I am shopping around for a sales agent for my new film and I spoke with these guys at AFM and twice since. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience positive or negative with them before?
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Same here, I'd like to know how was the experience.Please update me on this one too.
I'm Internet stalking them now after getting an email asking about a film. Haven't found any negative gossip yet, but did find an article of interest. http://www.lasplash.com/publish/Film_106/afm-small-busines-but-big-succe...
Hey, Check out www.SebastianTwardosz.com he is a partner at Circus Road Films About Circus Road Films
They've contacted me a couple of times via email and LinkedIn and appear genuine enough, however, when I have asked a few questions they've not bothered to respond.... Bizarre behaviour.
Jose, I see your film is on Adler's IMDB. Has your experience of them been good? They've just accepted mine.
Hi please go to my page Shula Gattegno maybe you could use me.
Ok, I'm far enough along in the process now to feel confident about this company.
Hi guys - I was just contacted by them about my latest film. Any further information? Denise, did you end up working with them?
Yes. I've been working on the deliverables list, just finished time coding for subtitles. Communications are sometimes slow but they do happen.
A friend was just been approached. They seems legit but their request and first money fees are a bit high for indie filmmakers.
really?? They didn´t ask for money to me. For the moment everything look like right. Could you please, writte in the post the names of the movies?, mine is 1 1/2 HOURS
Johnny, do you mean the recouping of their investment and other fees that come out first? If you compare they're actually better then many. I've seen much worse deals. I've signed with them so we'll see how it goes financially.
Hi all, I was also approached by them and while I like the sound of them, I'm concerned about a couple of things . Though they not asking for any money upfront, I don't understand why there is a service fee and the commission rates are high. Comments please.
You consider their commission rates high? Have you compared?
Morning Denise, I checked online for standard distributor rates and their's was higher. My lawyer also thought it was high. Did you negotiate with them?
I have enough background with other indie filmmakers to see what they offered as higher than many.
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I am in the process of producing my 16th film and I was approached by them on my first couple. The first thing I did was went to their website, checked their catalog, then wondered if I've seen any of the films in the store (I did this for every company I considered). If I couldn't recognize any of the films then I didn't want that company.
I now have guaranteed distribution with 6 different companies (I personally would stay away from this company).
Just my opinion
Has anyone made any money from a distribution deal with this company?
They found me (I didn't submit to them), yet in their first email (before they would say whether they were interested in my film), they included a Submission Release form with several paragraphs of filmmaker indemnifications, promises not to sue for intellectual property infringement by them or their clients, and other fairly stiff commitments required with my "submission"... I'd say they're a bit sketchy. We decided not to play.
Very unprofessional email exchange with them early on in communications. Rude when I asked a simple question. Major red flags all around, plus the twitter profile of Adler seems to be one that has paid followers (tell tale sign is high follower count with almost no engagement on tweets) There's definitely something too good to be true about a distributor who reaches out to you before you've even gone to fests.
I find that common, actually. I was suspicious the first time it happened, and even the second, but because of some media buzz I've had several queries about one project of mine from small distributors and looking into what they do, have learned there's a thriving market in streaming, DVD and foreign sales that many filmmakers miss because they're looking exclusively at the multiplex in the local mall where indies have an uphill battle against the big studios.
Hey Denise (or anyone else with actual Adler experience) what has your experience been since signing?
Infrequent communication, but over time the pattern emerges. At last count I was in the next batch going to Quality Control at a facility I chose from a list Adler provided. From what I see, my film is going to be among those they take to festivals this summer. I have my subtitles to finish off then I'm done with the list.
Some things, like getting the quality control check you need to get on Netflix, will cost, but it would still cost if you self-distributed.
I just looked up most of their horror film offerings on IMDbPro. I found only two that had votes registered. You have to have 5 before they begin counting. I think that is telling.
If you are looking for international distribution with a prominent company, please feel free to contact me. Completed projects only. Thanks
Denise, I have also been hit up by Adler and they have a contract on the table. Anything else you can say about your experience so far? Are you happy you went with them? Did you try to find any other companies.
Anyone else who can help answer any questions about actually working w/ Adler specifically, I would definitely appreciate it.
Are all sales/distribution places equal? Probably not. What makes Adler worth it or not?
Do you feel like your film is just a piece of a package and not really an entity being sold because it's great?
I know a lot of people don't recognize their films, but that doesn't mean anything. They could be making money in Africa or on airplanes and Imdb would never reflect what's really happening financially due to sales that aren't in the theatre.
I do feel happy with them. Communications aren't always as I might wish but they are professional and haven't asked anything of me any distributor wouldn't. Quality control was done by a third party company (Point 360) and I'm sorting some sound issues now so they can continue. Yes, I think films are part of a package in their way of working. Sometimes you have to be realistic in your expectations. I have a sheet from them detailing what I can expect to get from various countries.
I'm very good at spotting scams and I feel I'm dealing with a small, but honest company. I like the update they just sent from Cannes, reporting on the current sales situation on indie films. Complete honesty.
Thank you Denise. I also sense honesty. You feel that their deal are similar to other's you have seen? Specifically in the marketing realm.
Curious about the cannes report.
also, what is your film called?
Mine is called PUNK BAND.
Hi Bradley, Yes, I had done a lot of research into how these small distributors work and their deliverables list is actually easier than some. My film is called Old Blood. Trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Wgg-aQrfA
Have you got a trailer made?
