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roninfilmer
03-08-2012, 07:36 PM
I am wondering what type of costs come with hiring a attorney to look over the distribution deal. And what would I have the attorney look at and do? Total confusion in this area.

Nick Soares
03-08-2012, 08:02 PM
Mine runs about $150 an hour

She can look at a distribution deal in a hour and let me know all the key factors.

If you get a contract, you sent it to your attorney and have him/her look over it and see where what it is in layman terms.

roninfilmer
03-08-2012, 10:36 PM
Thanks. I had alot of confusion around this.

Mike_Daniels
03-11-2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks. I had alot of confusion around this.

Hello, my wife is a attorney and 150.00 a hour is fairly priced, if you need to talk to her send me message and can have her give you some advice free of charge, she's always willing to help, Mike

Nick Soares
03-12-2012, 07:24 AM
^^ Extremely generous offer

roninfilmer
03-13-2012, 09:25 PM
That would be extremely helpful. I have a good 6 months before my movie is done. Hopefully the offer still stands then. Very kind of you.

Distribution 411
03-30-2012, 01:27 PM
Having a good attorney review your distribution contract is SO very important. This is where too many filmmakers drop the ball, and just sign whatever is given to them. Which is usually a boiler-plate contract. (i.e., One that greatly favors the distributor and not the filmmaker, so filmmakers always get screwed with these boiler-plate contracts.)

Never accept one of these. Always negotiate it. No legit distributor ever truly expects filmmakers to sign these, but will happily accept it if they do. Everything is negotiable. Everything.

But to answer your question...
You want to accomplish several things with any distribution contract, and a good entertainment attorney can assist. Such as:
1) Get the best deal possible for you & your film
2) Protect yourself from unethical and/or corrupt practices; if you have a well-protected contract, this will minimize problems.

Here's an example: Most filmmakers don't realize (until they've been through this process with at least one film) that getting Expense Caps in your contract is a legitimate and acceptable way to limit a distributor charging you endlessly for expenses. Which many will do if you haven't agreed to Expense Caps. Filmmakers are just so excited to be offered a deal, they dance on the dotted line and "trust" things will all go well. Then the distributor (or foreign sales company) charges hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses -- frequently total BS, and the filmmaker never sees a dime. You don't want this to happen. (Getting Expense Caps in a theatrical deal with a major distributor won't happen, but it is doable/achievable with every other market, from home video to foreign sales to VOD to cable.)

So besides negotiating and agreeing upon major deal points for your movie, you need specific language and clauses that fully protect you in all distribution contracts. There's about 10 areas that I "preach" filmmakers pay close attention to on this, Expense Caps being one. Hopefully the attorney you hire, is GOOD, and understands all these areas. That's something else.... you don't want just an entertainment attorney, you want one who truly understands distribution contracts and regularly negotiates them. This is your best protection for not getting screwed.

Good luck!

Nick Soares
05-17-2012, 06:21 PM
Great Info Distribution 411