How to Make the Right Distribution Deal for Your Movie

Hosted by Alexia Melocchi

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Alexia Melocchi

Webinar hosted by: Alexia Melocchi

Producer at Little Studio Films

Alexia Melocchi is a Producer at Little Studio Films, a multilingual boutique representation, consulting and production company with more than 25 films and series credits and over 20 projects in development. Little Studio Films has an extensive background in worldwide distribution both as a buyer and seller. Their Film and Television properties as well as the works of their clientele are geared toward productions of global appeal and our client list and partners comprise of local and international producers, authors, screenwriters, directors, and more. Little Studios recently completed the reality series "The Experience" airing on UpLift Television. On the feature side, SUMMER DANCE filmed in New York last Fall, and with a soon to be announced all star cast, a biopic of cyclist Marco Pantani shot in Italy in late Fall. They are currently casting for the upcoming feature, TOXICANT, to be directed by Marco Ristori and Luca Boni, and are preparing the miniseries on the life of young Maria Callas called THE MAKING OF MARIA. Little Studios production & development includes: THE PANTANI AFFAIR STEALING ROSES SERVICE TO MAN RIDING 79 GALLEON TOXICANT UNSTAGED WRECKAGE AS GREEK AS IT GETS THE RULE OF LEAD Alexia is an accomplished entertainment industry professional, with a long and proven track record of success within both the domestic and international arenas. Throughout her career, Alexia’s devotion to undiscovered talent has been indisputable. With more than twenty years in the industry, as both a sales agent and a buyer’s representative for international distributors, Alexia has gained both valuable and diverse exposure to a variety of films and functions in the entertainment industry. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Understanding film distribution and all of the variables that go with it - just got a whole lot easier. With so many sale options, both foreign and domestic, making the proper decision when it comes to distribution rights can be downright frustrating.

To help ease that frustration, Stage 32 is bringing in Alexia Melocchi, a seasoned sales agent and buyers representative for international distributors. For over twenty years Alexia has been in the trenches and continues to move successfully through them, which is why we’ve asked her to share her most sound advice with all of you.

Alexia has sold over 25 movies to international and US distributors making three times their budget for herself and her producing partners. In 2017 and 2018 the films she acquired on behalf of her distributor clients have grossed over $900 Million USD. 

On this information-packed webinar, Alexia will share how this was done, as well as offer a fresh perspective on the ever-changing distribution landscape and what filmmakers need to do to successfully move through the trenches themselves today.

What You'll Learn

  • You have a distribution offer for your film - now what?
    • An explanation of the most-used deal terms
  • Should you split domestic and foreign?
    • The advantages and disadvantages of separating your rights.
  • Do festival laurels help?
    • How to make the most of festival accolades to get distribution.
  • The difference between a sales agent, a producer rep and a distributor:
    • Can you do business with all of them? 
  • Weighing in on your options
    • The advantages and pitfalls of having a sales agent and what to expect.
    • The advantages and pitfalls of a producer rep and what to expect
    • Can you sell directly to a territorial distributor?
      • What do you need to have in order to make them feel comfortable in dealing with you?
  • Film sales projections and how to get them
  • Do pre-sales really still exist?
    • Managing expectations.
  • Co-productions against distribution rights.
  • How to pick your sales team.
    • Choosing the right company and brand to target the right audience
  • Q&A with Alexia

About Your Instructor

Alexia Melocchi is a Producer at Little Studio Films, a multilingual boutique representation, consulting and production company with more than 25 films and series credits and over 20 projects in development. Little Studio Films has an extensive background in worldwide distribution both as a buyer and seller. Their Film and Television properties as well as the works of their clientele are geared toward productions of global appeal and our client list and partners comprise of local and international producers, authors, screenwriters, directors, and more.

Little Studios recently completed the reality series "The Experience" airing on UpLift Television. On the feature side, SUMMER DANCE filmed in New York last Fall, and with a soon to be announced all star cast, a biopic of cyclist Marco Pantani shot in Italy in late Fall. They are currently casting for the upcoming feature, TOXICANT, to be directed by Marco Ristori and Luca Boni, and are preparing the miniseries on the life of young Maria Callas called THE MAKING OF MARIA.