The Cannes report basically said that deal are being made slowly at the moment. Chinese are looking for good deals out of Western filmmakers (they have a government quota for import films) but taking time about decisions. The market is in a cautious frame and they want regular reports on any outstanding deliverables. I must finish off my subtitles, still need a French translation.
Denise, just so you know. Adler was explained to me this way: ""I've never heard of these guys before, but their game is pretty obvious - snatch up as many titles as you can from self-financed filmmakers in order to build a giant library to dump it all on Amazon for a "cents/stream" deal ... They have a library that they got for free from filmmakers and they take the lion's share ... You'd probably be better off putting it on Amazon yourself and taking 100% of the meager money ... This company will do nothing to promote the film or anything of the like ... Their IMDB page clearly states that they're getting worldwide rights in all formats ... This means your movie is just a grain of sand in a sandcastle they're trying to build. It seems to me that they won't be able to do anything that the filmmaker won't be able to do himself, really."
Hope this is of any assistance to you or anyone else. Yesterday I was warned against them by a few other people.
Not that anyone is desperate, but this seems to be the company you go to when no one else wants to put out your movie.
and you don't want to do it yourself.
sorry to be a downer. The best of luck. I hope everything works out.
I do not have a pro trailer yet. Just an imdb page.
If you think you can do better than just have it released, I would consider breaking that contract by not delivering.
Somebody didn't do their research.
I stalked them thoroughly, twice, before signing. Their strength is actually in foreign sales. They push very few for cinema release, so wouldn't be right for everybody, but they make the contacts at festivals for worldwide sales that people just putting their film on Amazon miss out on. Those foreign sales could finance the Fantasy film I really want to make.
The film I have with them is a vampire comedy B-movie and would only get cinema release in arthouse cinemas. One has to be realistic about the material they're working with.
Filmmaker gets 65%, which is better than some, worse than others. There are a few articles around the Internet about Adler's progress as an up and coming distributor. When it comes to it, the company your target market is talking to is the best one for any given film. Old Blood is not a blockbuster, but it's an entertaining film and will appeal to a widespread market, including foreign.
The thing that is really telling is checking out what other producers have gone with them on IMDB to see if people stay with them. One producer had a film with them, then went with someone else on his next film, but was back with Adler on the third one.
ADLER contacted me today.
Their SUBMISSION RELEASE scared the life out of me. Just to submit my film for distribution considerations, I had to read through 5 pages of legal MAMBO JUMBO. I did't understand what I was reading at some point.
What scared me the most, is that they want a WORLD WIDE rights in ANY FORMAT for the film. Their SUBMISSION RELEASE is actually the distribution contract! GOOD GAWD!
I AM STILL SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT DISTRIBUTOR.
The trailer for the film is on my page. Or, you can see it here: https://youtu.be/wlgbIuk_wOc
The movie is an OFFICIAL SELECTION at the 2017 IndieFEST Film Festival (in California)
Legal mumbo jumbo will come with any distributor, even just to look at your film. I guess it doesn't scare me because I've done legal work and the phrases are familiar.
Ms. Channing, I don't know why you're vociferously defending Adler. Y'all should refrain from preying on hard working independent film makers. ADLER is a super scam.
My definition of scam includes the scammer makes money off me. They can't make money without selling my film. How much I see is yet to be seen, but I have to fix my sound to get through quality control first. They haven't asked me for anything I wouldn't have to have to self-distribute. Things like subtitles, quality control and E&O insurance go with the territory, unless you want to sell half a dozen copies on Amazon services by yourself.
For anyone that may be interested. If you have a feature film and looking for a sales agent that wouldn't rip you off, my sales agent is one to consider. He is now looking for additional films to represent. If you got a trailer of your feature, send it my way and I'll share it with him. If he wants to see the whole film then I will request it from you. If he is interested, then I will connect you both. So send me message with link if you are interested.
Best of luck Denise. I think you have done your homework and are making the right move for you. It seems like you are keeping your expectations in check. That is good. However, unless someone shows you actual paperwork of how films like yours have done, it's all speculation. And when it's all speculation you don't know if they are telling you the truth or lying.
Remember the guys who made the Blair Witch Project? They sold that movie for 1mil. Obviously they never thought they'd get that much for their little movie, but the studio got over 100mil in the theaters and then cheated them out of any backend money on dvd. They made one more movie. I think maybe a couple of TV shows. Done.
So, what does that mean? Even on this small level we are working at (the VOD market), there are people who will cheat you like that's the way it's supposed to be. Yeah, Adler will make money off you because they package your movie w/ a ton of others for one price and once they're done covering the 70-80k you have to pay in marketing, you don't end up w/ much. Definitely not what a feature length film is worth. And who's to say they don't fudge the numbers and only spend 10k marketing your movie, yet they collect 70k straight from you. That section in your contract is rather tricky, isn't it? Your marketing budget is speculation and if they came back to you w/ what looked like real number after your film is release, you'd have no other choice but to trust them.
Having seen your trailer, I think you know what you're doing. However, if this film was your baby/ your shot/ your sci-fi movie, I think you'd probably think twice or 15 times about Adler.
