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Should the cast and crew be making money off of a movie in this type of scenario?

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  • Should the cast and crew be making money off of a movie in this type of scenario?

    I took a volunteer job to help make a feature film and I worked as one of the production sound mixers and boom operators. We all did it for free, to gain experience, which is fine, cause we are not sure if it would be successful or not.

    Which is fine, I like working for free to gain experience. But the thing is, fast forward to four years later, and the movie has now gotten distribution and is making money. But it seems that the producers as far as I know, are the ones getting all the money and all of us who worked on it for free, are not. I just thought that if the producers and director are making money off of it then maybe the cast and crew should make something from that as well, even just a little? But maybe I'm just being unfair about it, and that's just the way it goes sometimes maybe?

  • #2
    Any revenue sharing needs to be written into the contract before the movie is shot; anyone who is not included at that point will get nothing. And from the producer's perspective, it's a long way from SOME money coming in to fully recouping your investment and making a profit.
    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    • #3
      Oh okay, why is it a long way coming since it has gotten distribution?

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      • #4
        What is "a long way coming"? Their revenue? That's the way it goes sometimes (often). Next time you'll know to ask for points (aka revenue) on your contract. You may or may not get it, but you definitely won't get it if you don't ask & get it in writing.
        Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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        • #5
          Oh you said it was a long way till they see money, so I was wondering what is making it so long since they got distribution?

          But as for getting it in writing, okay thanks, I will do that :).

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          • #6
            ... having worked on MANY "no budget" independents to gain experience I can offer a "below the line" opinion. Mara is right... if you wish to get "something", ASK for something (points, backend, etc.). Just because the project has gone to distribution does not mean the producers have made any money at all. Recouping production costs on indie's is exceedingly rare, even when accepted for distribution. Your fee was realized in the "experience" you gained... per your agreement....

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            • #7
              Oh okay thanks. Out of curiosity, since the movie was sold to a streaming service, why won't it make any money? Cause no one wants to watch a movie without names in perhaps?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ironpony View Post
                Oh okay thanks. Out of curiosity, since the movie was sold to a streaming service, why won't it make any money? Cause no one wants to watch a movie without names in perhaps?
                ..... just one of many reasons really. Story, acting, film quality, etc,etc. can lead to failure as well as success. Having recognizable names is a HUGE advantage in viewership but has its pitfalls as well.

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                • #9
                  Oh yeah, what would those pitfalls be?

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                  • #10
                    ... with "known" talent comes certain "demands", and "requirements" that sometimes can be at odds with the smooth flow of an independent film. Budgets constraints can be forced upon other departments (camera, sound, lighting, etc.) because "known" talent rarely comes cheap. This can effect the over all quality of the finished product as well as create animosity among your crew that is on a low/no budget. This isn't always the case... as some older, perhaps less marketable actors in their later career can be absolutely WONDERFUL to work with and often offer sage advice as well as a recognizable name. It can really vary, and the producer/director really needs to do their due diligence if they go that direction...

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