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Old 04-24-2005, 05:23 PM   #1
Blade_Jones
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Advice on Euro distribution offer

We have an offer (by a broker) to fetch us around 400,000 cash for ALL rights to one of our films in Europe (or Germany, as I'm not sure because I didn't get all the details). So it's a lump sum payoff. The broker wants to pocket 10% (or 40 grand). Any opinions?

Who are the main buyers of indie films in Europe?
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Old 04-25-2005, 12:26 AM   #2
filmscheduling
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I imagine the broker is going to Cannes next month.

Well, if the broker is legit and you made the film for $100-$360k that is great, and if you made it for $2M that is not so great. Ask the broker point blank who they are going to sell it to and why they can get access - brokers/agents are often former Studio VP's/suits.

Find out when the lump sum gets paid, whether or not Prints and Advertising gets charged against the sum, what your deliverables are (will have you have to blow up to 35mm?), etc. The broker will probably say "I don't know yet, it depends on the buyer" but at least this will help you hear the thinking processs.

Read "Down and Dirty Pictures" for more insight into the shenanigans surrounding this process..

For humor value allow the broker to earn 10% commission on $400k, but demand that it must be all spent in 3 nights in Monaco.

Last edited by filmscheduling; 04-25-2005 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 04-25-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
clive
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This is great news for you.

Filmscheduling has given you some great advice, the only thing I'd add is that it's hard to make a profit on any film in just one territory. There is a good arthouse cinema network in Europe and the TV networks tend of buy pay quite well for film, so Europe is a good market, maybe sometimes better than the USA because the countries are smaller and each have their own TV networks. This means more oportunities, but smaller returns per sale.

It's important that you know whether you're selling the rights to Europe as a whole or just Germany. Europe is massive now, from the UK all the way over to Croatia in the South and Scandanavia in the North. That's a lot of potential sales areas. What makes it more complex is the diversity of tastes, so what might sell well in Germany would probably bomb in France.

The only other thing I would say is make sure you get a good media lawyer to look at the deal before you sign. Film sales is an incredibly complex business and it's possible to wipe out your entire profits on a film by cutting the wrong deal. A good media lawyer can not only protect you, but also negotiate a better deal.
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