22 Jun The Ins and Outs of Hollywood Film Distribution – Premiumbeat
Securing film distribution might be the most challenging part of the entire filmmaking process. Here’s what it takes to get your project in front of an audience.
Top image via KRVS
The process of film distribution is incredibly interesting and somewhat complex. Fear not — we’re going to break it down in very simple steps and terms. The foundation for the following information comes from The Business of Media Distribution by Jeffery C. Ulin.
Please note that the distribution process we’ll be covering is the standard “Studio” process.
Step 1: Selling Film Rights
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The very first step in the distribution process is selling the rights to your film. You should have a deal in place with a producer before rolling on a single camera. With big movie productions, the film rights are secured by a major studio before production even begins. In some cases, even before pre-production.
Intellectual Property (Ulin, pg. 56)
It is vitally important to note that the majority of filmmakers establish their own production company, usually an LLC. This production company holds the copyright to the intellectual property, thus allowing the creator some control over how the property gets made. At this point the filmmaker would sell the rights to a producer, who would give the filmmaker an option fee. There is no standard option fee.