Little Studios production & development includes:

  • THE PANTANI AFFAIR
  • STEALING ROSES
  • SERVICE TO MAN
  • RIDING 79
  • GALLEON
  • TOXICANT
  • UNSTAGED
  • WRECKAGE
  • AS GREEK AS IT GETS
  • THE RULE OF LEAD

Alexia is an accomplished entertainment industry professional, with a long and proven track record of success within both the domestic and international arenas. Throughout her career, Alexia’s devotion to undiscovered talent has been indisputable. With more than twenty years in the industry, as both a sales agent and a buyer’s representative for international distributors, Alexia has gained both valuable and diverse exposure to a variety of films and functions in the entertainment industry.

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.

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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.

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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.
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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!

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

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A World of Opportunities - Navigating the International Film & TV Marketplace to Further Your Projects and Career

Let's get one thing out of the way immediately:  It's not just Hollywood anymore.  Actually, let's take it one step further, it's not just the United States either. If you're a filmmaker, screenwriter or producer seeking to sell and/or distribute your content, looking to work on a consistent basis and, hopeful in building a long lasting career in the industry, you must be paying attention to what's happening around the world. The international entertainment industry now contributes to over 70% of the theatrical releases and box office receipts across the globe. And many estimate that number will grow over the coming years. But it's not just film that has seen this global expansion, television and digital content has exploded outside of the U.S. as well. Not to mention, many of the streaming platforms are now looking for film, television and other short form content that will play with a U.S. audience, but will be especially popular in specific regions overseas. So where do you begin to look where others aren't, expand your prospects and give yourself a competitive advantage? Well, right here, of course!   For many, navigating the international market presents a black hole. Where can one find producers, financiers, representatives and development execs who serve these markets? How do you know what the trends are and how you may best serve them? How do you know the mandates of streamers, distributors and sales agents? Do you have a story already in hand that can be tweaked to serve an international audience? You may be surprised.   We could fill 20 paragraphs with what Alexia Melocchi has achieved in her 25 year career in the entertainment business. Alexia is an accomplished entertainment industry professional with a long proven track record of success within both the domestic and international arenas. A vital contributor to the LITTLE STUDIO FILMS brand, Alexia Melocchi's expertise and footing in the entertainment industry began in the international marketplace, as both a sales agent and buyer’s representative for eleven territories, giving her diverse exposure to all types of films and functions in the entertainment industry. As a consultant she currently uses her professional relationships and expertise by providing screenplay development, packaging films, securing co- productions and arranging for US and international distribution for her clients. A regular participant at most major film and television markets as well as festivals around the world, Alexia Melocchi still pursues international acquisitions and uses a global film marketing approach for the projects of her clients as well as the films she has and is producing under the Little Studio Films banner. During her tenure as a sales agent she sold more than 50 movies to profit on behalf of her producer clients, and acquired more than 100 major studio and independent films on behalf of the Distributors she has ongoing relationships with in Italy, Greece, Latin America, Spain, France, Germany, Japan and Scandinavia. She recently handled territorial sales for Unstaged, the Duran Duran live concert film directed by David Lynch, the Italian American film American Fango directed by Gabriele Altobelli and the Australian feature Bathing Frankie directed by Owen Elliott.   Alexia will teach you everything you need to know about the international marketplace and how to use your English speaking talents to get paid as a director, writer or author by international companies. She will give you an overview of the global film business including trends and how to tell global stories for a global audience. She will take away the fear and anxiety and the time suck of figuring out how to find, meet and engage international producers and financiers. She will explain the film markets and explain which ones to attend and which to skip. She will teach you the proper cultural etiquette when dealing with international decision makers. Of monumental importance, she will show you how to pitch yourself and your projects to the international marketplace and how your pitch may differ from U.S. targets.   Plus, you will get a handout of resources and links for foreign resources Alexia goes over in her webinar!     This is a comprehensive look at the international market and how to navigate the landscape toward opening up the world for new possibilities as a filmmaker, screenwriter, author or producer.       Praise for Alexia   "Great information. She covered a lot of ground and it was one of the most informative Stage 32 webinars I've attended. Thank you!!" - Debbi M.   "Concise and to the point, great information on international markets, I will apply this knowledge to my debut film's development." - Francisco C.   "Great advice. She really demystified a lot of what's involved. Thank you Alexia!" - S.J.   "A lot of great info, but also a new way of thinking, a fresh perspective to help advance my career! Thank you!" - John E.   "Great energy and to the point info. Loved it." - Sebastian T.