Your marketing percentage that they are taking is going to them selling the film, not promoting it. They even say you have to be responsible to promote it on their site. If I paid 80k for advertising, I'd think that company would maybe advertise for me. For marketing, the same. Your money is being used to send them all over the world to sell your film. That's what they're supposed to be doing anyway. So, if they package your film w/ 10 others, they make 800k off the bat while traveling the world on your dime.
It's actually a truly brilliant idea. And it's not a scam. Your movie is released. They did what they said. It's just that you just don't get it seen by anyone, except in Africa and makes nothing.
They are not making money off your movie. It doesn't have a thing to do with quality or not. They are making money because you have a movie. Any movie. You are a piece in a package that is supposed to be sold for hardly anything.
If anything just remember this number. 80k = marketing taken out of your percentage. 10-12 movies packaged together. 800k+ just right off the bat w/o any promises to do anything other than travel to sell it.
This is for everyone obviously. I have done my homework too and I can also see a bad deal.
If you have a feature film, you have a product! Sell your product for what it's worth!
And Denise, if you're not convinced by now, to hold off and just check things out before you deliver, I really do hope I am wrong and you rock the shit out of it!
For me, I bet I could email them this thread and they'd still take my movie.
I obviously won't be doing that because others are involved, so no one worry about your relationships w/ adler or anyone else.
also, they don't take your film to festivals. They are sales conferences. TIFF is not the Toronto International Film FestivaI, it's a sales event. Your movie will be put in their booth and sold off like cattle. Also, I requested on the phone that they take my film to actual fests and they still put it in my contract that while they thought it was a great idea for me to take the movie to fests so I could do my own promotion and marketing, they would not be covering it and it won't be coming out of their (precious) marketing budget. That tells me they could less what I made. It does not matter as long as it's not porn or completely unsellable.
What I have learned is that if I have to, I can make these small films the rest of my life, make a good living and be totally content if I play my cards right on VOD w/ this first movie. Content was never enough for me, but it's nice knowing I can do this until I drift away into the great beyond.
Bradley, what distribution service are you using? How things go with Old Blood will determine choices I make for my other film in edit. Adler advertising costs are capped at 50k, BTW. And yes, they sell packages in foreign sales. Domestic as well, but DVD and streaming. I've got the paperwork for what to expect. As you say, the Fantasy film I really want to make would have different criteria. They just got back from Cannes and do go to various festivals, but I'm aware mine is one of a catalogue of films from their point of view.
If you're aware, and the decision is a good one for your movie, I'd say you're making the right choice for you. I also got expectation paperwork. I looked it over. You could really put in any number you wanted to if it's just an expectation. For me they make it look like my film will top out at 500k. How many years until that happens and why I should trust those numbers when I don't know specific numbers for any of their other films is the real question? Since I don't recognize any of those films and when I look them up on imdb or anywhere on the internet you can't find financials on them (VOD market), I have to think that those spec numbers are nothing more than spec numbers and I will not make any decision right now based on blind speculations.
We are in different situations though and every situation should have a plan for execution. I wish you the best in yours!
I currently don't have a distribution service, but if I can't find one that meets my needs, I'll probably go with a friend who has made a living putting out his own films on VOD. His rates are much more my style and he does all the finishing costs, so if it comes to just releasing it on VOD, I'll probably use him.
Actually my ad costs are capped at 65k and they get the first 15k of what the movie makes for their "expenses of doing business with Adler & Associates", so that makes it 80k. I'd imagine most of their movies don't make enough to get you past the 15k. And I'd bet that's part of their design. We pay for everything, they distribute anything, they collect pennies on the dollar for our work and we walk away with nothing that we couldn't have done ourselves.
If you've done your research, you'll realize you're defending them before you've made a buck. I'm very interested in how things turn out for you. We can all learn a lot from this. Thx.
I'm not defending them, I'm relating my experience and impressions so far. The jury will be out until I see if I collect any money.
Cool. Please let us know how things work out in the next few months!
I will! We should all share experiences with specific distributors and sales agents to weed out the dross.
For sure. As a matter of fact, I am chatting w/ another filmmaker who went w/ adler. Her experiences seemed very positive. She also seemed very excited to just be released. So, take that for what it is. Nothing more than my impression.
Everyone on here needs to be a champion of everyone else! That way we can share info. and feel good about doing it.
Agreed! Just think how sharing terms of different distributors can be useful to us.
I think the red flag for me is that I keep getting contacted by a lot these distributors that got my info from IMDB pro. They don't seem to care about the quality of the film. Just that is a feature film that is finished.
I agree w/ this. I also think it's an amazing business model as long as you don't cheat the filmmakers.
Some people just want their stuff released.
Mine wasn't even done. Super rough cut and they sent me a contract.
Unless I'm the next Kubrick and haven't realized it yet, I don't usually get offers on uncompleted work. Ever.
Best of luck to anyone who goes with Adler. Worldwide deals are the worst deals to sign. You will not make any money as all your domestic sales will be eaten up by the expenses from international. Best of luck Denise. I hope your film is successful but honestly will be surprised if you see any revenue at all.
Just checked out opinions on FilmSpecific.com regarding Adler. The founder of the site, Stacey Parks, who has many years of distribution experience, warned against going with Adler, saying they were a strictly VOLUME distributor, plus this "Anytime a distributor contacts you, rather than you contacting them, it should be an immediate red flag."
If you can, back out now Denise. I'll even help you release your stuff, or give you the knowledge to do so for free. Just ask.
If you want to see any money, let me help you.
