How to Find and Hire the Right Sales Agent to Help You Distribute Your Film or Project

Hosted by Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis

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Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis

Webinar hosted by: Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis

Producers at Future Film USA

The Future Film Group was established in London in 2000 as a film financier, utilizing the expertise of its principals in both the entertainment and business worlds, quickly establishing itself on the UK scene through its involvement in films such as Bend It Like Beckham (starring Keira Knightley), The Queen (starring Dame Helen Mirren) and Mrs. Henderson Presents (starring Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins). The company quickly formed a production division to work alongside its financing arm and, through an ever-expanding structure, has since been involved in the production and/or financing of nearly 200 films and television shows. In 2006, the company opened an office in Los Angeles to give it a greater outreach to the wider filmmaking community, thereby making it a truly global brand. With this new outreach, the Future Film Group has produced films and television shows all over the world, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Eastern Europe and South Africa. Notable titles include Flawless (starring Demi Moore and Sir Michael Caine), Transsiberian (starring Woody Harrelson and Sir Ben Kingsley), Cracks (starring Eva Green), Fifty Dead Men Walking (starring Jim Sturgess and Sir Ben Kingsley) and Manolete (starring Adrien Brody and Penelope Cruz). Ricky joined Future Films USA in March 2007 as its Production and Development Executive, where his responsibilities included the sourcing and tracking of projects that required financing and helping them to progress into production, working closely with the London office to provide the Future Film Group with a global outreach for its fundraising and production activities. Other elements of his work included liaising with the various film commissions to keep abreast of their legislation, and the development of relationships with producers, sales agents and financiers. Since 2010, Ricky has been working in the role of Vice President of Future Films USA, continuing his work on the financing side whilst also becoming a more integrated part of the Future Film Group’s production activities, working closely with its London office. He has recently been directly involved in the production and financing of such high-profile films as Veronika Decides To Die (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Melissa Leo), Breaking The Girls (starring Agnes Bruckner), Last Passenger (starring Dougray Scott), and Walter (starring William H. Macy and Virginia Madsen), among others, often serving in an Executive Producer or Associate Producer capacity, as well as serving as an Executive Producer on television shows including Ultimate Brain for the BBC. Simon Graham-Clare is a Producer at Future Films USA, with a background in physical production and film finance. In his current position Simon assesses film and television projects that Future Films might board to finance or produce. Simon then works with producers and filmmakers to build a viable package and finance plan, attach a sales agent and raise any remaining finances. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

If you are a writer, filmmaker, digital content creator, or producer, it's vitally important to not only understand the role of a sales agent, but how to find, vet and hire the right sales agent. This is a vital, yet extremely overlooked aspect that could make or break the viewership and profitability of your film or project!

In this challenging and competitive world of film and digital content finding the right sales agent is key. Understandably, many creatives, producers and digital content creators find venturing into the world of sales agents to be daunting. But it doesn't need to be!

There are few who know the world of sales agents better than Simon Graham-Claire and Ricky Margolis. Simon and Ricky head up, Future Films USA and have been involved in the financing and distribution of over 200 films and TV shows. In this extremely popular and exclusive Stage 32 Webinar, Simon and Ricky give you all the tools to navigate the minefield of sales agents.

Just some of the questions Simon and Ricky will be answering include: 

What can a sales agent do for me that I can't do for myself? Where do I go to find a sales agent? How do I know if a sales agent is reputable? How do I know a sales agent is right for my genre? What questions should I be asking when vetting a sales agent? What if a sales agent disagrees with where I believe the film or project should be distributed? How much do sales agents cost? Will a sales agent expect to have an equity position in my film? How does the waterfall distribution of funds work with a sales agent involved? Can a sales agent bring financing to a project?

Let Simon and Ricky demystify the world of sales agents and help you protect the films, shows, and projects you worked so hard to conceive and create by getting your work seen and by increasing your likelihood of profitability!

 

Praise for Simon, Ricky and How to Find and Hire the Right Sales Agent to Help You Distribute Your Film or Project


"I felt like Simon and Ricky had a concise step by step study guide on the process of getting to the green light... The idea of hiring a sales agent is no longer a jumble" - Betty S.

"Loved the presentation and I found it very informative! Thanks again!" - Richard D.