How to Navigate the Film Markets - AFM, Cannes, TIFF, EFM

If you're thinking about attending some of the major film markets - including Cannes, TIFF, AFM or EFM - it's important to understand how to navigate the commerce of the markets. We're bringing in international producer Alexia Melocchi, who has over a decade of experience at the markets to go over each of the markets and how you can get the most out of attending! 

How to Work the Virtual American Film Market: Get Meetings, Get to Buyers, The Market Landscape and Beyond

About this time in a normal year, filmmakers from around the world would be locking down their plans to travel to Santa Monica and attend the internationally renowned American Film Market (AFM). One of the biggest film acquisition, development and networking events in the world, AFM has provided a forum for thousands of films to find funding and acquisition deals since its founding in 1981. Yet this year will be different. Like most events right now, AFM has made the shift to virtual, and with that comes new rules, new expectations, and a new landscape. If you’re hoping to attend the AFM this year and leave with a deal in hand, it’s important you understand what the market will look like and how you can adjust your strategy to find success. With the AFM moving virtual, it will be even more competitive and challenging to access sales agents, buyers, and potential international partners. You will need to know who the players are and how to get their attention - all while working on different time zones and communicating virtually. Trying to understand this new way of doing business adds another layer of complexity as you navigate your market strategy, but don't worry. This new form of market is intended to be fruitful for all - and, most importantly, fun!  Alexia Melocchi is a partner at Little Studio Films, and for over two decades has produced and sold award winning movies that have earned nearly $1 Billion dollars in box office returns worldwide. Her clients have bought and partially financed films such as LA LA LAND, PEPPERMINT, THE BOY, TWILIGHT, TEEN SPIRIT and THE BANKER. Amongst her personal producing credits are the DURAN DURAN documentary directed by David Lynch, SERVICE TO MAN released through Entertainment Studios, and SOL DE MEDIANOCHE released on HBO. Alexia is also the host of THE HEART OF SHOW BUSINESS podcast, where she discusses the behind-the-scenes of how Hollywood truly works. Alexia has built much of her success on attending major film markets and intimately knows what it takes to stand out and get the deals you’re after in these forums, whether virtual or otherwise. Alexia will guide you through how to work this virtual edition of the American Film Market to get the meetings you’re after and find success for your project. She will begin by outlining the cultural differences that you can expect at this year’s AFM and the global market shifts that are taking place. Then she’ll delve into AFM as a whole and what their new virtual format is going to look like this year, including their Industry Offices, LocationEXPO, On Demand Theatre, Conference, Networking Pavilion, and Advisor Network. She’ll provide you with a rundown of the specific sales agents, distributors, and producers attending AFM this year that you should know. Alexia will then teach you how to handle the virtual obstacles taking place at the market this year, including the online meeting landscape how to work Zoom like a professional, and how to handle time zones. She’ll give you tips on how best to prepare for AFM, how to make appointments ahead of time and select your target list, how to access your targets, and how to use database platforms to hone your plan, including AFM Connect, Cinando, IMDBPro, and Variety Insight. Next Alexia will explain how you should approach buyers. She’ll walk you through the perfect approach for buyers and how to get your message across in a limited time frame to the right person. She’ll also show you what you really need to have ready before AFM begins and other relationship building tips to keep in mind beyond AFM. Finally, Alexia will expand to show you current trends overseas. She’ll talk about production challenges and updates in a COVID-19 era and why you should be planning ahead for the good times. The path to success continues to alter, and the push to virtual is challenging for everyone, but with the lessons and tips that Alexia will provide, you will leave with a solid understanding of how to roll with the punches and find the opportunities you’re after.   Praise for Alexia's Stage 32 Webinar   "Really great. Actually useful, practical advice. Wasn't full of bullshit platitudes, Alexia shot straight with us, but was also positive and encouraging. All in all, really appreciated the way she gave an overview of AFM and how to best take advantage of it." -Max W.   "Alexia did a fantastic job of making it all relatable and cutting through the noise." -Clint G.   "I really did gain some needed information on how to address this film market online" -Craig H.   "Alexia is clearing very experienced & she is so gracious in sharing her wisdom with all of us. I'm truly grateful that you all put on this webinar!" -Becca G.    