No thanks. I plan to see it through. Their model parallels how I would have gone about it if I self-distributed. As I see it, things are going well.
You would have spent 60-80k on advertising? Okay. I tried. Good luck!
I'm not spending a penny on advertising, I don't know where you get this. And as I said, what they can recoup from sales for it is capped at 50k.
That 50k comes from your percentage and is marketing money. Read your contract again.
Adler makes their money, by jacking up unneeded percentages. You are paying for marketing. You're just not getting any, except maybe a picture in their sales booth. That's how they do it and they even tell you.
You can put your movie on amazon by yourself, you know?
1)NEVER sign with a distributor until you've gotten at least three positive references from filmmakers they currently represent. Their contact info can be easily acquired on IMBDPro or you can message them on Facebook. 2) NEVER give worldwide rights to a single distributor. Get one didtributor for domestic and a separate one for foreign rights.
Adler is nothing but a bundler who will put anyone's film in their catalog for volume sales purposes to Amazon or another buyer. Don't expect to see a dime! FilmSpecific.com warns their hundreds of filmmakers NOT to do business with them.
Bradley, putting your movie on Amazon yourself is worth a handful of sales at best. I know several filmmakers who have gone that route and consider it a last ditch effort when everything else has failed. I may well do it with the other movie I have because it has production issues that will never get past quality control, though it's still a good B-movie.
You've admitted you haven't distributed a movie yourself, so why are you so adamant about steering my course?
The OP asked for experiences with Adler, I'm sharing mine. I did substantial research on my options before Adler contacted me and was actually looking into the lucrative foreign sales market just before I heard from them. They have the extensive contacts that I was dreading the possibility of having to spend far too much time trying to form from scratch.
If you're a sound engineer and can help me reduce noise without getting echo, by all means, share your expertise. But I have no interest in dropping my contract with Adler. From where I sit, it's going well. As I said above, the final judgement will be when I see how much money I actually pull in from this. My expectations are in line with the product I have available and the projections from each country as laid out.
Erik, have you got a link to this warning? I couldn't find anything with a search on FilmSpecific.com.
Oh, I have no desire to steer your course. I'm way to busy on mine. Just tying to share real info I got from people (lawyers, filmmakers, production companies and other distributors who know this business and adler. It's your movie Denise, I am only a stranger w/ an opinion.
Denise... check the last post on Adler & Associates in FilmSpecific's Distribution Forum section.
Erik, you mind cutting and pasting that. I can't access it.
Bradley.... tried doing that earlier, but didn't work. Perhaps the thread is too long. But even non-members like yourself can access the Blog section.
I have been trying to do this for a couple days and I don't consider myself dumb at computing. I'll just assume what it says for now.
If you can, just send it to me as a direct message and i'll translate to everyone.
Jose, you've been working on quality control for 2+ years? That seems about 1.75 years too long.
Jose, I hope you didn't jump in before you tested the waters. Seems like you have a great film that may be seen in China. Much luck.
I'm also very interested in seeing your movie, so however that can happen is what I want.
Just watched your trailer, Jose. You have something special. Back the fuck out of that contract if you can. You can make some good money on this! You have good wins too! Man, I can see why others may go with adler, but I implore you to look at other options. You need this to be seen by as many people as possible, and I'm afraid that may not happen.
Jose, I guess here's the question: How did you do w/ them w/ Aftermath?
Since this is the second film you signed w/ them you know if you can make money or not.
Once you sign with a distributor you shouldn't have to do any more work. If they have YOU doing subtitles or getting QC done than something is wrong.
FYI... the contract is not valid until you send the hard drive even if you've already signed. If you need help or advice I'd be happy to help.
Thanks again for breaking that down into less words than I can use.
I've produced 16 films to date with 13 currently in stores and 2 coming this year as early as August 1st. There is definitely money out there.
Adler was a distributor that wanted one of my earlier films but when they couldn't answer the questions I had I knew they weren't good.
Also, they wanted worldwide rights... a big no-no without a minimum guarantee.
I hope this helps.
It does for me!
what exactly is stopping any company from planting someone in these discussions to influence our decision making?
Jose. So, the film you made in 2011 is still in quality control and has not been sold?
I'm so sorry, man. Don't give them 1 1/2 Hora. Just do not do it!
Jose, which quality control company did you try? I've made things difficult on myself by going with Point 360, but if it passes them then Netflix is a possibility.
What audio editing program are you using? Sound that seems fine through headphones may not actually be loud enough. Some general levels quoted in this article https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/how-to-set-audio-levels-for-video/
Bradley, if there was a plant, they would be singing about getting rich from Adler. No one here is doing that. I'm still on 'wait and see.'
Bradley, about Aftermatch that was shot in 2011, I signed at the same time 1 1/2 HORA, now they are working in 1 1/2 HORA, I guest after that they want to follow with Aftermatch. I signed in 2015 both films.
Denise, the Company is QC Central.
Jose, is there anyway to check out 1 1/2 Hora? do you have subtitles yet?
Adler wants my movie 27 Matches, they have hit me up twice now. Has anyone received a payment from them?
David, it would be a huge mistake to go with them. Vitaly is right, Adler offers anyone/everyone "distribution" so they can build their catalog bigger, getting perhaps 10K to 15K for your product from a streaming business which goes in THEIR pocket, not yours, then move on to the next sucker. You'll never see a penny yourself, nor will your investors.