"Great seminar - informative and to the point." - Robert G.

"Very well presented! Loved their personal approach!" - Glenn C.

"Excellent presentation! Organized, well-spoken, and crystal clear!" - Brent B.

"My second webinar with Simon and Ricky. They're incredible. Please bring them back again." - Samantha M.

 

 

This webinar is available for immediate and unlimited viewing On Demand 

What You'll Learn

Just some of what you'll learn from Simon and Ricky includes:

  • What is a sales agent and what is a distributor?
  • What are the benefits of working with a sales agent?
  • What will a sales agent do for me that I can't do on my own?
  • What is a sales agent looking for?
  • How and where do they sell? The formats they sell (theatrical/SVOD/VOD/HV/TV).
  • How do you vet a sales agent?
  • Different types of financing a sales agent can bring to the project.
  • How the money from sales flows to the producer.
  • How and when you should approach a sales agent.
  • How can a sales agent help with actor/cast values?
  • How does the partnership work to get a project into production?
  • What happens once the project is shot?
  • Signs you have a great sales agent.
  • Film Festivals and their position in the world of distribution.
  • How a sales agent gets paid.
  • Q&A with Simon & Ricky

About Your Instructor

The Future Film Group was established in London in 2000 as a film financier, utilizing the expertise of its principals in both the entertainment and business worlds, quickly establishing itself on the UK scene through its involvement in films such as Bend It Like Beckham (starring Keira Knightley), The Queen (starring Dame Helen Mirren) and Mrs. Henderson Presents (starring Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins).

The company quickly formed a production division to work alongside its financing arm and, through an ever-expanding structure, has since been involved in the production and/or financing of nearly 200 films and television shows.

In 2006, the company opened an office in Los Angeles to give it a greater outreach to the wider filmmaking community, thereby making it a truly global brand. With this new outreach, the Future Film Group has produced films and television shows all over the world, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Eastern Europe and South Africa. Notable titles include Flawless (starring Demi Moore and Sir Michael Caine), Transsiberian (starring Woody Harrelson and Sir Ben Kingsley), Cracks (starring Eva Green), Fifty Dead Men Walking (starring Jim Sturgess and Sir Ben Kingsley) and Manolete (starring Adrien Brody and Penelope Cruz).

Ricky joined Future Films USA in March 2007 as its Production and Development Executive, where his responsibilities included the sourcing and tracking of projects that required financing and helping them to progress into production, working closely with the London office to provide the Future Film Group with a global outreach for its fundraising and production activities. Other elements of his work included liaising with the various film commissions to keep abreast of their legislation, and the development of relationships with producers, sales agents and financiers.

Since 2010, Ricky has been working in the role of Vice President of Future Films USA, continuing his work on the financing side whilst also becoming a more integrated part of the Future Film Group’s production activities, working closely with its London office. He has recently been directly involved in the production and financing of such high-profile films as Veronika Decides To Die (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Melissa Leo), Breaking The Girls (starring Agnes Bruckner), Last Passenger (starring Dougray Scott), and Walter (starring William H. Macy and Virginia Madsen), among others, often serving in an Executive Producer or Associate Producer capacity, as well as serving as an Executive Producer on television shows including Ultimate Brain for the BBC.

Simon Graham-Clare is a Producer at Future Films USA, with a background in physical production and film finance. In his current position Simon assesses film and television projects that Future Films might board to finance or produce. Simon then works with producers and filmmakers to build a viable package and finance plan, attach a sales agent and raise any remaining finances.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

"Loved the presentation and I found it very informative! Thanks again!" - Richard D.

"Great seminar - informative and to the point." - Robert G.

"Very well presented with a personal take on the business." - Glenn C.

"Excellent presentation! Organized, well-spoken... nothing negative to say here!" - Brent B.

