Exclusions to Producer's Fees from The Budget

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  • #16
    Let me note one other little thing about all this and it's not to be depressing, but rather something to keep in mind (for any and all).

    You note, "IF the lead producer gets in on ANY profits that may arise after film breaks even (if it does)... I get 15% of those profits."

    Think about that number for a moment. It's 15% of what the producer nets when it's all said and done. The question becomes, it's 15% of what percent?

    You are probably aware of all this, but just as a reminder. So let's say the film is made for $1 million all in. Every little thing including all distribution costs. Then it brings in $2 million from box office, streaming, etc. Thus, $1 million in net profit. Now the producer might only be getting say 5% of that net which would be $50,000. From that, your percent would be $7,500. Nothing to sneeze at, but not huge either -- most certainly not $150K.

    Thus, I would keep a scenario such as that in mind. It might make all kinds of money, but with creative accounting, etc. the net profit drops fast. And depending on what percent of the net profit the producer gets, you then get 15% of that. The pie could get sliced up and you might get a tiny bite of one slice.

    What would nice to ascertain is, what percent of the net profits for the film is the producer actually entitled to? Then roughly try to figure out what the film might realistically make and go from there. Again, it sounds like you are locked in already, but maybe this can help someone else down the road to some degree or another.

    Hopefully some others can offer up some personal experiences in terms of what they have been through with these types of deals and payouts.
    Will
    Done Deal Pro
    www.donedealpro.com

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Done Deal Pro View Post

      I see. Well, as noted here and in other threads, probably best to somehow get a lawyer involved for some of this minutia and any legal entanglements that go with your life rights vs. the book.

      Granted, I'm not a lawyer, but in paying for the book rights, they are buying your story and in a sense your life rights too. Right? Producers can go to a "real life" individual and simply buy their life rights and there is never a book (or anything even written) involved. If the producer buys the rights to an article or news story then as I recall they will then pick up life rights from the individual or individuals in the article. But that's to cover their bases and have their involvement to some degree -- a "signing off" on the project, if you will.

      Generally, what we list on the main site involving these type of elements is an author or journalist wrote something that was not about them, so when the producers acquired that material they went out and also picked up key life rights for the people the author/journalist wrote about. Two separate things. In your case, you're one in the same person, so to speak. You are the author and the subject.

      Again, since there is a book involved they are paying you for, I'm not so sure how much one can divide up every little right or angle on the rights to get any more money for you. It would be a nominal fee at most for your life rights, I'd think, especially if your life/story isn't some highly sought after story. Not sure it's worth the effort to become "that guy" over possibly "nickel and dime'ing" them to death. By selling them the book and being a producer on the project, etc. it's more than implied you are on board. It seems like you've "sold" your life rights to them and what they might need. If anything, the rights of other key figures involved might be needed to possibly protect themselves (producers).

      Tough to say, depending on various factors. This simply might have to be a situation in which you are involved with something that gets made, you get a little bit of money and then you look to leverage any attention and experiences you have from it to do more.
      Hi DD. Soo glad you have given this advice--throughout. I have not signed off on any of the terms. We had come to what I thought was a 'meeting of the minds' on an agreement, but the exclusion clauses gave me pause. Also of note: I do own the book rights... but I'm NOT the subject of the book. However, i did also secure the exclusive film story/life/character rights of the subject and those of major characters. So I control both the book's film rights AND the subject of the book/film story/life/character rights. Again... the terms have not been signed due to the sudden appearance of the exclusion clauses. I've conveyed my concerns and we are to discuss. That's why I'm seeking advice... to likely re-structure to a sum certain payable upon first day of principle photography. But you are right on point as to thre production co. wanting the 'story/life/character rights' to notonly protect themselves but to also have the subject and a couple family members participate in an authentic manner.

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      • #18
        Just to reiterate: you need an entertainment lawyer, at minimum. A lot of the stuff you're counting on (on set visits, consultation) are often ignored and you have no recourse.

        You seem like you're at a moment where you'll have the most leverage you'll ever have: you haven't signed yet and they've invested time.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Done Deal Pro View Post
          Let me note one other little thing about all this and it's not to be depressing, but rather something to keep in mind (for any and all).

          You note, "IF the lead producer gets in on ANY profits that may arise after film breaks even (if it does)... I get 15% of those profits."

          Think about that number for a moment. It's 15% of what the producer nets when it's all said and done. The question becomes, it's 15% of what percent?

          You are probably aware of all this, but just as a reminder. So let's say the film is made for $1 million all in. Every little thing including all distribution costs. Then it brings in $2 million from box office, streaming, etc. Thus, $1 million in net profit. Now the producer might only be getting say 5% of that net which would be $50,000. From that, your percent would be $7,500. Nothing to sneeze at, but not huge either -- most certainly not $150K.

