All posts filed under: filmmaking & writing

6 Tips on How to Approach Decision Makers

1. Do your research correctly, so that you know exactly who you are approaching. Approaching the wrong person, or the wrong company with your request is counterproductive because after putting all your efforts and energy out, you will never hear back from them. If you are looking for a distributor or a sales agent, make sure the person you are approaching is indeed a distributor or a sales agent. 2. You only get one chance to introduce yourself and your project. Give yourself enough time to work on your longline, synopsis and pitches before you start sending that out. 3. Be 100% certain of what you are looking for. Everyone in the industry specialises in a different field, so make sure you know exactly what you are looking for and what your current needs are: is it a representation, a sales deal, production funding, production advice? 4. Work on your online strategy. I firmly believe that being able to find supporters and fans online can only make your project more attractive for the decision-maker to …

9 Tips That Will Help You Work with the Sales Agent or the Distribution Company

1. Always research the agency and distribution company you want to work with. There’s a lot of cowboys in this industry, and you don’t want to be a victim of one of them. 2. Before you start negotiating with either the sales agent or a distribution company, you should check what films they have successfully represented and what type of marketing and the promotional campaign they run for those films. 3. Both sales agents and the distributors may have hidden marketing, and promotional costs or representation/packaging costs (packaging is an umbrella word for so many different services, so watch out for that) added to your bill. This way, the sales agents and distributors often try to offset their general expenses. 4. Well established companies will not try to trick you into signing a dodgy deal. It’s the aforementioned cowboys you need to be aware of and always have someone else (preferably a lawyer) check the contract for you. If something in the agreement doesn’t feel right or there is something you don’t understand, ask for …

CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION THE NEW WAY OF DISTRIBUTING FILMS

The film distribution landscape is changing rapidly. Many filmmakers and production companies decide to cut out the middle man (sales agents) and go directly to distributors or VOD platforms with their productions. The reality is that finding the right sales agent, who would represent your film is a challenging task. The sales agents charge a lot of money for their services, often adding charges for extra expenses on top of their flat fee or % of the sales.A lot of the sales agents pass the films they should be representing onto an aggregator company. Those companies used to be distribution companies but since the model changed so much, some if not most became non-profitable in a sense they used to be. As aggregators, they prepare digital files for different VOD platforms, while charging filmmakers for that job, plus % of all the sales. Sales that will most likely have to be generated by filmmakers themselves via clever use of marketing and audience reach out. In the new creative hybrid distribution model, filmmakers often keep digital …

Traditional Way Of Film Distribution

You have finally finished your film and decided that the best way to distribute your work of art is with the help of a sales agent. A good sales agent (in the perfect world but remember, filmmaking business is far from perfect) will represent your film at markets, film festivals, introduce you and your film to distributors, and try to sell your film to networks, hotel chains and airlines.  However, in reality, many films are sold in bundles combined with other films that are either the same genre or touch on the same or similar subject matter. Sales agents usually put catalogues of films together and try to sale them for one flat fee to TV stations or local distributors. Ideally, sales agents should try to sell films they represent to distributors, who in turn distribute those films to cinema chains, TV networks, hotels, airlines, or the VOD platforms. In the traditional model of film distribution, the sales agents are the link between the filmmaker and the distribution company. However, currently, this model is quickly changing, …

Can a Sales Agent Stop a Filmmaker from Contacting the Distributor Directly?

In short, a sales agent cannot stop a filmmaker from contacting a distributor directly, as long as the latter didn’t sign a contract with the sales agent. If one did though, they have to check what the said contract says about directly contacting the distributor. If it’s you, make sure you will not be in breach of your contract, if you get in touch with the distributor/s directly. However, if you haven’t signed a contract with the sales agent but only have been casually talking about your project and potential representing you and your project, you will have to decide if you want to build a long-lasting relationship with this particular sales agent or not. If you decide that the relationship isn’t too important, nothing should stop you from contacting distributors directly. What to do when you decide to contact a distributor directly? – Before you reach out to a distributor, check their website to see what type of films they represent. If the distributor makes a point of saying on their website, “no unsolicited …