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 Write and Produce a Film Festival Darling

It seems like every day another film festival launches or expands. Specialty festivals are becoming all the rage and major, established festivals have been expanding to accept shorts, digital shorts, documentaries, television pilots, specialty genre content and content focused on diversity. With the market growing, so are the number of submissions to any given festival, especially those which are producing results for the connections of the accepted films. You want to make sure your screenplay is on point, that the story is a fit for the style of the festival you are entering and that the film grabs a judge's attention from the get go. Part of assuring you have a festival darling film is understanding the festival landscape, knowing the right players and making connections that assure your film is being viewed by the decision makers. But this all starts, as it always does, with the script. A majority of screenwriters do not write big budget tentpole blockbusters. They tell more intimate, character driven stories. And these are the kind of stories that most festivals adore. But why do some of these scripts attract financing, producers, and, ultimately, the attention of festival directors while others fall through the cracks? As a writer and/or producer, how can you identify the aspects of your screenplay that might be killing your chances of festival success and fix them before filming begins? And how can filmmakers and producers assure, even if they have a winning film based on a fantastic script in place, that they are entering the right festivals and navigating the circuit correctly? There is a chemistry to all of it. A mixture of the creative and the business side of things. It's imperative that you have an understanding of both. Maren Olson has represented domestic and/or worldwide distribution rights to over 70 finished films, including Academy Award winner The Secret in Their Eyes, festival favorites such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Natural Selection and Red Flag, and Sundance Audience Award winners This is Martin Bonner, Valley of Saints and Kinyarwanda. As a producer, she was responsible for critically lauded Short Term 12, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. The film went on to win 19 other awards including the Gotham Award for Best Actress and Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing. Maren currently works in the film finance division of CAA, and was formerly the President of Traction Media, where she was responsible for the creative development, packaging, production, financing and sale of independent films. To say she understands all the ins and outs of the festival circuit, what festivals look for and how they operate would be a massive understatement. Maren will teach you what kind of independent film project goes on to become a “Festival Darling” and what you can do to better position your independent film for festival success, from script to screen. She will deconstruct both the writing stage- from the major components of a festival-friendly story idea, to what to consider regarding location and characters, all the way to how to incorporate thinking about the budget when writing your script- as well as the production stage – from how to make sure your film gets properly considered by the right people, to which festivals you should submit to and when, all the way to the common ways festival friendly scripts turn into a film that no festival wants to play. She will teach you the 3 components of a festival-friendly story idea and why you must answer yes to each. She will talk budget, shooting locations and when the proper time is to bring on a producer. She will explain the mistakes people make and demystify the myths people believe when navigating the festival circuit. She will go over common pitfalls screenwriters, filmmakers and producers make that can be fatal when submitting to festivals.   Maren will give you the tools to get traction on your project. She will lay out, in clear, precise terms, how to assure your project is given the best opportunity to become a "Festival Darling."     "Excellent - informative. Maren brought facts and experience to a very nuanced subject about "Film Festival Darlings - offering an extremely in-depth analysis to the elements of what a writer or producer should consider when moving forward in the Indie film world. My fav Stage 32 webinar so far. Thanks." - Robert G.   "Fantastic seminar. Like a good filmmaker, you kept us engaged from opening to close. Thanks again!" - Bob B.   "Maren had a lot of practical information and road trap warning for indies. I appreciated the components of a festival face, comps, and specific advice that is useful." - Betty S.

Independent Film Acquisitions - How to Get Your Film U.S. Theatrical Distribution