Prepping For International Co-Productions: What You Need To Know

As the world of independent television and film continues to shift, international co-productions are becoming more common. That’s because crossing borders is often an effective way to find better funding, better locations, and ultimately a wider audience. But international co-productions are not always a slam dunk. Partnering with other countries is a complicated endeavor and brings with it challenges and hurdles you wouldn’t have to face otherwise. Potential pitfalls are plentiful, but then again, so are opportunities. It comes down to putting in the work ahead of time, covering your bases, and making sure you know what you’re doing before diving in head first. Working across countries is hard enough when you’re part of a studio or large corporation. There are still contracts to hash out, politics to navigate, and differences in cultures to understand. But when you’re an independent producer or filmmaker looking to cross country lines, it can feel impossible, an overwhelming prospect where you don’t even know where to start. After all, you don’t have the backing of a legal department and you don’t have experts on payroll. You just have you. So where do you start? Is an international co-production worth it for you? What steps should you take to get the ball rolling and how can do you protect yourself along the way? With more than twenty years in the industry, Alexia Melocchi has worked in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. Alexia is currently a producer at Little Studio Films, a representation and production company with more than 25 films and series credits. She serves as Partner and Producer, involved in all aspects of company operations, including distribution and co-production deals, managing production activities, and film and television marketing. Alexia is well versed in the art of international co-productions and will share the secrets, tips, and lessons she’s learned over her two decades in the industry exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Alexia will walk you through the nitty gritty of starting international co-productions and the things you need to know before jumping in. She will begin by going over the pros and cons of producing overseas, both for film projects and television, and when to determine if an international co-production is the right call. She’ll tell you the four aspects of your project you should focus on before making this call. She’ll then discuss what makes a story international and how to use this to your advantage. Alexia will then go over the advantages of having international settings in your script. Next she will focus on tax subsidies and credits in different countries, how these can be targeted, the challenges that come with claiming them, and the rules and requirements you’ll generally need to meet to qualify for them. She’ll also discuss the prospect of working with international broadcasters or producers. Then, Alexia will give an in-depth and detailed rundown of the benefits and challenges of producing in six major countries: Italy, Spain, Canada, UK, and Australia. She’ll offer a breakdown of the specific costs that go into overseas productions, as well as the legal ramifications of these projects, including how international cooperation might affect ownership of your IP and rights. Alexia will discuss what an effective timeline of a successful co-production deal might look like and will finally give you tips on how to work international markets like Cannes to find the partnerships you need. This webinar is useful to producers considering an international co-production as well as writers, actors and directors who feel their talent or material might work well on an international scale   Like what you heard from Alexia during this webinar?  Send your script to Alexia and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.    Praise for Alexia’s Webinar   “Alexia had so much specific and helpful information that I’m going to be able to use moving forward” -Karen H.   “Alexia is the best! I’m so glad I got to see this webinar” -Hannah E.   “I was impressed with how much the instructor knew about this topic. I have a lot of ideas and tools I can take with me for my own projects now” -Jerry B.

Navigating Legal Contracts Post-Pandemic: 5 Important “Boiler Plate” Provisions that Now Matter in Film, TV and New Media Projects

