As with nearly anything in life, there are dos and don’ts when you;’re dealing with your independent film distributor.. Also as with most things in life, there is (at least) one thing you can do that will irreparably harm your relationship with that distributor, and might even result in legal action taken against you. What is it? Read on to find out.
DON’T GO AROUND YOUR DISTRIBUTOR TO SELL YOUR FILM
Once you sign with a producer’s rep, sales agent, or Distributor for your project, they have the right to negotiate on your behalf. Many buyers won’t deal with filmmakers directly, so the point of contact will either be your producer’s rep or Sales agent.
While most buyers will appreciate the filmmakers helping to push the film, they will not be so grateful for reaching out to the the buyer directly about reports, or any other form of unapproved contact.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t help promote your film in ways that it makes sense to do so. See the blogs below for reasons why.
Related: WHY you should help your distributor MARKET your MOVIE
Related: HOW to Best COLLABORATE your Distributor MARKET your Movie
Another thing that you should be fine “selling” is whatever you need to fulfill any crowdfunding obligations like DVDs, Blu-Rays, and TVOD Screeners. Although again, you should make sure to negotiate this into your distribution agreement. That said, it’s never been an issue, although it might be subject to the same sort of advisement on timing as the Vimeo on Demand example above.
If you distributor does not agree to either of the stipulations above, you should consider walking. Here are some tips on vetting your distributor/Sales agent, and producer’s rep.
Related: How to vet your distributor/Sales Agent
Related: How to Vet your Producer’s Rep
The biggest thing you need to keep in mind is that no matter how much you disagree with the choices on artwork and marketing made by the distributor, you should not post any unauthorized sales links. If you do, you could be putting yourself in a pretty massive legal liability.
This one came out a little short, but thanks for reading anyway. If you like it and want to see more content like this, you should join my mailing list. You’ll get monthly blog digests segmented by topic, it’s like a short e-book in your inbox every month FOR FREE! You’ll also get access to my resources packet. If you want to support continued creation of free content, consider becoming a patron. Finally, if you’ve got a project you’d like a free individual consultation on, as well as consideration for my distribution, marketing, business planning, and financial services packets, use the submit your film button. Thanks, and see you next week.
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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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