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Old 02-07-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
Platt69
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

Overall they want the "half" of the production cost, we would be listed as Executive Producers and then they want 15% of any distribution or licensing deals that they secure. We would prefer it not be scripted by them since the expertise is coming from the talent. You're right - I'm asking them for a budget to see what the "real" dollars are.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

I would be very wary. You said you answered an ad? Did the "you have to pay half" element get mentioned in that ad? And what are their contacts that will help them set up a distribution deal?

This has red flags all over it to me.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

I agree with you on the red flags - no, they didn't put in the ad that we would have to bear half the cost. I talked to them today and got a budget and a tax ID number...no results when I tried looking it up. I asked about meeting before we sign anything and they said it's not customary to meet before. They said there will be contact, then a pre-production meeting the day before filming...I may be a bit old school having not done this since I was acting, but I would expect to meet producers before signing a contract or doing business with them...they are in NY and we are in the midwest...??
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

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Originally Posted by Platt69 View Post
I agree with you on the red flags - no, they didn't put in the ad that we would have to bear half the cost. I talked to them today and got a budget and a tax ID number...no results when I tried looking it up. I asked about meeting before we sign anything and they said it's not customary to meet before. They said there will be contact, then a pre-production meeting the day before filming...I may be a bit old school having not done this since I was acting, but I would expect to meet producers before signing a contract or doing business with them...they are in NY and we are in the midwest...??
And the red flags keep popping up.

Seriously... they want you to sign a contract and put funding in place, and you'll meet "the day before" you start shooting. The distance between your location notwithstanding, there's a reason productions have months (or at least weeks) of pre-production prior to shooting. There are tons of variables that have to be ironed out. To have one pre-production meeting the day before shooting, and to only meet your business parters the day before, seems a little... foolish.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

Walk away.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

I don't want to be a naive idiot...I want to walk away and I think that the concept we have is very unique and if so there should be other opportunities to produce it without having all of these red flags...

I found out the distrubutor that the merged with this year. We contacted the distributor and got a reply back that they were aware of the project and excited about it. They also gave us contact information for any questions.
http://www.worldwidedistributors.org/
Here's the link - World Wide Distributors, Inc...anyone know of them? Their website claims that: " Worldwide Distributors is a highly respected Global independent distribution company representing outside producers and television stations from around the world. Its considered the leading distribution company in the US for reality show programs, Documentaries as well as cooking and lifestyle content."

During our conversation yesterday the production company said that they send out a look/feel synopsis to the networks before filming and if they're interested they come in for the filming of the pilot. I don't understand how the financial end works, though. Just because you have a distributor doesn't mean that you're going to make money - is there any way to look at a potential return on investment? If 15% goes to them, we are Exec. Producer...I'm going to have to fork out more money to film more episodes...? What's the typical breakdown of the rest of any profit that's out there? We really should be doing this with an agent...? I'm a business person now and stopped acting a long time ago...maybe just out of the game for too long. They said that you used to be able to pitch to networks with a synopsis but now they want HD pilots in hand to pitch...

Interesting learning experience for a lot of people out there, I guess...I've seen these adds all over the internet in different cities while I've been researching.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

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Originally Posted by Platt69 View Post
I don't want to be a naive idiot...I want to walk away and I think that the concept we have is very unique and if so there should be other opportunities to produce it without having all of these red flags...

I found out the distrubutor that the merged with this year. We contacted the distributor and got a reply back that they were aware of the project and excited about it. They also gave us contact information for any questions.
http://www.worldwidedistributors.org/
Here's the link - World Wide Distributors, Inc...anyone know of them? Their website claims that: " Worldwide Distributors is a highly respected Global independent distribution company representing outside producers and television stations from around the world. It’s considered the leading distribution company in the US for reality show programs, Documentaries as well as cooking and lifestyle content."

