Exclusions to Producer's Fees from The Budget

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  • finalact4
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    You're welcome.

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  • Jazzed
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    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!

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  • finalact4
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jazzed
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Jazzed
    replied
    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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  • docgonzo
    replied
    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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  • Jazzed
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jazzed
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Done Deal Pro
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Done Deal Pro
    replied
    Originally posted by Jazzed View Post
    And I'm the third producer: who brings to the table the story rights and life/character rights that the film will be based on. That is what I'm looking to be compensated for. Started the project from scratch... I'm going to be on set--as an observer (my idea:. I'm a novice and wish to stay in my lane but have a bird's-eye view) I Have the right of consultation on creative decisions. (I'll be on the inside as **** happens giving my 2 cents... but not wielding any real power.... lol) I get a % oF producer share of net profits. 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. Any awards ceremonies --I'm in on. Transportation and lodging for the above. Just looking to secure my end for story rights and life /character rights.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jazzed
    replied
    Thanks DD. So I got a nominal amount for book rights and a credit for 'Based on the book by... And I got a producer credit--did not take the offered an co-exec or co-producer credit --for life/character rights I secured from the subject of the film's heirs. Thanks for the links. So I'm looking at it like... I got the rights from the family to do the book, wrote a screenplay to attract interest for a film... got the interest-- connecting with the actor who will co-star --who connected to the producer who then brought on A List actor. So my POV; one producer brings the money. Another producer brings the ability/experience to physically make the film. And I'm the third producer: who brings to the table the story rights and life/character rights that the film will be based on. That is what I'm looking to be compensated for. Started the project from scratch... I'm going to be on set--as an observer (my idea:. I'm a novice and wish to stay in my lane but have a bird's-eye view) I Have the right of consultation on creative decisions. (I'll be on the inside as **** happens giving my 2 cents... but not wielding any real power.... lol) I get a % oF producer share of net profits. 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. Any awards ceromonies --I'm in on. Transportation and lodging for the above. Just looking to secure my end for story rights and life /character rights
    I own exclusively.

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  • Done Deal Pro
    replied
    Originally posted by Jazzed View Post

    Hi Very well thought out and sound approach on virtually every front. I may not have been clear: I wrote the book the film will be based on. I own the character/life rights to the subject the film will be based on. So... the WGA minimums and related %'s spoken of are for screenwriting... which they are not using my script. I did write a script... but they never showed an interest in it. The star and c-star are writing the script. So that's what I'm bringing to the table. I connected with the co-star... had the book, script, and liffe/character rights---there were a few years of waiting for his schedule to have daylight--as he was building a nice acting career. I was patient. He wrote a rough draft himself... brought it to a proven producer who got the A-List actor on board. The actor and co-star-- both with writing credits decided to write it themselves with a new approach. I put my screen wrting ego aside and thought, 'let's ride'. Happy to get these cats on board and they're excited about things. Definitely don't wanna rock this boat... just looking for what standard in the industry would be. The exclusion clauses are what caused me to look at another route as we initially agreed and no exclusions were ever mentioned... so my position doesn't look as promising with those exclusions in place... so I'll look to exclude the exclusions or as you suggested... get a sum certain via a floor. But what are the expectations for one like me who brought what I did to the dance? --Note: Of course they are looking for the biggest budget they can generate... the A-List element helps a lot...and producer is proven. Co-star is solid.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Invaluable.
    Ah. I gotcha. Yeah, that is a slightly different story. So you are looking for what you should be paid for the rights to your book only. Right?

    In case, the same basic rule could still apply. They may be adapting your material but the fact there is so much there already to use in some ways makes writing the script a little easier relative to starting with nothing. So maybe 2% of the budget for your story/book is still fair -- and get a floor and ceiling.

    Not again that it might help that much in the long run, though it could depend on what you want to do next, but get an EP credit. Why not? You still created the overall foundation for the movie and I'm sure it'd be nice to at least (feel) like you are part of the project and have a bit of a voice. (Not sure if you are wanting to go to set or what they will allow or even cover you for in terms of cost. But take a credit, especially if they are not paying you a whole lot.)

    In addition, be sure they give you a "Based on the book by credit" in the main titles and hopefully as single card credit -- meaning it's not shared. It should also be the same size as everyone else's credits -- director, producer, script writers, DP, etc. If shared, it should go on the same card as the screenwriters' names -- shared card but no other credits on there.

    And to save some typing timing, here are links to a few articles about selling your book rights that might help a little too:

    https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-...u-need-to-know

    https://www.sidebarsaturdays.com/201...w-you-want-it/

    https://www.quora.com/How-much-shoul...how-is-it-paid

    Hope this helps.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jazzed
    replied
    Originally posted by Done Deal Pro View Post

    Roughly 3% or even a little less isn't such a nutty number for someone who wrote the script which the entire film will be based on. Granted, a writer won't put in the blood, sweat & tears a producer does physically getting a movie made. Those are some long, long days with lots of stress. But you are the god of the world. There wouldn't be a film without your script, and I say that with all the humility in the world for writers.