"I felt like Simon had a concise step by step study guide on the process of getting to the green light... it's no longer a jumble" - Betty S.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Understanding Global Tax Incentives

Learn directly from Simon Graham-Clare (Producer) and Ricky Margolis (VP) at Future Films USA (Over 200 films & TV shows financed and produced)! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis will demystify global tax incentives and highlight some of the many other factors to take into consideration when looking at different locations. They will look at current example incentives from around the world and also enlighten you on ways these incentives can trigger additional investment into your project. Filmmakers will learn more about international independent film financing and how tax incentives are a key element to the business plan and can open doors to a slew of potential partners, helping to plot a ‘road map’ to production. Writers will learn why they need to be thinking about the locations in which they set their stories, and how it affects the attractiveness of their scripts to producers and financiers. Having a clear understanding of today’s global tax incentives will leave your project looking more professional and further advanced, hopefully increasing your chances to move the project into production. Your hosts Simon Graham-Clare and Ricky Margolis are Producers at Future Films USA, having financed and produced over 200 films and TV shows! The Future Film Group was established in London in 2000 as a film financier, utilizing the expertise of its principals in both the entertainment and business worlds. They quickly established themselves on the UK scene through their involvement in films such as Bend it like Beckham (starring Keira Knightley), The Queen (starring Dame Helen Mirren) and Mrs. Henderson Presents (starring Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins). At Future Films USA, Simon works as a producer, assessing film and television projects that Future Films might board to finance or produce. Ricky works in the role of Development Executive, continuing his work on the financing side whilst also becoming a more integrated part of the Future Film Group’s production activities.

How to Break in and Get Any Job in Film or Television

“How can I make it in the movie business?” This is the perpetual question that haunts every generation of budding filmmakers. There are so many success stories that start with humble beginnings, and then there are so many more stories that don’t make it as far. If you want to “make it” in the movie business, you have to know how to get a job in it first. But how? First, there are SO MANY more jobs in this industry than most people realize. Do you know all the many ways to be part of the film industry? Not to mention, it takes a lot of grit to make it in this biz. Most people pay their dues through grueling hours as an assistant with little pay. With the right guidance from someone who has been there and done that, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success for any job in the industry. You just have to know how to get your foot in the door. Matt Harry is a novelist, screenwriter, and filmmaker whose popular  fantasy novel SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS was recently optioned for television by Boatrocker Media with Matt on board to adapt the pilot.  His first produced feature screenplay, FUGUE, landed on several top-ten lists, won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by GoDigital. Matt has also written screenplays for Primary Wave, Platform One Media, Co-op Entertainment, and Flynn Picture Co. His short film SUPER KIDS, which he wrote and co-directed, has over 6 million views on YouTube. Now, inspired by his new interactive book “You Are A Filmmaker,” Matt is bringing his knowledge and experience to Stage 32 so that anyone looking for an entry-level job in the biz can get one. Matt is going to tell you exactly how to get any job in the film business, starting with the 10 Do’s for ANY job and the 5 Don’ts. He’ll go over how to get a job in development, production, the camera department, post-production, post sound, the art department, as a writer, and even a director. He’ll also answer questions like, “do you need to live in Los Angeles,” and provide tips on how to afford to work in the industry, because let’s face it…when you’re starting out this biz is far from the glamorous life. But don’t worry, with Matt’s insightful tips and experiences, you’ll walk out of this ready to snag any job in the industry.     Praise for Matt's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Chockful of examples and able to keep a running theme throughout and not lose the audience. Great enthusiastic speaker." -John S.   "Overall it was very informative. The fact that there was an actual tried and true professional of the industry willing and able to answer questions and give the talk was a very huge plus for me." -Jaboris B.   "Matt has such a way with words. He articulates concepts exceptionally well." -Karthi M.   "Matt was very engaging. His in-depth knowledge of the subject matter was crystal clear." -Tia P.    

Crowdfunding Your Indie Film or Creative Project The Right Way

Crowdfunding has completely revolutionized the way film, video, and other creative projects from graphic novels to albums and art exhibits are financed by taking the power from the corporations and putting it back into the hands of the creators and their audiences. The days of setting up a “standard definition” campaign on platforms like Indiegogo are all but extinct. Now more than ever, creators must run crowdfunding experiences that are as exciting as the projects they’re looking to get funded. We've brought in author of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers and Indiegogo’s Film/Creative Campaign Strategist John T. Trigonis who has worked on thousands of film crowdfunding campaigns ranging from micro-budget to over $1MM. In this webinar John will teach his Tao (Way) of crowdfunding to encompass the ever-changing landscape of online fundraising for film and creative projects. You will be provided with the basics of running a successful and memorable campaign and learn from case studies of those who have had successful crowdfunding campaigns.  You will walk away with some advanced tactics to raise even more than your goal. This is all gently infused by the philosophy that makes Trigonis’s advice work wonders –– Taoism. True success in crowdfunding comes not from a short-lived stint with crowdfunding, but commitment to crafting a memorable community experience.  

