When do I get paid after a distribution deal?

Below will help you with cash flow forecasting when writing your film’s business plan. Movie investors will want to know when to begin recouping their investments.

All Rights Deal: An all rights deal normally happens with one of the mini-major movie studios. If you get an advance then you’ll normally see that money within thirty days of the signed agreements, verified QC (quality check), and all the deliverables. Further payments can take 3-6 months and will draw against your initial advance with balance information.

US DVD Deal: You will  normally receive 50% of the agreed amount in advance and the other 50% after the deliverables are received by the distributor. Some distributors will want to pay the remaining 50% of the advance upon release of your film, but try to avoid this if you can because it could take 6-12 months before you see your second payment. When negotiating royalty payments, shoot for quarterly.

Foreign Distribution Deal: Normally 50% on signature of contract (you draft your own contract using an AFMA/IFTA template which is good because you don’t have to wait for them to do it). Try to collect the other 50% when you give them the QC and deliverables. Don’t let foreign distributors do payment plans because it can get messy.

This info is from my notes from The Insider’s Guide to Independent Film Distribution by Stacey Parks.


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