    Now many out there -- not just writers -- take a lower salary to get their career going so nothing "wrong" with that. A successful movie can mean more to a career than just cash-in-hand in the long run. Mainly I'd say, try to get above scale, particularly if they have raised millions and millions to make it. As previously noted, you're pretty much guaranteed to not see anything after the payment for your script based on various factors. Thus, try to get what you can now to cover you for your hard work and keep you going until hopefully your next project.

    Also, if the "A-list" star is doing rewrites, they might very well try to muscle in on your credit; thus get what you can to help soften the blow. If you already make some decent money from other work or just have some money in the bank, then get your script made without too much fuss possibly. Sure. But fair is only fair. 3% or even 2.5% of the budget as a payment isn't unreasonable. But you are right, they will surely balk at that a little if this is your first sale with no rep and depending on the budget.

    Try to find out what they are looking to make the movie for, before you mention any numbers -- if you haven't already heard. Then figure a number based on that working with that percent as simply a guide. A floor and ceiling are a decent way to go for everyone's sake. Think about what's the least amount of money you'd be fine selling your script for. Maybe add $10K to that -- -- then work from there. And if you can't get the budget out of them, try to find comparable films and research what they spent and work with those numbers as reference. If an A-lister is involved, then somewhere in the neighborhood of WGA minimum isn't unreasonable. You sound grounded enough, and that's great. You don't want to walk in and demand $5 million for your script. Just get a fair enough shake for your hard work at least. Cover you for your time to write the script.

    At the end of the day, the question in many ways is, what payment can you personally live with and not have (too much) regret in the long run?
    Hi Very well thought out and sound approach on virtually every front. I may not have been clear: I wrote the book the film will be based on. I own the character/life rights to the subject the film will be based on. So... the WGA minimums and related %'s spoken of are for screenwriting... which they are not using my script. I did write a script... but they never showed an interest in it. The star and c-star are writing the script. So that's what I'm bringing to the table. I connected with the co-star... had the book, script, and liffe/character rights---there were a few years of waiting for his schedule to have daylight--as he was building a nice acting career. I was patient. He wrote a rough draft himself... brought it to a proven producer who got the A-List actor on board. The actor and co-star-- both with writing credits decided to write it themselves with a new approach. I put my screen wrting ego aside and thought, 'let's ride'. Happy to get these cats on board and they're excited about things. Definitely dont wanna rock this boat... just looking for what standard in the industry would be. The exclusion clauses are what caused me to look at another route as we initially agreed and no exclusions were ever mentioned... so my position doesn't look as promising with those exclusions in place... so I'll look to exclude the exclusions or as you suggested... get a sum certain via a floor. But what are the expectations for one like me who brought what I did to the dance? --Note: Of course they are looking for the biggest budget they can generate... the A-List element helps a lot...and producer is proven. Co-star is solid.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Invaluable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Done Deal Pro
    replied
    Originally posted by Jazzed View Post

    Hi DD. So I see a lot of articles stating the lead producer gets like 5%. is that a fallacy. Just thinking how to justify me asking for 3%-- no experience. I'll let y'all know what transpires. Thanks again. I'm on board now on getting a sum certain... then a lil delayed gravy perhaps that is not counted on.
    Roughly 3% or even a little less isn't such a nutty number for someone who wrote the script which the entire film will be based on. Granted, a writer won't put in the blood, sweat & tears a producer does physically getting a movie made. Those are some long, long days with lots of stress. But you are the god of the world. There wouldn't be a film without your script, and I say that with all the humility in the world for writers.

    Now many out there -- not just writers -- take a lower salary to get their career going so nothing "wrong" with that. A successful movie can mean more to a career than just cash-in-hand in the long run. Mainly I'd say, try to get above scale, particularly if they have raised millions and millions to make it. As previously noted, you're pretty much guaranteed to not see anything after the payment for your script based on various factors. Thus, try to get what you can now to cover you for your hard work and keep you going until hopefully your next project.

    Also, if the "A-list" star is doing rewrites, they might very well try to muscle in on your credit; thus get what you can to help soften the blow. If you already make some decent money from other work or just have some money in the bank, then get your script made without too much fuss possibly. Sure. But fair is only fair. 3% or even 2.5% of the budget as a payment isn't unreasonable. But you are right, they will surely balk at that a little if this is your first sale with no rep and depending on the budget.

    Try to find out what they are looking to make the movie for, before you mention any numbers -- if you haven't already heard. Then figure a number based on that working with that percent as simply a guide. A floor and ceiling are a decent way to go for everyone's sake. Think about what's the least amount of money you'd be fine selling your script for. Maybe add $10K to that -- -- then work from there. And if you can't get the budget out of them, try to find comparable films and research what they spent and work with those numbers as reference. If an A-lister is involved, then somewhere in the neighborhood of WGA minimum isn't unreasonable. You sound grounded enough, and that's great. You don't want to walk in and demand $5 million for your script. Just get a fair enough shake for your hard work at least. Cover you for your time to write the script.

    At the end of the day, the question in many ways is, what payment can you personally live with and not have (too much) regret in the long run?

    Leave a comment:

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