Gregory James Routt
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This information will cover the main element provisions of an agreement to distribute filmed entertainment, usually made between a manufacturer or licensor ("Producer") of a film and a distributor ("Distributor"). These agreements are critical to the process of film making; without them, films would not be considered by the public.
This provision covers the specifications of the film to be delivered by the producer Gregory James Routt to the distributor. Can it be a color picture or black and white? Which kind of film will undoubtedly be used? (35 mm vs. 16 mm) Just how long or short must the film be? For feature films, it is typical for the distributor to require that the film be no shorter than 90 minutes and no further than either 105 or 120 minutes. Producers with a more impressive name, and hence more leverage, however, may have the ability to negotiate for more freedom as it pertains to the acceptable period of the film. Lastly, the distributor will often require that the film be capable of receiving an MPAA rating of no further restrictive than an "R", or "PG-13", depending on the type and intended audience of the picture.
It's important for the parties to acknowledge what territory or territories the distribution agreement covers. Some distribution agreements are for worldwide rights to distribute the film; others cover just domestic or foreign rights. This provision can also cover whether or not the producer is obliged to provide a subtitled version of the film so it can be shown in foreign markets.
The parties must agree concerning just how long the distributor's exclusive rights will last. This term is measured from the date of delivery. The distributor may also desire to negotiate for the right to match any offer concerning extending or renewal of the term.
4) Rights Granted
Here is where in actuality the agreement will construct that whether or not the distributor is receiving the exclusive right under copyright and otherwise to exhibit, distribute, advertise, promote, publicize, market, sell, manufacture, license and otherwise exploit the picture in the territory during the definition of, in every kinds of theatrical, free television, pay cable, subscription cable, and any other medium agreed upon by the parties. The scope of rights given to the distributor will be different from agreement to agreement. However, usually the right to market the film through commercials and billboards accompanies the right to distribute it.
5) Definition and Disposition of Gross Receipts
"Gross receipts" is just a term utilized in the film industry to measure the success of a film. While there's a generally accepted definition of gross receipts, the agreement should nonetheless define the term. Usually gross receipts means "any and all gross sums actually received by the distributor, arising out of or in connection with the exercise of the rights herein contained." Minimum guarantee payments, advances, and/or security deposits usually are contained in gross receipts. By contrast, "net receipts" should really be defined as well. Broadly speaking, the definition of "net receipts" is defined as gross receipts minus all distribution expenses.
After providing these definitions, the agreement must spell out what percentage of the gross or net receipts the producer is entitled to and what percentage the distributor will keep. For instance, a typical arrangement is for the producer to be entitled to 80% of the internet receipts, and distributor entitled to 20%. This split is clearly negotiated by the parties.
These are the main provisions of a video distribution agreement. Other provisions covering distribution expenses, credits, representations and warranties, and termination rights should also be covered. But it is most important for the producers and distributors to first acknowledge the territory, the definition of, the specification of the picture, the rights granted, and the disposition of gross or net receipts between the two parties.
Gregory James Routt is just a Motion Picture Distribution Agreement Research Analyst for http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0746161/.