With more and more content being created and more avenues for films to be seen, the overall distribution market is changing at a rapid pace. But, the classic in-theater experience is still alive and well – if you have the right type of film and you understand how tailor your approach to the market. Don't think for a second that your film is not a fit for theatrical distribution or that all theaters and screens are controlled by the studios. There still IS an opportunity for a film to be distributed to the US market in theaters. Independent film acquisitions with the intent to distribute in the US theatrical market still make up a profitable part of today’s film business. Unfortunately, many filmmakers aren’t aware of the elements a film must have to be considered for theatrical distribution. Understanding everything from where your content fits to how to put your film in the best position to be acquired is absolutely necessary in order for you to give your project the best chance to attract a buyer and give you the opportunity to have your masterpiece, the film you worked so hard to make, seen in a theater. Jason Resnick is the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions for Aviron Pictures and has had decades of experience in theatrical distribution on films of all budget levels. He Jason was formerly the GM of Worldwide Acquisitions for the Universal Pictures Group and in charge of all acquisitions for Universal, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, he'll go over what the current US theatrical market looks like for film acquisitions. And, it's more accessible than you think! To fully understand how the market has shifted and how the old thinking has become obsolete, Jason will break down the last 10 years of theatrical distribution to show you what's still working and what has dramatically changed. This information alone will give you a competitive advantage in the space and make you more attractive to buyers. He will also make you understand limited, wide, and day-and-date releases and identify the key players in each. He will show you the proper way to approach these reps and buyers so you stand out in a competitive market. Most importantly you will learn how a film is acquired for US theatrical release and what can hurt and help your chances of getting acquired. You will walk away knowing exactly makes your film look attractive for an acquisition for the US theatrical market.   "I learned a lot. Really appreciate Jason's experience and expertise. Jason's presentation was considered, articulate, to the point and very informative. Was well worth the class fee." - Rebecca D.  

How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet

Learn directly from Anne Marie Gillen, who has over 20 years of experience with independent film financing and has raised over $100M worldwide! Joining Anne Marie are 2 special guests: Gene Massey, CEO of MediaShares and an expert in marketing crowdfunded online stock offerings. Lou Bevilacqua who is the founding member of Bevilacqua PLLC, a boutique transactional corporate and securities law firm. He is also co-founder, President and General Counsel of Digital Offering LLC, a FINRA registered investment bank. There are approximately 9 million officially accredited investors in the United States alone - you can now legally solicit all of them to finance your project. This exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet will explain how. Recent legislation has created an opportunity for equity-based crowdfunding as a financing model for indie producers of film, documentaries, series, games, and other creative endeavors. Get INVESTMENTS in your film instead of just DONATIONS. This is NOT another Kickstarter / IndieGoGo webinar! Whether you are a veteran producer or a film student - you need financing! This is a webinar for all level filmmakers, given by experts in the new methods of online film finance, who will show how you can create a powerful online presentation and legally market your project to investors on the Internet. You will walk away with a clear understanding of the new SEC rules and regulations that allow you to raise equity funding online. You will learn from 3 of the industry's top financing and legal experts how to raise equity funding for your own project.  

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I was born for this. Started on street corners tap dancing, doing comedy, telling stories & holding an audience until they pay me J A Masters Degree from USC Film School and three decades later there hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t writing, directing, producing or managing as an executive a feature film, television, documentary, live event and/or new media program.  I’ve been blessed to learn from and collaborate with some of the luminaries of sports and entertainment producing and business management. For these efforts, I picked up a shelf full of awards & trophies, maintained an upward financial trajectory and learned to enjoy the ride. A few of the collaborations in my career include: Netflix, YouTube, NBC, CBS, ABC, Univision, HBO, Showtime, TNT, MTV, VH-1, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Studios, Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment The Grateful Dead, Quincy Jones, Michael Jordan & David Falk, Phil Knight/NIKE, Magic Johnson, Peter Guber/Mandalay, Dr. Dre, Snoop & Eminem, Arthur Miller, Michael Bloomberg, Laurence Fishburne, the NFL, MLB and NBA, and most of the financing entities in Hollywood. I’ve established tax incentives that spark states into profitable production while structuring large scale financing. Easier said than done, trust me!      Now, I’m thrilled to join with Stage 32 to talk about my journey and share my experiences from over the years. I love to give back to up and coming filmmakers and I’ll be holding an online Q&A to talk with you, the Stage 32 community, and tell you about the things I’ve learned along the way. If you’re in the middle of your filmmaking journey, now, no matter where you live in the world, I’ll be taking questions from you live, so ask away! So relax, this opportunity to not give up on your daydream just got a lot closer.     Clint Eastwood, Kip & Kern Konwiser Kip & Virginia Madsen Kenny Ortega (director/choreographer), Jim Belushi, William Levy, Emilio Estefan Kip, Ron Shelton (director/writer), Pete Rose, Kurt Soderling (DP) Pre-production at Legendary Studios "The Konwiser Bros." Kern & Kip Konwiser 

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