They have a 10 to 15 year contract and they do no marketing and promotion for you.
So, what's the story Denise? Curious about how Adler is treating you.
They're waiting patiently for me to finish re-doing the dialogue. Finishing soon hopefully and getting the French subtitles checked over. They need these things to be able to sell. Hopefully the dialogue will pass quality control on the second pass. I know what to watch for now.
Is your movie in French? Do you have to re-ADR the dialogue or just for subtitles? What is their quality control like? I have honestly never heard of doing your own quality control. If your film gets picked up for distribution they almost always handle that stuff.
I dunno who Denise's deal is with but when I sold my movies, I had to pay for all master tapes, clean and dirty versions, pay for subtitle files, closed captions file, translated my English script to whatever language /country purchased my movies. The distributor gives you a QC spec sheet and my master tapes had to pass their QC specs. If the tapes fail, I had to redo my master tapes. This is how it's done for home video & cable markets. Never sold a theatrical movie.
Quality control comes from a third party company. I chose the one that Netflix trusts. The distributor does not make your film for you, making the dialogue files of sufficient quality is the producer's responsibility. Providing subtitles is also part of standard deliverables. Adler asks for Spanish and French.
My experience... so long time waiting to get nothing for now. Good communication, but, I do NOT live from communication. I expect to get something at the end of the year...
Have you provided all the deliverables Jose?
How long have you two been trying to get past "quality control"?
As I said above Bradley, Quality Control is done by a third party company, same ones the big studios use. Point 360, which I chose, is one of two that Netgalley accepts certification from. The process took about 10 days, but I have been working on correcting the issues they found for a couple of months. That part is in my own hands and getting close to finishing so I can send it for a second pass.
Jose had said above that his Quality Control company found issues, but hasn't said what he's doing to correct them. A distributor has to have a viable product to sell. U.S. companies like Netflix have standards to uphold.
Nothing Point 360 found was bogus. They were genuine amateur mistakes which I've learned from and am correcting. Most of them were caused by noise reduction on the dialogue files. I now know what to watch for and how to correct room echo.
You're doing your own audio? I'm just not experiencing this quality control issue w/ any of the companies I'm working with. It seems like to me that your's is picking up unfinished films. I guess I can see how quality control would make a difference if that's the case. Oh, well, good luck. I'm waiting for the Sundance line-up to be announced so I know where I will be premiering.
It's not unusual to get QC notes with the audio. And they can be notes as simple and pointless as "Third footstep after door opens, too much echo" or "Sound of sheet sliding across leg missing." Even when all the footsteps were recorded in the same manner on the same surface and the sheet was never intended to be heard siding across the leg in the cut. I delivered a film where we passed domestic QC, released the film in English with a scene deliberately designed to have no room tone to heighten the other sounds but for the German dub we had to put room tone in the scene just to pass QC for the Germans because they could not understand the intent was "no room tone" and refused to accept it without frickin room tone.
I've also been contacted by Adler, they sent me their agreement/contract, like other distributors/sales agents as well. They all have similar contracts: basically it's a 5-year deal, 70/30 on everything digital/aired (70% to them, 30% to you) , 30/70 on everything physical (30% to them, 70% to you). Is that a fair deal? Or should I try 50/50? Any advice would help! Thanx!
Thank you so much for your advice, will try to get the best deal.
Considering they do their business in the digital realm, I'd say your 30% is going to look very small.
They are also not offering up 18 month deals. More like 18 years. You lose ownership of your film. If you think you've made something halfway decent and aren't looking for just distribution w/ zero return, take a look at The Film Collaborative. I can't recco anyone, but they are good people.
I took a pass on Adler, but they didn't offer me a 5 year deal... they wanted much longer (the aforementioned 18 years).
My fiscal sponsor is The Film Collaborative and I can't say enough good about them. They didn'the accept my film for distribution because they felt like they couldn'the do it right. They were supremely helpful.
I would have taken 5 years probably. As for the percentages, I was advised that they were WAY high, but I probably would have lived with that on a shorter time frame.
Alan, 70-30 is only standard for direct dealing with the cinema. That's not what my contract has. Several years deals are standard. I suggest before you take advice from anyone, you check their experience on IMDB. That's where I went first to see who had dealt with Adler and the results. The Internet is full of 'experts'.
Being a first timer myself, I figure the test starts when I've delivered a salable product, i.e. when I get my film past Quality Control. The fact that they won't try to sell any old rubbish is actually good. The corrections I'm making now really were cringe-worthy.
David, thanks for your comments with QC. I called them on a couple of things that were intentional effects and they seem willing to pass those when I send it through again. The dialogue sound did have genuine issues though and there was one legitimate flicker in the video.
I'm backing out of this conversation, because it seems like nonsense at this point. If you have a good film, your film will find the right people. If you have a film that is not so great, I'd say Adler is fine if you just want distribution and aren't worried about the money. If Denise's situation is an example, it should be that signing a contract on an unfinished movie can lead to a couple years of back and forth. I only let a few people view PUNK BAND before it was finished, sound design, mixing and everything, so it was a sellable product before anyone "important" viewed it. Adler does serve a purpose, even though I truly believe their "game" is not ethical. Good luck to everyone. Peace, Brad.
Thank you Denise, Bradley and everyone: every comment is useful, we have several options from sales agents and we're trying to get the best options. I'll keep you updated and let you know as we sign the best deal.
