Guest: Brandon Paine
Head of Acquisitions for Shoreline Entertainment
Topic: Film Distribution
Yes we are artists and we make film for the love of filmmaking. But if we can get distribution and make a few bucks that will go a long way towards helping us make more films! With that in mind I invited Brandon Paine of Shoreline Entertainment on the show to talk about just that.
Brandon offered some great insight into what he and his company look for in films they are interested in representing. I think there was very good general information discussed as well as personal preferences as well. In other words, not all companies will be the same and it is up to you to research distributors to find the best ones for you to submit to.
While Brandon said he gets roughly a thousand submissions a year, he looks at everything that comes in. On the show (and when talking to me off camera) Brandon sincerely encouraged filmmakers to submit their work to him. If you missed it, watch the show to get a better feel for Brandon, it will help if you contact him.
One of the interesting topics we touched on is artwork. The filmmaking books say that filmmakers underestimate the importance of artwork and that it is a necessary ingredient to sell a film. If you don’t have good stills/ artwork, that will hinder your chances for distribution. While still saying it’s important, Brandon had a little bit of contrary take to this.
We also had a good talk about deliverables. What I want to ad here is these will vary from distributor to distributor or sales agent to agent. So unless you know in advance of making your film who your distributor or sales agent is going to be, air on the side of caution and have or be in position to have all possible deliverables. For example, one deliverable that we did not discuss on the show that my sales agent required of me is a QC Report. For this I had to take my digi-beta master to a qualified post house and have them examine my master for sound (including any background noise), picture, and for any flaws whatsoever. Think of it like a rectal exam for your master. This cost a few hundred bucks, and of course they found a few errors that only techs could catch, but in order to get a passing report these “fixes” cost me around $1,900. Some companies might require a title or script clearance, mine did not. In short, contracts with cast and crew, music clearance, masters, stills, location releases, E & O insurance and a little money set aside for the unexpected are a good start. But check out what Brandon had to say on the show and do your own research as well!
Okay this blog is getting long, my A.D.D. is kicking in and I don’t want to give away too much. So let me finish up by saying Brandon brought four good clips of movies his company is repping. If you’d like to approach his company, their website and contact info is at the top of the blog. Below are a couple of distribution references you can look into.
A good website to check out is the independent film and television alliance. They have a free listing of sales agents/distributors. The list is not complete but the site is a good reference.
Thanks for stopping by!