a cut-by-cut description of the action of the Picture in its final form, with footage and frame counts showing footage in, footage out and total duration of each line of dialogue (translated into English if not in English originally).

C.             DOCUMENTATION MATERIAL

1.              MUSIC DOCUMENTATION

(a)            Music Cue Sheet – A Music Cue Sheet in English stating for each composition in the Picture: the title, the composer(s), publisher(s), copyright owner(s), performer(s), arranger(s), usage, performing rights society, timecodes indicating where each cue appears in the Picture (“ins” and “outs”), as well as the film footage and running time.

(b)              Music Licenses – Fully executed synchronization and master use licenses on an all media buy-out basis for each item of licensed music used in the Picture with the Term stated as “in perpetuity” and the Territory stated as “the world” for each license.  Evidence of payment under each synchronization and master use license and composer agreement shall also be delivered.  Licenses and Agreements shall be translated into English if not in English originally.

2.              CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN – One (1) notarized original of a Certificate of Origin.

3.              MPAA RATING – A paid rating certificate from the Motion Picture Code and Rating Administration of America, Inc., no more restrictive than R.

4.              GUILD AFFILIATION LETTER – A letter in English, signed by the producer or director of the Picture setting forth all United States and foreign guilds and unions whose members rendered services on the Picture (for specific guilds, see below). If none, then a letter in English, signed by the producer or director of the Picture setting forth that no members of any United States or foreign guilds and unions rendered services on the Picture.

(a)            SAG:  If the Picture was produced under the jurisdiction of SAG:  Completed copies of the SAG “Final Cast Report” covering all actors engaged on the Picture, including without limitation actors rendering singing, looping and “voice-over” services in post-production. (b)            DGA:  If the Picture was produced under the jurisdiction of the DGA:  The name, social security number, loan-out information (where appropriate) and job description of all DGA members engaged on the Picture; and the DGA approval of the final main and end title credits, signed by an authorized representative of the DGA.

(c)            WGA:  If the Picture is subject to WGA jurisdiction:  The name, address, social security number and loan-out information (where appropriate) for all writers receiving credit on the Picture; a copy of the final WGA notice of final determination or credit on the Picture, signed by an authorized representative of the WGA; and the WGA approval of the final main and end title credits, signed by an authorized representative of the WGA.

5.              ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS / STATEMENTS – As applicable, copies of all agreements and documents relating to the Picture not delivered as part of Initial Delivery delivered with an accompanying English translation if not in English originally, including, but not limited to:

(a)            Minor confirmations:  If applicable, and to the extent required by applicable law, all talent agreements for all minors shall be confirmed by the court.  In the event that court confirmation is not applicable, a letter from an attorney in the jurisdiction in which principal production took place stating that the agreements are valid, binding and enforceable under the laws of said jurisdiction shall be provided.

(b)            Nudity Riders:  If applicable, all actors appearing partially or wholly nude on-screen, or in simulated sex scenes, must give written consent to such nudity.  If Talent Agreements do not include nudity language, Licensor will obtain signed Nudity Riders (form to be provided by Distributor).  However, if an actor is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), a SAG Nudity Rider must be provided even if language pertaining to nudity appears in Talent’s contract.

(c)            Clip Documentation:  If clips from other films are used in the Picture, Licensor shall provide copies of all necessary Clip Licenses, or permissions granting the rights to use the clips in the Picture (translated into English if not in English originally), and a proof of payment for each clip used.  Licensor shall also deliver a Clip Cue Sheet in English stating for each clip used in the Picture: the title of the original work, the licensor of the clip, the film footage and running time, and timecodes indicating where the clip appears in the Picture (“ins” and “outs”).

(d)            Releases – If requested, signed releases from all persons identified by name or likeness in the Picture, who do not have signed contracts.

(e)            Coverage – If requested, access to the original negative, answerprint, work picture, magnetic or digital soundtracks, filled music and effect tracks and the original sound recordings, of all alternative takes, cover shots looped dialogue lines and other materials (collectively referred to as “coverage”) for the purpose of re-transferring and / or conforming to rating requirements, broadcast standards and practices and censorship.

(f)            Dolby License – If applicable, a copy of the executed license agreement in full force and effect between the producer and Dolby Laboratories, Inc. in connection with the Picture, as well as a copy of the license with the appropriate digital entity (e.g. SRD, Sony Digital/SDDS or Digital Theater Systems).

(g)            Laboratory Access Letter – If delivering 35mm pre-print materials, Laboratory Access Letter in the form attached as Exhibit “E” to this Agreement, signed by the Licensor and each respective Laboratory and/or facility having possession of the preprint and sound materials for the Picture (all versions) and trailer(s), including film, sound and storage facilities.

(h) Negative Cost Statement – If delivering 35mm pre-print materials, a one line statement in English of the final negative cost of the Picture and signed by an officer of Licensor or a completion guarantor.

Whew! Best to print this out, organize it in a folder so you can keep track of the forms and other elements. While on bigger productions, many of the crew roles are tasked with keeping track of these items. On small productions, these things come as a surprise when they seek distribution agreements and to go back and pick these items up can be time/financially costly. Best to be prepared well in advance. Incidentally, Orly tells me that foreign distributors will often pay for delivery as part of the deal.

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 22

May 19, 2010
posted by sheric

Create a Grid of Rights 

It is important that you or someone on your team keep track of who has the rights to what. Most lawyers will never have the time to do this for you. You should create a grid and track it, because it can get confusing. Orly Ravid of The Film Collaborative who handles the legal on my deals has created such a grid for the rights on Bomb it.  She will be posting it on The Film Collaborative’s site soon – so stay tuned. 

Let me know what you think!  Follow me  @Jon_Reiss on twitter, or on the TOTBO Facebook page.  Check out the book and workshops here.  I look forward to hearing from you.

While I am in the middle of organizing the filmmaker troops and taking advantage of any promotional opportunity that arises to publicize LA Shorts Fest 09, I wanted to share some interesting video I found today thanks to Orly Ravid’s site New American Vision. It is a panel discussion with many heavy hitters, and up and coming ones, regarding the digital distribution landscape for filmmakers. If you have 30 minutes or so for each, give them a look.