Best of luck, Alan. Do let us know. Comparing notes on small distributors could be very useful for all of us!
Ok just to close this discussion: we have skipped Adler for now and went for a smaller sales agent. We closed a one-year representation, they will bring our films at the AFM in november and at the EFM in Berlin in february 2018, plus a whole bunch of other film markets. 25-75 deal in our favor for any sell, and if they see there's some good buzz around they may consider co-production on our next movies and go 50-50. If nothing happens in one year, we're free to try another sales agent. That's a good deal to us. I'll let you know what happens.
Yes Vitaly, sure I agree. But for now, we have just one SA and we'll see how he works. Of course we'd like to have the same SA forever! :))
Best of luck to you Alan. Do let us know how it goes!
WARNING! Perhaps because of the negative word-of-mouth they have been receiving, Marie Adler has recently opened a "new" distributor called A&AE. Steer clear of them... and of any distributor who contacts you first about your film! It's always a red flag!
Alan, did you have to pay anything upfront to your SA?
No, Mr Robot, didn't pay anything.
i SAW ADLER AT CANNES FILMS FESTIVAL LAST IN MAY, but at the booth was more like party, laughting, and show contract aroundd, but I didn t talk to them, , dont feel ok to do
I just got an inquiry from them, but not impressed by their products, nor the spelling errors on their various social pages. Don't get a good impression, but maybe it's me because I have been on that merry go round since the early 80's. Sounds like the Old York Entertainment scenario. They're still selling my films CODE BLACK and DEMONS RISING around the world and never saw a dime. We now work with a sales guy who has gotten us exclusive distribution through Redbox. No deliverables on my end. Just shoot, submit, he takes care of the art work, the negotiations, and we get checks. It wasn't easy, it was a 12 year relationship which finally paid off. Best advice is, if you are looking for quick cash, get a rich uncle or get some good L.A. connections. The distribution business is full of empty promises and light paychecks, or front end deductions. good luck peeps.
Have been reading this thread with great interest.
Sell a few copies on Amazon? Hilarious. Advertising costs capped at 50K$ Ridiculous. Why give away 50k to a distributor? I made that mistake on my first film and will never do it again. Why do you think producers live in beverly hills and drive bmw's? Because they scam indie filmmakers. Film distribution is legal larceny and it would take a hell of a lot for me to EVER get in bed with another distributor in my lifetime.
Is Denise a plant for Adler? Who knows...
We need to call out these scammer distributors ands share our experiences with others. I call out all these motherfuckers when they contact me and I see their scam a mile away. If they cannot make the effort to call me or send me an email that is not a blanket email, then I don't waste my time. It is not my first rodeo. They are all scared becuase they know that we can now upload to Amazon Prime directly and deal with smaller aggregators to have our films on streaming sites very easily. The old days of the evil empire of distribution are over and if they want our films, they really need to change their approach and woo us the way we should be. Call us, send a personal email, take us to dinner, fly us out to meet them, etc. Bullshit days are over.
Suggesting I'm a plant for Adler is just stupid. I haven't seen how things are going to go with them yet. I came on this thread to answer the OP with what experience I've had of them so far and certainly haven't sung unending praises, though I still think they've got the foreign sales worked out.
One thing I'll say to anyone reading this thread and wondering what advice is good or bad, check the IMDB page for anyone giving advice. Have you heard of any of their films?
You won't have heard of mine of course because I'm still working on putting the first one into shape to sell. But then I don't pontificate, I'm sharing what I've experienced so far with other amateurs.
And we thank you for it, Denise. John was out of line making that unwarranted accusation.
It's difficult critiquing distributors on a public forum knowing they could be reading what people are saying. I guess the best way to evaluate them is based on their track record, and of course, everyone's needs are different. I too had issues with Adler's release form. It's 5 pgs, very heavy handed and one-sided.
Some of the information you find on discussions like this can be useful, but a lot can be way off base. Anyone new to a business should check out any advice for themselves rather than take something said by a random person as gospel.
This article I found interesting https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/basics-of-film-distribution/
Searching for an example of a big studio contract so a couple of people might appreciate how standard what I got actually is. When you really look at the deliverables list, it's audio and visual files plus advertising materials. How is anyone going to sell a film without these? True that a big studio would probably provide things like subtitles and maybe even make the trailers themselves, but they still need the film files to sell. Things like non-text files are specific to foreign distribution, which is much of what Adler focuses on. It's what I was looking into at the time they contacted me.
I've had the advantage of extensive experience in the book publishing market. The pitfalls are very similar.
1. Does a distributor/publisher ask for money to cover some reasonable sounding charges? If so run a mile, it's a scam.
2. How does what they ask for compare to large, known companies?
3. Where are they making their money from?
As most of these small distributors make their money from selling the films, they have a vested interest in doing what they say. The one thing to watch for has been brought up by a couple of people; do they sell it and absorb all the profits? I will be paying close attention to that when I get to that point in the process. But in my original stalk of them, I did find one producer on IMDB who went with them, then tried someone else, then went back to Adler. What this suggests to me is that he might have thought he could do better with someone else, but on his third film decided his better interests were back with them.
In any case, the OP for this thread decided to go another route. I'd love to hear how it works out.
You need to run as fast as you can from Adler. My friend was signed to Adler and when I read her distribution contract, I told her to get out of it ASAP!