During our conversation yesterday the production company said that they send out a look/feel synopsis to the networks before filming and if they're interested they come in for the filming of the pilot. I don't understand how the financial end works, though. Just because you have a distributor doesn't mean that you're going to make money - is there any way to look at a potential return on investment? If 15% goes to them, we are Exec. Producer...I'm going to have to fork out more money to film more episodes...? What's the typical breakdown of the rest of any profit that's out there? We really should be doing this with an agent...? I'm a business person now and stopped acting a long time ago...maybe just out of the game for too long. They said that you used to be able to pitch to networks with a synopsis but now they want HD pilots in hand to pitch...

Interesting learning experience for a lot of people out there, I guess...I've seen these adds all over the internet in different cities while I've been researching.
I have not heard of that company before... and looking at their website, I have not seen any of their shows on television. And I watch a LOT of reality TV. I think that has to say something (the "on the air" thing, not the amount of reality TV I watch... that's another topic. ), that the entire library of this company's shows are "available for worldwide license" and haven't actually BEEN licensed by anyone. My best guess? You show would join their other ones... as an entry on their website, where they try to get other people to pick the show up. Promoting a list of available properties on an internet site is not real distribution.

I agree with what the other posters have said... this looks like a production for hire gig. Which means you pay them to produce an episode of the show and they have a partnership with this "distributor" to advertise the project on their site. Unless you have a distributor, network, etc. that is contractually agreeing to provide production funding (and your fees) for this venture, I think it's safe to assume that you're probably going to be paying out of pocket for every episode that's shot. Is this distributor, World Wide Distributors offering to put up production costs, or pay you a licensing fee for each episode? Are they actually putting your show on a verifiable distribution channel (broadcast, cable, premium channels, reputable website, etc.) other than their own website? If not, they're not really a distributor... they're a sales agent looking to turn it around to someone else and take a percentage of that sale for themselves.

All of their other shows say, "Available for worldwide license." Which means no one else has paid them to license the show. Which means that they haven't made any money from the show. Which means they haven't paid any money to the people who funded the production of those shows. Just sayin'.

On an overall note, I don't say this to be harsh... but you've got four other people on this thread who are replying, all in the negative. Each time you present more information, we reply and say, "This doesn't look right." And then you present more information, and the reply is again, "This doesn't look right." The most positive thing anyone's had to say about this opportunity so far is that it may be production for hire, so maybe it's not a total scam, which is still a far cry from, "Wow, that sounds like a great opportunity." Is there a point at which you're either going to believe us and pass, or ignore us and take this opportunity?

I'm honestly asking, not because I want to make you feel bad, but because at this point, I'm not sure what more I can contribute to the thread. I can keep analyzing these piece of information you're providing... but my advice is going to remain the same. I think it's a bad idea.

Maybe it's a scam, maybe it's a legitimate production for hire venture. Maybe it's someone with good intentions who thinks they can distribute but hasn't hooked a network yet. Regardless of the intentions, this looks a heck of a lot like a situation where you're paying money to produce a pilot that I don't think these guys have the ability to get you paid for. And in that case, I don't see the benefit to entering into an agreement with them where they get a portion of your profits.

I think it's a bad idea. I vote that you walk away because I think this is going to cost you money with very, very, very little chance of a return on your investment. But ultimately that's a decision you're going to have to make. You said yourself at the beginning of your post that you want to walk away and find a different opportunity without so many red flags. I agree; I think you should do that.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Producer wants talent to share cost

You're right...and I'm not trying to do the "keep talking and remain stupid" thing I am listening and I VERY VERY much appreciate your input and your time to look at this. It just represents a very important dream for my partner and a subject matter that is very close to heart so we're trying to be careful. It would be good to find an agent that could get it where it needs to be and has the ability to navigate this for us.

We just talked to them and gave our perspective. They said this is their business model and might take payments instead of all of it up front. They also went on about who they have gotten on national TV - one is http://www.stressfreecooking.com/ who has a reference to them as her distributor and used them to film her pilot.

We will find another way to make it happen, though...Anyone want to talk about a great opportunity??!
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