Developing and Packaging Your Mini Series

Learn directly from Development & Production Executive Jake Detharidge, a feature film executive that has recently made a splash into the mini-series space with projects set up at History Channel, Spike, and MGM! "Jake's feedback is so valuable. I enjoy every webinar and class Jake does. He's always informative and always presents information in a very smart and succinct way. Great webinars/classes..." - R. Canty "Seldom have I met execs in LA who know what they're talking about but don't throw around their ego. Jake loves the process, nice perspective with a positive spin." N. Kellis "This was one of the more beneficial seminars with current relative information in the industry. Really enjoyed it." - M. McLinn In this Stage 32 Webinar, host Jake Detharidge will first take you through a brief history of the ‘Mini Series’ in the US, along with analyzing the current television marketplace (Event Series vs. Limited Series vs. Mini Series), and why this platform is experiencing resurgence. After, Jake will break down the creative and development process for several different, current projects, to help you understand and identify the right stories, IP and general concepts that are viable right now. This will make up the bulk of the webinar, breaking down the creative/development/packaging process, in hopes that any and all who attend will leave with a formidable understanding of how they might create their very own compelling Mini-Series project. Don’t get confined to one narrative structure, feature or TV series, look for bold new ways to tell stories – the possibilities are endless! You Will Leave The Webinar Knowing: What exactly is a Mini-Series, versus a Limited Series and Event Series and why each is unique? Why did the ‘Mini-Series’ disappear for the most part from US television and why is it now making a strong comeback? What is the current landscape for this platform – the nuts and bolts. The major companies and players around town currently looking for these types of projects and what moves the needle for them. Narrative Basics – what and why certain stories, ideas and concepts are better suited for a mini-series versus the traditional feature film or scripted television series. What types of IP you should be looking for and how you can obtain the rights to potentially develop it. Developing – what goes into this step and exactly how much…or how little…do you need before trying to sell, and where to sell. Packaging – what the process is for a mini-series, and what elements you can attach to add value that are obtainable. Outside the box ideas!' Your host Jake Detharidge will take you through the realities and pitfalls of navigating the exciting resurgence of a classic narrative platform. Jakes comes primarily from a feature film background, but he recognized – along with the rest of the industry – the creative domination currently taking place in television and forged a way to put his skill sets to work. He has developed, packaged and set up half a dozen mini-series projects with more on the way. Through his unique viewpoint on narrative structure and current audience viewing trends, Jake believes the Mini-Series resurgence is only just beginning.

Understanding How To Deliver Your Film on VOD

What a great time it is to be a filmmaker, producer or financier. Distribution channels have never been more plentiful or more wide open. That means more options for you to maintain a fuller degree of control for your content. And that's never a bad thing. But it also means that there are more ways to get your film or project out into the world and, most importantly, more revenue opportunities toward securing profitability. And one of the most popular and lucrative choices in today's market is Video on Demand (VOD). To take advantage of all of these opportunities, you need to not only know where to look, what platforms are best suited for your material, and how to engage with the proper people to get a deal done, but you also must know how to deliver your film. Zahida Kazar is the Director of Operations for popular independent film distributor, Gravitas Ventures. She works directly with top executives Karia Brown and Mark Lyons to help deliver Gravitas films to a variety of internet and cable platforms. Zahida’s passion for all things film-related also led her to various roles at Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox before joining the Gravitas team in the fall of 2014. Zahida helps guide indie filmmakers through the delivery process and helps to ensure the release of these movies on the ever-growing VOD space. She loves meeting new filmmakers and helping them through the final step in the movie making process. Zahida will teach you how to understand and navigate the VOD space. She will discuss various rental and VOD platforms including Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and Hulu and teach you what these platforms and distribution companies are looking for. She will also dive into deliverables expectations inclding encoding, your key art, metadata, the importance of your synopsis, and your legal deliverables (so very important). From there, Zahida will help you understand how to prep your film for release including your social media and PR campaigns. And she will prepare you for what to expect after your film is released including key things to keep in mind to help assure that your project has legs in the marketplace. All this and much, much more, including an in depth Q&A session with Zahida.   "Distribution is a subject that gives me so much anxiety. Zahida took all of it away with her clear explanation of the process." - Martina L.   "Grabbing a beer...Watching again." - Henderson D.   "Comprehensive and first rate." - Samuel F.   "Excellent. More like this please." Thora P.