I have to say, about Adler & Entertainment, they have sing with Amazon about my movie.
You can see there. It´s a movie in a real one long take, shot in April 2014.
Soon I will provide the statement about both movies I signed with them, and well... I will know about my decision, if it was right or wrong! Anyone here who had signed with them and has his/her movie in Amazon prime like me??
Hopefully soon. Still waiting to hear back from QC.
Denise, what is the name of your movie? Could you repeat in the post?did Adler upload your movie in any platform as Amazon or Netflix? Soon I’m gonna write in the post about my experience with Adler.
My Update: I found it better to just deal directly with Amazon for CD/streaming sales AND VOD. All the QC was done by Amazon themselves. No cost to me for anything (except $48 per year for my websites: http://necosbasement.com/watch-online/ and http://www.frankandflo.com/watch-online/
Mr Robot, what do you mean deal directly with Amazon? Do you get a better royalty?
John Borowski, dealing directly with Amazon the commission WAS .15 per hour viewed and we were actually making some profit, but NOW it is .06 per hour and our profit will drop 60%. Here is a link: http://www.indiewire.com/2018/02/amazon-video-direct-lowers-royalty-rate...
Well... I revived and email from Amazon vídeo direct months ago, but it was after I signed with ADLER&AE, and that’s why I wrote in the post “ I will write if my decision was right or wrong”... I feel not so happy because I knew the percent to indie filmmaker, but I thought the deal with a distribution company was different, so I’m waiting for the statement to write in the post.
I will see it Marcus!
Yeas I know, my films are on Amazon Prime. It is a very difficult time for indies, now more than ever. Forget about Netflix. Amazon cut their royalties. Does anyone have any recommendations to a decent, respectable distributor? All of my experiences with distributors in the last 15 years have been bad.
Jose, the film is called Old Blood. They have it listed in their catalogue but waiting for QC result before they offer it to any US companies and I'm just finishing up subtitles for foreign distribution now.
Just finished my 5th feature and this one, a bit different from my comfort zone lol: a martial arts comedy musical. So I've decided to continue going with my sales agent, he's been representing 3 of my films and I've gotten $ from him. It seems now most are heading to digital medium and he does have a tie-in into netflix/amazon as well.
Anyone interested to have him look/represent you just let me know via message, he's always looking for films. Great guy to work with.
Johnny, Here's the deal: Netflix is no longer acquiring small films. I have celebs in my film and they are not accepting films which have grossed under 10 million. This is directly from Netflix. Not much to be made on Amazon at .06 cents per hour. What is the name of your sales rep? Surprised you made money. The sales rep on my first film made 50K and I made nothing.
John, did you mean, your represent get 50K and you nothing? How was that? I think all of us are wrong, of course we made movies because we love it but we have to make movies to get any money, at least to make another movie! This is a difficult decision to make about distribution company, and of course we accept any advice about it! If I have nothing from my movie, of course I would not sign for my next movie.
This is really turning into a discussion about methods of distribution. Unfortunately it's all in the Adler thread. But it would certainly be helpful to know what your budgets were going in and how your films were financed.
I have produced 17 films and I currently have 16 of them in stores (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Hulu, Amazon and more). NOTHING has made it to Netflix tho.
I've made films for as low as 10k and I've made money. Films shouldn't come to Amazon or Hulu until after they have made it to stores.
Stores make you the most money
Christopher, mine was financed with cake. ;) And of course deferred payments. Final budget is around 48k.
"Stores" make you the most money? What about theatrical release, premium TV, free TV, then VOD? I guess if you're working with a micro-budget, then you're satisfied to go straight to VOD where .06 cents/hr can turn a profit. I need to raise $50K just to finalize my film (colour correction, sound design, score composer, legal, insurance, marketing etc).
Good for you, Denise! Get it made however you can. I too raised early financing by selling masala spices.
Yes, 'stores' (Walmart, target, Best Buy and others...) Walmart may buy 10,000 units at $4/a piece (very low amount)... well that's $40,000 from just one store. Each store does the same thing. After it's in stores for a few months then it goes to VOD and TV.
This is my method at least.
Marcus, how are you getting your movies into "Stores". Who is doing the selling?
I can tell you that no Walmart in this world is going to order 10,000 units of an indie film for one store. Funny joke though.
It's not one location... lol 10,000 units is very small amount but that's nationwide. We can see John has never had a distributor lol
I have been in the business 20 years and my films have been distributed internationally. Being in the business this long, I know there are bullshitters and liars out there, and a lot of wanna be's. You said it yourself "$40,000 from just one store". What about returns? I really don't think Best Buy is going to keep $10,000 units of Dead End Demon next to a Disney film. Walmart might, it seems the kind of product Walmart shoppers would buy, who knows, but with those kind of numbers, even Hollywood would be lucky to match in these days of streaming.
I also want to know how to sell my film to brick and mortar stores like Best Buy and Wall Mart with direct deals. Marcus, please let us in on how you do this.
Since I have PR and a built in audience, I am going to get every dollar I can. I'll put it on vimeo and sell it off our website. Not until I get everything, will I pay $1500 to get it on itunes and amazon. And then, I'm not sure that's money well spent, because right now on Amazon I'd have to get about 25k views to break even. Seems dumb to me.
No big store advice? What about just Target? I hate Walmart aanyway.
