Pre-Sale – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Film Distribution Glossary Terms

I. What is a Pre-Sale in Film Distribution?

A pre-sale in film distribution refers to the process of selling the rights to distribute a film before it has been completed or even produced. This is a common practice in the film industry, especially for independent filmmakers who may not have the resources to finance a film on their own. Pre-sales are typically made to distributors, sales agents, or other industry professionals who are interested in acquiring the rights to distribute the film in specific territories or markets.

II. How Do Pre-Sales Work?

Pre-sales work by filmmakers and their representatives (such as sales agents or producers) pitching their film to potential buyers, who then make offers to purchase the distribution rights. These offers are typically made based on the script, cast, director, and other key elements of the film. Once a pre-sale agreement is reached, the buyer will provide the filmmaker with an upfront payment, which can help finance the production of the film.

III. What Are the Benefits of Pre-Sales for Filmmakers?

There are several benefits of pre-sales for filmmakers, including:
– Securing financing: Pre-sales can provide filmmakers with the necessary funds to finance the production of their film.
– Building buzz: Pre-sales can help generate buzz and interest in a film before it is released, which can attract additional investors or buyers.
– Distribution: Pre-sales can help secure distribution for a film in multiple territories, ensuring that it reaches a wider audience.
– Risk mitigation: Pre-sales can help mitigate the financial risk of producing a film by securing revenue upfront.

IV. What Are the Risks of Pre-Sales for Filmmakers?

While pre-sales can offer many benefits, there are also risks involved, including:
– Creative control: Pre-sales agreements may include terms that limit the filmmaker’s creative control over the final product.
– Revenue sharing: Pre-sales agreements often involve revenue sharing, which means that the filmmaker may have to share a portion of the profits with the buyer.
– Delivery requirements: Pre-sales agreements typically include delivery requirements, such as deadlines for completing the film, which can be challenging to meet.

V. What Are Common Terms and Conditions in Pre-Sale Agreements?

Common terms and conditions in pre-sale agreements may include:
– Territory: The specific territories or markets in which the buyer has the right to distribute the film.
– Payment terms: The amount and timing of payments to be made by the buyer to the filmmaker.
– Delivery requirements: Deadlines for completing the film and delivering it to the buyer.
– Revenue sharing: The percentage of profits that the filmmaker will share with the buyer.

VI. How Can Filmmakers Maximize the Potential of Pre-Sales?

Filmmakers can maximize the potential of pre-sales by:
– Building relationships: Cultivating relationships with buyers and industry professionals can increase the likelihood of securing pre-sales.
– Packaging: Creating a strong package for the film, including a compelling script, talented cast, and experienced director, can make the film more attractive to buyers.
– Negotiating: Negotiating favorable terms in pre-sale agreements, such as retaining creative control or securing a higher percentage of profits, can benefit filmmakers in the long run.
– Delivering on promises: Meeting delivery requirements and producing a high-quality film can help build trust with buyers and increase the likelihood of future pre-sales.