So there’s a lot of questions about what’s involved in Distribution Deliverables for an independent Film. So I’ve scoured a few contracts to find a very thorough list of what you might need to provide for a distributor or Sales Agent if they take your film. Since this list is quite expansive, there may be some stuff on here that most distributors do not ask for, but If figured it best to know what you might have to be able to provide
Given how massive this list ended up being, I’m actually going to break this out into 4 parts. This part is the basics, the next part will be deliverables used in internationalization and marketing, part 3will be legal, and the fourth and final part will be some of the stranger and incidental things you might have to provide, or be willing to pay for the sales agent to provide.
All of this being said being said, even though this list is massive, I may have missed something, so definitely talk with your post house supervisor, lawyer, and editor before submitting these items.
Lets Dive right in.
1. Color Stills and Photographs (50):
These color stills and photographs are generally not meant to be Behind the Scenes photos. They’re meant to be stills from the movie itself to be used in various forms of promotion.
2. Screeners (50)
While many distributors/Sales Agents have moved to providing internet screeners through services like Vimeo, some still prefer DVDs. These distributors generally won’t want you to put a watermark of any kind on the film. I’d be hesitant on this due to piracy concerns, but I’m putting it on here because I found it in a contract.
3. Digital Promotional Trailer
Unsurprisingly, the sales agent will want a trailer to help with sales. It's extremely important in market meetings with buyers.
4. Credit/Billing Block
This is just a listing of all credits for the film, to help the distributor keep up with legal obligations.
5. Certified Statement with Contractual Obligations.
This statement is just so the distributor knows how underwater you are with investors, and more importantly debtors. Among other things, the distributor wants to know that they won’t lose the film because the bank took it from you.
6. Tax Payer Information: W8/W9
The Distributor is paying you, and they have to pay their taxes just like anyone else.
7. Layered Keyart
Sometimes the distributor will need to make changes to your
8. 4k Technical Sample.
If you’re delivering in 4k, The distributor will also need a 4k sample to show buyers in market meetings. That’s what this is.
9. 100% QC'd HD ProResHQ or 4444 Master .mov Files:
If a sales agent is going to sell your movie, then they’ll need a copy of it. They may ask for a few versions for SD, and they may also ask for a 4k version. There will be a lot of technical specs you’ll have to match exactly, and you’ll have to undergo a QC Check from a professional lab.
10. Bluray Market/Festival Screening Masters
These are for screenings the sales agent might want to do for buyers in any of the provided market screening rooms.
11. Master Audio Files
They are going to need the stems for the film. Every once in a while, sales agents need to make edits for other markets. That’s where these come in.
12. Copy of Music Score: Digital Files
Sometimes when you cut a film to comply with censorship in other countries, you’ll need to mask some cost by replacing the score. That’s why they need some original files for the score.
13. Certificate of Full QC Pass
A QC Check is required for any distribution you would actually want to have. This generally involves sending the completed film to a lab, and and having every part of the film checked to ensure it’s in broadcast quality. Generally this sort of check costs around 1500 per time you have to have it checked. That means, if you fail your QC check, you’ll have to pay to have it done again. I may do an entire post on the QC check process in the future, if I do, I’ll post it below.
Thanks for reading! This is the first of several posts covering Deliverables for Distribution. Check back Next week for more!
In the meantime, if you’re gearing up for distribution, you may want to consider submitting your film for representation or signing up for a FREE Strategy session with Me! Both of those links are below. In the strategy session, I’ll help figure out where you are, and how to get you to the next steps in your indie filmmaking career. If you submit your film, I might just help you get a distribution deal.
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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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