"Dead End Deomon" would be next to "Get Out" and other horror titles. 10,000 units doesn't even constitute 2 units per store in the US. You're playing write John?? Lol
I have produced 17 films since 2010 and have 16 of them currently in stores (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Hulu, Amazon and more). The only way I was able to do it was to find a good distributor. I currently work with SONY and UNIVERSAL. They take care of the artwork as well (which is very important).
I've worked with other distributors in the past but didn't see a return or very little. Now I'm seeing nice returns. I've made my money back and then some on a few. A few of them I don't think I'll ever make money
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the trend of how and where feature lengths films will be distributed in the future? Brick and mortar stores?? Are you all MAD??? I’m just wondering if anyone else in the “indy” film word is event thinking about innovation in distribution, or if you’re all just continuing to chase the Dragon’s tail? Super curious to find out. Best of luck to us all!
Doing documentary on business practices of Adler & Associates Entertainment. Seeking more interviews, pro and con.
I’ve already been threatened by Marie Adler and Mark Belasco for doing this, told my films "will be locked up in lawsuits".
Please also contact privately: email@example.com
UPDATE on documentary “Deception on Demand". Did we just catch Hollywood film distributor Adler & Associates in bookkeeping scam, fraud, retaliation? Is that why Adler herself threatened - in writing:
"All sales are on hold including BTS*, DVD deal, VOD localization, and translations. The film will be locked up in lawsuits...Please let all buyers know we are going to litigation and all deals are off the table.”**
They have DECLINED to be interviewed for this film.
Do you have a distribution horror story to share? Contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Network interested in our award-winning film "Breaking the Silence" goo.gl/b6y2wm www.breakingthesilencemovie.com
**Documents, emails, etc., will be shown in the film.
Denise-How did it end up?
Amazon Prime is looking for Horror films that aren't too scary for European and Asian countries. They're putting mine forward for that. They've got a contract for more countries than most distributors can get to on Amazon Prime. I'm just working on some German subtitles now.
Adler is my distributor, hence my participation in this thread.
We are just days away from the release of Deception on Demand, where you will find out the real facts about how Adler and her company "distribute" films...as well as the extreme lengths Marie Adler has gone to in order to prevent this film from being seen.
You'll find out what high-profile L.A. law firm she hired to threaten, harass, intimidate me and try to silence me. But, as with my film Breaking the Silence - the showing of which she SABOTAGED at PBS! - the truth is coming out.
Deception on Demand
In this exposé you’ll learn how Marie Adler & Associates:
Has “the WORST contracts” in the industry according to lawyers!
Charges filmmakers for UNSUBSTANTIATED expenses!
Diverts filmmakers’ income to…THEMSELVES!
Sells filmmakers their DVDs that they’re…FORBIDDEN to sell!
Claim EP credits to 200+ films…including YOURS!
Will sue or SABOTAGE your film if you confront them!
Charges up to $65,000 PLUS royalties for what you can do for…FREE!
…and much more!
While I provided Marie Adler and her associates with the questions and claims raised in this exposé, and invited them to answer and/or rebut them, they DECLINED to be interviewed for…
Deception on Demand...it's coming in a few days:
Michael Horn: are you going to release this through Adler?
Mr Robot, somehow I don't think they will want to help promote this one!
Well, I figuratively can not wait to see it!!!
Ah, patience my friends. You won't be disappointed.
The wait is over:
DECEPTION ON DEMAND
Exposing the questionable business practices of Marie Adler & Associates
Hmm. The link to YouTube doesn’t work.
I wonder why Michael doesn't just tell us what his beef is with Adler. Making a film about it comes over as obsessive.
Sorry for the glitch, it's working now.
Denise, you can find out quite clearly when you watch the free film. BTW - as I also told Adler when I tried to negotiate with them - I'm a researcher and a...documentary filmmaker. As they say, it's what I do.
And perhaps there will be some useful information in there for you.
To All Concerned,
Since posting DECPETION ON DEMAND (https://youtu.be/xQyH9KPIvk0) I’ve received emails from numerous filmmakers who’ve had the…SAME scam run on them by Marie Adler & Associates. This includes phony, unsubstantiated, “expenses” - in the tens of thousands of dollars - never received revenues, all sorts of other misrepresentations, and overt THREATS that they’ll be sued by her, or have to sue her, in order to get their films back.
In the meantime, she has continued to send emails with completely inaccurate, clearly defamatory information against me and other filmmakers to her clients, in addition to posting them under false names on my YT channel, etc.
This may be both inconvenient and uncomfortable information to see on this forum but this IS a filmmaker forum, dealing with ALL sorts of issues pertaining to filmmakers and this industry. This is also one of the first places that I started to post about my film exposing these questionable business practices.
I will remind people that the #MeToo movement started with one whistleblower, then another, and another, etc. I will also point out that Marie Adler is a member of this forum and she certainly has the opportunity to respond here…even though she and her accomplices DECLINED to be interviewed for my film, despite numerous invitations, being provided in advance with the iissues and questions, etc.
Instead, she hired a high-powered law firm to try to threaten, harass and intimidate me with a TRO, based on a completely fabricated claim that I was “threatening” her and her two, full-grown, adult, male accomplices.
As I said, while this may be an uncomfortable topic for discussion here, it’s quite real. And you can expect to hear more about it in the coming days and weeks as other actions are taken against this company.
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