          Thus, I would keep a scenario such as that in mind. It might make all kinds of money, but with creative accounting, etc. the net profit drops fast. And depending on what percent of the net profit the producer gets, you then get 15% of that. The pie could get sliced up and you might get a tiny bite of one slice.

          What would nice to ascertain is, what percent of the net profits for the film is the producer actually entitled to? Then roughly try to figure out what the film might realistically make and go from there. Again, it sounds like you are locked in already, but maybe this can help someone else down the road to some degree or another.

          Hopefully some others can offer up some personal experiences in terms of what they have been through with these types of deals and payouts.
          Again... you raise salient points indeed! ---------------I shall endeavor to ascertain what % of the net profits producer is actually entitled to. And again--I'm not locked in. Nothing signed. The exclusion clauses were added about a week ago... and I immediately raised my objection to them. So that's the status. We are to discuss. With the A-List actor and strong co-actor already having done extensive interviews with me and the family as well as performing extensive script writing duties on the project...I believe we will come to an understanding--and I genuinely get along extremely well with these cats, having gone the distanc on this journey with the co-star/co-writer. Lol

          As regards the likely slim pickins on any net profits making their way into the producer's pocket then a tidbit drizzling into mine: Yup, I'm aware the crumbs-if any appear at all-may not have much substance to them. So I'm thinking in addition to securing a fair sum for what I'm bringing... I might as well keep the 15% of the producer's crumbs that may fall into that pocket. Lol If the long-shot should come in, and say it brings a crazy 15m --then my % of his % becomes 112k. Lol Now we all know that's unlikely... but with a true A-List cat on board... the budget could get fat and every year a few home runs are hit. Hey. Who knows. Fun to dream. You have been a godsend and a fountain of sage advice. I'm going to try my best to get at least six figures for my assets. Ask for for $185k range. BUT definitely wait till I hear budget forcast AND just exactly what Producer cut of net profits is. You are Admin of a terrific site. And you are bad-azz! Thank you

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jazzed View Post

            As regards the likely slim pickins on any net profits making their way into the producer's pocket then a tidbit drizzling into mine: Yup, I'm aware the crumbs-if any appear at all-may not have much substance to them. So I'm thinking in addition to securing a fair sum for what I'm bringing... I might as well keep the 15% of the producer's crumbs that may fall into that pocket. Lol If the long-shot should come in, and say it brings a crazy 15m --then my % of his % becomes 112k. Lol Now we all know that's unlikely... but with a true A-List cat on board... the budget could get fat and every year a few home runs are hit. Hey. Who knows. Fun to dream. You have been a godsend and a fountain of sage advice. I'm going to try my best to get at least six figures for my assets. Ask for for $185k range. BUT definitely wait till I hear budget forcast AND just exactly what Producer cut of net profits is. You are Admin of a terrific site. And you are bad-azz! Thank you
            I'm confused by this. Typically the writer will get 5% of the net. It's standard. Why aren't you getting that? Not like you'll see a dime either way, but 5% of the overall net is better than 15% of 5%.

            Also, are you writing the script? Or are they writing the script based on a book you wrote?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by docgonzo View Post

              I'm confused by this. Typically the writer will get 5% of the net. It's standard. Why aren't you getting that? Not like you'll see a dime either way, but 5% of the overall net is better than 15% of 5%.

              Also, are you writing the script? Or are they writing the script based on a book you wrote?
              They just finished 2nd draft of script based on my book. (when I pitched the project I also had a screenplay--decided against using it)

              So I'm not the writer. My initial thought was: 5M-8M budget.(not settle yet, but with A-List actor hopefully it's higher) 15% of budget to producer fees: Lead producer should get lion's share; I'd get 15% of that. I felt that would be ok. But when exclusions popped up on overheadhead and offsets-- not to mention profits attributed to investments, assigned equity, grants or deferrals --- all of which had never been mentioned before-- it seemed I should take a closer look.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                Just to reiterate: you need an entertainment lawyer, at minimum. A lot of the stuff you're counting on (on set visits, consultation) are often ignored and you have no recourse.

                You seem like you're at a moment where you'll have the most leverage you'll ever have: you haven't signed yet and they've invested time.
                Mr. Lowell, Short, sweet, and on the money. As usual. Thank you!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hi Jazzed. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, been really busy with a new job. I'm sending you a PM for an entertainment attorney.
                  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    Hi Jazzed. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, been really busy with a new job. I'm sending you a PM for an entertainment attorney.
                    Thank you!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      You're welcome.
                      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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