<< I don't know if this has been discussed before and if so, apologies
for not being attentive to it. I just received a call from an
independent producer who has been approached by a distributor from
Japan who wants to put his film onto his website for broadband
delivery. The filmmaker is wondering what the normal financial
arrangement for this is. Does anyone have a clue?
I get these calls about once a day and the broadband distributor almost never
wants to put up any money and I simply and kindly refuse. Some legit websites
offer from $5,000 to $12,000 for an independent foreign feature for 3+ years
versus 25% to 30% of the revenues, depending on the popularity of the film.
Keep in mind that many cable and TV stations insist on the web rights as well
so it can prevent a future television deal.
I rarely ever suggest anyone takes no advance from one of these sights since
most are IPOs trying to strike it rich and don't have the filmmaker's best
interests at heart. On the other hand, if it's a respectable company and
website, and the filmmaker needs exposure more than money, it isn't the worst
that can happen to a film. I would suggest that the filmmaker asks for a list
of references including other filmmakers and producers and insist on only a
six month to one year contract so his film's rights don't disappear forever.
This, by the way, is the short answer. The long one involves hiring an
entertainment lawyer to protect the filmmaker while working out a proper deal.
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035