The term producer’s rep has been given a bad name. A lot of people think that Producer’s reps are just money grubbing middlemen (or middlewomen) who don’t add any value to your project. As a producer’s rep myself, I’d like to take issue with the narrative that producer’s reps are slimy con artists who will overcharge you without adding value. Unfortunately, I can’t. For the most part, the rumors exist for a reason.
So with that in mind, here are 5 ways to vet your producer’s rep
Ask what their up front fees are.
If you’re simply looking for a rep to broker your completed film, then the up front fees should be very low, or non existent. With a bad rep, this will not always be the case.
I’ve heard stories of other reps charging 5000 dollars to represent a film to various sales agencies. If the Rep got you a deal, the rep would then retain 35% of all money from that deal. This is without even negotiating for a better deal with the sales agency, essentially just making a few calls and writing a few emails.
Related: What Does a Producer's Rep DO Anyway?
For straight representation/brokerage services, I charge nothing up front, and as of this writing I don’t even charge recoupable expenses. I charge 10% for connection to sales agents, and 18% if I sell directly to buyers. (Generally only domestically.) I also negotiate with sales agencies and buyers to get you/us the best possible deal.
That being said, brokerage tasks for completed films are the only thing I don’t charge up front for. For other tasks, I either charge by the hour or by the job, sometimes with performance bonuses or deferments.
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If they’re offering to represent your movie, they had better have watched it. If they try to say that they don’t remember the film because they watched 8 last week, they’re probably lying. I watch 5-8 a week. If I’m making an offer I’ve probably watched it all. If I don’t think I can sell it, I stop after 20 minutes.
Most sales agents and Producer's Reps have a similar system. If they can't say some specifics about your film, they're probably lying about watching it.
3. Look them up on imdb.
If you want to check out what I’ve done, here’s my imdb,
4. Ask them who they have direct relationships with
While I won’t list the ones I’ve worked with here, I will tell you if you ask me when on a call or after you submit your film below.
5. Call 3 of their previous clients
Right below our Sponsors (who you should visit)
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I was wondering if you are still currently representing filmmakers as a Producer's Rep. I am developing the screenplay for an animated series, and I would like to know what your fees are upfront and during the process of the project?
Thanks in advance,
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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