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Your film can continue to find attention, distribution and other successes from participating, yet there are new questions and considerations you should factor into evaluating which festivals to submit to. The current spirit of cooperation and collaboration between festivals during the pandemic has radically changed, creating lots of new and exciting ways you can benefit from the circuit. But, with the excitement, there is also a lot of confusion about premiere status, virtual screenings vs online screenings, and more. Outside of getting your film into a festival, there are things you can learn from what the successful festival films are seeing that you can apply to your own film and its release. Whether you are a feature filmmaker or a short filmmaker you need to understand and embrace the new practices emerging among festivals presenting virtual and hybrid events. It’s time you take stock of the situation. Kimberley Browning is an independent filmmaker, the Associate Short Film Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival and the founder of the long-running short film screening series Hollywood Shorts. Kimberley is also the Executive Producer of HBO ACCESS Directors Fellowship, the network's program developing and launching underrepresented voices into episodic television. Formerly a short film programmer for both the Los Angeles Film Festival and Guadalajara International Film Festival Los Angeles, Kimberley has a long history of working with film festivals and continues to serve as a festival consultant for many independent filmmakers. Kimberley has built her storied career around elevating new voices and empowering them to get their projects out into the world. Kimberley will delve into how filmmakers are finding success with their new films during the pandemic and how you can use film festivals as well as other practices to successfully release your own short or feature film. She’ll begin by explaining how you should be setting your gals and building your strategies to get your film out there. She’ll talk about new practices to build an audience, strategy essentials—with or without COVID—and how you should now be defining success and whether it needs to evolve due to the pandemic. Next Kimberley will focus on film festivals and show you what the new festival landscape and vocabulary looks like. She’ll explain what the best digital platforms festivals are utilizing and which to avoid. She’ll also teach you what ‘geocaching’ is and how to determine your geofencing options. She will go over DRM protections and how to keep your film safe when screening virtually and will talk about the difference between virtual screenings and online screenings. Next Kimberley will delve into the new film festival calendar, how the overall festival circuit is shifting due to date changes and postponements. She’ll give you the rundown of how to read small print before submitting to festivals to make sure you know what you need to know ahead of time. She’ll walk through how you should revamp your festival strategy to better navigate COVID and how you should now be communicating with a festival team. Kimberley will also talk about how to now navigate premiere status with festivals and explain how virtual festivals impact your film’s status and its ability to get distributor attention. She’ll also talk about how media and distributors are now navigating new rules in 2020 to find work with films. Next she will teach you how to navigate a virtual festival if your film is accepted, including how to promote your film to a virtual audience and how to build relationships and make connections without in-person events. Beyond festivals, Kimberley will give you strategies to promote and market your film to a general audience for its virtual release including if and how to work with publicists and new social media strategies to start employing. Kimberley will talk about other release strategies for your film beyond film festivals. She’ll give you tips on how to host your own independent online premiere. She’ll also give you a rundown of how to find distributors in a distanced world and how to operate long-standing marketplaces like AFM that are now turning virtual. Finally Kimberley will go over ways to self-distribute your film during quarantine, including if and how to work with aggregators to maximize your release. This is a tough time to release your film—rules and practices have changed across the board—but it’s still possible to find success and Kimberley will show you how to achieve this with your own film.   Praise for Kimberley's Stage 32 Webinar   "Kimberley was very engaging which isn't easy when there is no audience interaction. Her presentation hit the middle ground between newbies and more seasoned festival goers which was very helpful because we are all newbies in this virtual festival world...both presenters and filmmakers alike." -Laurie C.   "Good perspective, useful advice." -Mick H.   "It was great!" -Daniel G.   "I loved how knowledgeable Kimberley was. She gave me so many ideas of how to move forward with my film" -Karen B.

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