INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Why Cash Flow is King in Distribution
By Stacey Parks
This week in my Business Plan Boot Camp we had a discussion about Cash Flow & Sales Cycles. Translation: once you have completed film and you take it to market and try to sell it and get distribution deals, you're almost never paid your license fee 100% up front. In fact, most of the time you're paid a small up-front deposit (30%-ish), and the balance is paid over several months or even a year. And that's assuming you get an advance in the first place...
What if you're making royalty-only (or 'backend') deals which are more common in the indie world? Then cash flow gets pushed out a year or more since you have to wait for the distributor or sales agent to first recoup their marketing expenses (that you darn well better be negotiating a cap on) and THEN they start paying you quarterly or whatever your agreement is with them.
This never ceases to surprise new producers since they just assume they make a film, they sell the film, they get cash. When in reality, if and when you sell the film, your actual revenue takes 6-18 months to start trickling back to you. This is important for a few reasons... mainly because you want to be able to communicate this to your investors effectively so they don't erroneously assume they'll be cash-flowing back their investment any time soon, and also you want to know this for your own peace of mind so you can manage your expectations of the distribution sales cycles.
Ligiah Villalobos and Kenny Ortega on Board With New NBC Series
From Latin Heat Online
An unprecedented race to put a hit Latino family series on broadcast network TV is on. The most recent announcement comes from NBC where Ligiah Villalobos (Under The Same Moon/La Misma Luna, Go Diego Go, Ascending Diego) has been hired to write the script with top choreographer/director Kenny Ortega and Steve Stark will executive produce with Todd Robinson serving as a non-writing producer. [Kenny Ortega and Ligiah Villalobos are both NALIP Outstanding Achievement Award Winners, and Villalobos is an LWL and LPA mentor.]
The as yet untitled project is in development and centers around a multi-generational Latino familly who runs a Latin dance studio in Miami. Ortega is also set to direct.
Ortega, Stark and Robinson developed the world and the characters on the show, drawing on personal stories centered around their families and their connection to dance. Universal Television is producing with studio-based Steve Stark Prods.
The other Latino family drama series announced earlier this season, also about a Latino family in Miami, is Fox's dramedy written and executive produced by Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. Over at CBS a pick up of 8 episodes of the Untitled Rob Schneider Project has been ordered. The comedy is writted by Schneider and Lew Morton. Morton, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) are executive producing. The comedy is scheduled to begin airing in 2012.
Villalobos has worked as both a network and studio executive and successfully transitioned into a career as a TV and film writer/producer. She produced the 2000 Emmy Nominated film Dancing in September as well as the 2006 HBO film Walkout directed by Edward James Olmos. However, it was in 2007 that she hit gold with Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) the US/Mexico co-production indie film that was made for about $1.7 million and went on to gross $23.3 world wide, exhibiting in only 454 theaters at its highest distribution number.
Villalobos' goal is to write and develop projects that change the images of people of color in media. She has definitely been doing that. As to her reaction to working on the upcoming series for NBC, Ligiah said, "I am thrilled to be writing this pilot for NBC, the network that bought my very first project as a writer over 10 years ago when I decided to make the transition from entertainment executive to writer. It is great to see a network actively looking for diverse projects that reflect our society."
Paradigm-repped Ortega career is already Hollywood lore. From choreographing the original Dirty Dancing (which he is now on board to direct the remake) to directing the hit High School Musical franchise and the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, his involvement in this project is key. He not only brought his background in dance to the story but his understanding of the Latino community as well, which will speak volumes in the storylines.
CAA-repped Stark executive produces USA's Fairly Legal. Villalobos is with ICM and Levity.
Deadline Approaching: San Diego Latino Film Festival
The Normal Entry Deadline is approaching for Media Arts Center San Diego's 19th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival. SDLFF will take place March 8-18, 2012 at the UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley at Hazard Center located in beautiful San Diego, California. Last year's festival was attended by an audience of 21,000 actively-engaged film lovers, filmmakers, actors, programmers, distributors, industry representatives and journalists.
Normal Entry Deadline: November 4, 2011
Late Entry Deadline: December 9, 2011
Click here for details on how to enter.
Back Stage Magazine's Actorfest LA, Nov. 5
Back Stage will partner with NBC, Telemundo, mun2, Disney Parks & Resorts to produce an open audition on November 5, 2011 during Actorfest --a one-day event for performers held at California Market Center. Basic admission is FREE.
During Actorfest attendees will be able to:
* Attend workshops hosted by casting directors, agents, managers, and instructors
* Visit the Exhibit Hall where performers can find the tools they need to advance and invest in their careers including headshot photographers, acting coaches to the stars, voice training professionals and more
* Participate in casting calls with big name networks and studios
* Take part in "Meet & Drop" sessions with popular casting directors for feedback on presentation
* Interact with peers in the networking cafe
Everyone must register to attend Actorfest. Basic Admission to Actorfest is FREE and includes the exhibit hall, open casting calls and entry to the cafe. Special pricing packages available for workshops and panels. Seating for workshops is on a first come basis. Meet & Drop sessions are FREE to attend. NALIP members receive a 20% discount on packages with discount code PARTNER20LA.
For more information on the event, location specifics and audition details, interested candidates can visit www.actorfest.com.
NBC Universal Internship Preview Night in LA and NY
NBCU's Campus 2 Career team is partnering with APA@NBCUniversal (Asian Pacific Americans) to give you the chance to gain real life experience at one of the worlds leading media and entertainment companies for the Spring 2012 semester
NBCUniversal Internship Program Preview Night
West Coast: November 9th / East Coast: November 16th
Interested candidates please send your resumes to email@example.com by Friday, October 28th.
We're looking for students, 18 or older, who are:
- Passionate about entertainment
- In pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, or Graduate degree
- Eligible to receive academic credit
- Of Sophomore standing, or higher with a 3.0 GPA or above
- Authorized to participate in a U.S. internship
This is an all Affinity Group Event