What is compensation pie for elite docuseries??



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  • What is compensation pie for elite docuseries??

  • #2
    Since no one has jumped in yet, I will note a few things.

    One, I'm far from experienced in the Reality TV show world. (I've only done feature films and hourlong TV series.)

    Two, in the last ten years roughly, we've listed nearly 1,900 reality show type ideas. Only 46 of those had someone listed as the "creator." In terms of TV series we listed as "documentary," we listed 123 deals and less than a handful had any kind of person listed a writer/creator.

    Thus, it's probably unlikely you would get that credit. Yes, anything is possible, but unlikely since this would be a docuseries and not a fictional series created completely out of your imagination. Unless, of course, you've generated tons of written documents, mapped out all the episodes and worked countless hours fleshing a first season out, then, maybe. Who knows? Without more truly specific details it is tough to say.

    The main (harsh) question you need to keep in mind is, why do they need you? You note you are bringing in the material, but that means little if that's all you are literally doing. (They could pay you a few finder's fee dollars to just go away.) This is a situation when I think you absolutely need an agent in the Alternative, Unscripted and/or Factual division of a sizeable enough agency to rep you. Possibly even more so than a lawyer. You need someone who knows this landscape and is familiar with deals of this nature and what the give & take is for agreements such as this one.

    You could possibly negotiate a "shared card" credit as an Executive Producer in opening credits, if the family/estate involved will standby you to get that. Hopefully you have a fairly ironclad agreement in writing with them. Otherwise, money talks and verbal agreements walk, most likely.

    In terms of the money, you might be able to negotiate getting paid per episode produced, but always a bit tough to say. One of the "great" things about docuseries/reality shows is the cost is fairly low, thus the company and/or network is looking, of course. to pay you much. Sounds like it could be an interesting series, but tough to say at this moment without more details. And if production companies are going to and real producers are needed to be brought to produce all this, then how much "wealth" there is to spread around will get divided and diminished quickly.

    If this is truly in play and looks like it could happen, you must get a rep that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you will most likely be sadly disappointed in what you get from all this. Now if you don't really care that much about anything other than maybe some credit and a very few bucks, then do what you need to do.

    But I recently "helped" a bit in terms of advice & feedback for a friend on a book/memoir they wrote which a company is the process of optioning -- truly close to being done. (This would be the third option on his book.) One of the things the company wants to at least consider doing is a reality show based on what my friend actually does for a living currently. Now he will/would get a decent chunk of money per episode if a realty show is done, but then he is the center of it all. And it's not being done through or with someone else, as is your case, so to speak. It's directly him and with an established entertainment lawyer looking all over officially. (I've just provide red-lined feedback on the agreement to try to help.)

    You can do some Google searches, if you haven't already, for info which might help you a bit more. There are some articles and documents on this subject out there I even dug up from a quick search. Maybe not perfect by any means, but they could help a bit.
    Done Deal Pro
    Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 06-29-2021, 06:11 AM. Reason: Clarifications
    Done Deal Pro


    • #3
      Originally posted by Done Deal Pro View Post
      notabsolutely need