We work with independent filmmakers who are looking to take the distribution of their film into their own hands.
It is possible but most filmmakers run into several key issues that usually end up making it either financially and creatively costly. Those key issues are:
1. COST: In most cases, self-distribution will cost between $13,000 – $20,000 just in service fees to get their film on half the platforms that are available. Then there is the cost of marketing, which can run between $5,000 to $50,000+ just for social media, direct mailing and/or limited VOD or SVOD marketing. In addition, if a you add a limited theatrical, the cost could skyrocket to well over $100,000+
2. NO EXPERIENCE: Most filmmakers are well versed in developing and producing a film, but less than 1% of filmmakers have any “real” experience distributing and/or marketing a feature film. This lack of inexperience comes at a real cost when trying to negotiate the right terms for each rights window. What is fair? What is standard? What is realistic? And if you do manage to reach final terms with platforms, how do you know what to look for? Are you getting a fair deal? Hiring a distribution consultant is very expensive and in most cases not cost efficient to the process of “self-distribution” you are trying to undertake. Thousands of dollars could be lost because of rights windows that are improper exploited or negotiated.
3. “ONE TIMER” ISSUES: “One Timer” issues refer to the lack of negotiating power a single filmmaker has over any platform because of the lack of future business and/or flow of steady product that a filmmaker is unable to provide a platform / distributor. One example is in the SVOD market, a well-known and established SVOD distributor (i.e. – HULU, NETFLIX, AMAZON, etc…) will not be likely to pay a significant MG or provide favorable splits to a single filmmaker because those deals are reserved when a library or “slate” of films are being acquired at once. Filmmakers don’t have the bandwidth and financial structure to provide a constant supply of content to a platform, so all pictures are bought for the lowest price possible or not acquired at all if the demands for their rights are unrealistic or unreasonable by the rights holder.
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An “MG” or “minimum guarantee” is an advance that is paid by a distributor for the secured rights of a motion picture. Typically, MGs are paid upon full delivery of a feature to the distributor per the delivery terms set forth in the agreement, which is negotiated by the Sales Agent. MGs can be disbursed all at once or over years of an agreement, it all depends on the rights and how a distributor exploits those rights.
Premium VOD & VOD (Video On Demand), Digital Download, Digital Rental, Ancillary, and Hard Media Sell Thru (Amazon) are all platforms that Dauntless has pre-set terms for.
SVOD, Cable/TV and Hard Media Sell Thru & Rental are all rights that Dauntless negotiates on an individual basis for each film. The value of these rights vary based on the scope, scale, notoriety, appeal and accolades of the respective film, so in the best interest of achieving the most favorable, financial term; Dauntless negotiates these rights per film. In some cases the final agreement for these rights might be a split deal, an MG, a royalty agreement and/or a hybrid term that could include a corridor to first revenues for a particular period of time and/or financial amount.
Regardless of the rights structure, TKD provides the content owner with either 90 or 95% of all adjusted net revenues that are received by Dauntless Studios for the exploitation of each right window.
In essence, “TKD” or “Turn-Key Distribution” is a distribution option in which a filmmaker, producer and/or production company distributes their feature film on almost all revenue generating platforms in North America; using a hybrid of pre-set and negotiated terms that have been secured by Dauntless Studios. The “Turn-Key” aspect of the distribution involves the that a tier fee is paid to access TKD platforms, cover all tier marketing costs, servicing fees and consulting services.
Yes. In the current market landscape, a well executed theatrical release which is in concert with a distributor’s role out of other right windows, can drastically change the success of your film. Additionally, a turn-key theatrical also helps the film stand out from the sea of low to modestly budgeted feature films. Technology has been a godsend for filmmakers and the new revenue streams are as welcomed as a gleaming critic review, but this has also creates new marketing issues that only a theatrical release can truly overcome. Furthermore, a limited theatrical release has also become the barrier of entry for a wide array of North American distribution options. These options are not available to films that release directly to VOD or ITUNES. In most cases, a limited theatrical release can increase the overall revenue generation of a film between 125% to 385%.