A hot topic of conversation in our current COVID-19 world is how film, television and new media productions will resume production safely and effectively. The entire entertainment legal landscape has changed as a result of the world’s pandemic. Producers, filmmakers, directors and crew need to think about protection before you can ever step on set to say “action.” It’s important to take a deeper look at the legal agreements that tie parties together on a project as we contemplate the future. Contract provisions that parties wrote off as “boring” or “boiler plate” will significantly change moving forward. It’s important you understand how this affects your project.   You don’t want to get stuck with a production or financial nightmare if you’re not protected legally to move forward on your film, TV or new media project. There are five basic provisions in a legal contract that many dismissed as “boring boiler plate” that now will have significance moving forward. It’s important that you know the basic purpose of these provisions, why they are drafted and what purpose they serve for all parties. With each provision, you will need to know the impact and implications as it relates to COVID-19 and how these provisions will continue to change to comply with government and guilds, insurance coverage and mitigation of risk for both parties. You need to make sure to contemplate unlikely scenarios so that contracts are comprehensive to whatever may occur.   Elsa Ramo is one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and the managing partner of Ramo Law. Recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,” Elsa Ramo has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.Her clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa has her finger on the pulse of the legal side of the entertainment law and works non-stop to protect her clients in all deals.   Elsa will go through the nuts and bolts of contractual provisions in the entertainment industry and a walk through of how these should and will change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsa will start by offering a basic understanding of five contractual provisions that are now much more important in the wake of the pandemic: Force majeure, suspension/termination provisions, assumption of risk and related indemnification provisions, medical releases and disclosures, and scheduling and payment provisions. She’ll discuss why they are drafted and what purpose they serve among the parties. Then, with each provision, she will discuss the impact and implications as it relates to Covid-19 and how these provisions are and will continue to change to comply with government compliance, guild compliance insurance coverage and mitigation of risk for both parties as they contract during a pandemic. Elsa will distill what we can learn from changing these ‘boring provisions’ that we can apply to better prepare ourselves for future unlikely scenarios and ensure contracts are comprehensive to whatever may occur. Finally, Elsa will teach you how to flag and ensure that the modifications placed on these contracts comply with government legislation, union compliance, and other worst-case scenarios.You will be fully prepared to understand how “boring boiler plate” provisions can affect your project and how to best protect yourself.     Praise for Elsa’s Stage 32 Webinar:   "This was one of the best webinars I have taken so far. Thank you again. I look forward to the next one!" -Romina S.   "Awesome presentation - great speaker, made complicated issues much clearer, lots of great info! Great info for anyone in the industry in all positions. Thanks!!" -Ron H.   "This webinar was absolutely brilliant! Elsa is clearly a pro, but her manner was so calm and approachable. She didn't talk down to us and explained all these intricacies so that I believe everyone was able to understand them. Bravo! More Elsa Please!" -Becca G.   "Elsa is always amazing and legal is always a fantastic topic, now more than ever!" -Lisa G.          

How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

The director and actors may get the lion’s share of the credit, and the writer might be the one who thought up the story in the first place, but it’s the producer who actually puts a film together and who turns ideas into reality, all the way from conception through distribution and beyond. The role of a producer can be enigmatic, though. It’s not as straightforward of a job as, say, an actor or a DP, and with so many different types of producers (Line producer? Associate producer? Executive producer? Co-Executive Producer?) it’s a hard concept for people to wrap their heads around. But if you’re interested in being a producer yourself and in leading the charge in creating great content that people want to watch, it’s important you better understand the role and find ways you can separate yourself from the pack and excel. There are a lot of producers out there, a lot of people working to create content. However there are a lot fewer who are prolific, who have multiple projects under their belt and have the know-how to make any project they have their sights set on a success. So what makes these power producers stand out? How do they choose what to produce and how do they operate within the industry to make things happen? And how can you join their ranks? A good step might be to learn directly from a power producer herself. Luckly, successful producer Aimee Schoof will lend her experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee has had more than 25 years’ experience working as a hands-on producer on projects of all shapes and sizes and knows what I takes to thrive in this role. She’s excited to share that with you. Aimee will give you a soup-to-nuts overview of what it takes to produce a film of any level and how to position yourself for success not only on your current project, but for your career moving forward. She will begin by teaching you the different types of producers on a film and what each person’s responsibility is. She’ll then give you strategies of how to choose your own path as a producer, including what it means to be an independent producer. She’ll walk you through how to find partners, collaborators, and mentors in this industry and will discuss the crucial but tricky task of finding and selecting material to produce. She’ll also break down whether a producer should focus on just one project at a time or multi-task. Aimee will illustrate what exactly a day in the life of a producer actually looks like. Aimee will then focus on relationship building, one of the biggest parts of a producer’s job. She’ll break down how to form and maintain relationships with agents and managers, actors, casting directors, and fellow producers, among others. She’ll then discuss the best practices for networking to build your connections, including how to work film festivals and markets to meet new and exciting potential partners or friends. Next, Aimee will delve into how best to source IP as opposed to working with original stories. She’ll go over the balance between holding your relationships close and expanding your network and how a good producer budgets their time when working on multiple projects. Aimee will also give you tips on how you can produce a science fiction film, even on a budget. Then, Aimee will give an honest and realistic breakdown of what a film’s timeline actually looks like—how long it actually takes to make a film and how you can stay motivated along the way. Aimee will use examples and case studies from her own past films, including projects made from existing IP, to further break down the role of a producer.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send your script to Aimee and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.     Praise for Aimee’s Webinar   “I loved this! Aimee knows so much about the subject. I really learned a lot” -Cheryl B.   “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.   “This was great! Thank you!” -Joanne D.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

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