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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Movie Deliverables and You...


I’ve delivered 3 of my own movies now and several other titles for others. Pasted below is a deliverables list from a prominent distributor and my understanding of most items. I am by no means an expert, but I hope that my misadventures with movie delivery can be helpful to other indie producers out there.

Now specific items may vary slightly from distributor to distributor and this list is also about 3 years old. So don’t take it has gospel. It’s just a good start to understanding what goes into delivering a title for distribution.

Here we go….

SCHEDULE OF DELIVERY ITEMS REQUIRED

NOTE: ALL FILM ELEMENTS WILL ONLY BE REQUIRED UPON THE SALE OF A THEATRICAL LICENSE AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH SALES TERMS BY LICENSOR.  THEREFORE, NO FILM ELEMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED UPON INITIAL DELIVERY.

LAB ACCESS: Lab access must be provided by Licensor to Sales Agent throughout the active term of this Agreement for both the feature and trailer in each of the formats listed directly below:
****for most indie producers your lab is your place. You just need to have access to and be able to provide the items.

VIDEO ITEMS: Masters must be provided by Licensor to Sales Agent for all video items listed below:
1.     CLOSED CAPTION VERSION 
(This is something you need to have done by a post house. Most desktop/home editors cannot provide an acceptable closed captioning on their own. If you can, good on you, but I doubt it.)
2.     MINI DV NTSC BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE
3.     MINI DV PAL BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE 
(I’ve always provided these, but so far they’ve never been used. I would assume that bts material is delivered more often on harddrives these days.)

AND:
A.    All Digibeta or HD items must contain: 
(I think digibeta is also be phased out. Mostly HD items are required now)
1.     Composite stereo sound on channels one and two and isolated, fully-filled music & effects (M&E) stereo tracks on channels three and four. This requirement extends to all features, trailers, and textless footage.
2.     Textless backgrounds tied to the tail of the feature for both the feature and trailer.
3.     Trailers at the ending of each master.
B.    Full frame masters shall be in the aspect ratio of 4:3 (1:33:1). Licensor acknowledges that full frame anamorphic masters will not meet this requirement.
C.    PAL Digibeta masters must be created from a source of equal (or greater) resolution to native PAL resolution (625/50). PAL Digibeta masters should not be created from conversions of NTSC Digibeta masters.

Most people are aware of what M&E tracks are. Music and effects. It’s an audio track with nothing but the music and hard sound fx from the movie. Its for foreign distribution and dubbing. However, many newbie moviemakers fail to provide a FULL m&e track. FULL m&e includes ALL folly. You should be able to watch the movie with all the dialog tracks gone and every footstep, clothes rustle, body movement, ect should be there. This is especially problematic when you use a lot of production sound from dialog tracks in your cut, which is something a lot of indies do.

Many people forget about the textless background cut. Also for foreign distribution. It actually slipped my mind. I need to ready one for Monsters in the Woods.

SOUND ITEMS: Audio tracks must be provided by Licensor to Sales Agent per below:
1.     One (1) NTSC- synchronous DA88 and one (1) NTSC-synchronous set of PCM or AIFF digital audio files broken down thusly:
a.      COMPOSITE SOUND ON 2 TRACKS IN STEREO
b.     DIALOGUE ON 2 TRACKS IN STEREO
c.      MUSIC ON 2 TRACKS IN STEREO
d.     EFFECTS ON 2 TRACKS IN STEREO
2.     5.1 DA88s in the following formats:
a.      One (1) NTSC-synchronous DA88 OF THE DISCRETE 5.1 SOUND MIX w/ LT/RT
b.     One (1) PAL-synchronous DA88 OF THE DISCRETE 5.1 SOUND MIX w/ LT/RT
c.      One (1) NTSC-synchronous DA88 OF THE FULLY-FILLED M&E MIX w/ OPTIONAL AND DIALOGUE GUIDES
d.     One (1) PAL-synchronous DA88 OF THE FULLY-FILLED M&E MIX w/ OPTIONAL AND DIALOGUE GUIDES.
e.      ONE (1) NTSC-SYNCHRONOUS DA88 OF DOLBY-E ENCODED AUDIO
Monsters in the Woods is my 1st 5.1 delivery so, I’m still working on that.

ANCILLARY ITEMS: The following items must be provided by Licensor to Sales Agent:
(make sure you have each and every item on this list. This is where most producers mess up. Many of forms seem redundant. But each serves it's own purpose and is absolutely required. Often a distributor will accept a movie with certain items missing, but then when it comes time to send out the quarterly report or worse yet a check to the production company, they will withhold until all the items are delivered.) 
1.     Contractual Credit Block with copyright information, in Microsoft Word format. 
2.     The following series of synopses, in Microsoft Word format: a treatment-length synopsis, a three-paragraph synopsis, a one-paragraph synopsis, and a one-sentence synopsis.
3.     Production notes provided in Microsoft Word format. 
(most of the time distributors will provide examples of how they want these things formatted.)
4.     Key Art to be provided in both text and textless iterations (unless supplied as a layered text image file). Each of these iterations should adhere to the following specifications:
a.      Size: eight-by-twelve inches (8”x12” in.) – at minimum
b.     Resolution: three-hundred dots per inch (300 dpi) – at minimum
c.      Color Mode: CMYK or RGB
d.     File format to be Photoshop (*.PSD) (preferred), uncompressed TIFF (*TIFF), or Illustrator (*.EPS)
5.     Digital stills (at least 40) adhering to the following specifications: 
(I always pull at least 100 still captures from the movie. I usually work on this throughout the editing process.)
a.      Cleared for unrestricted use
b.     Size: four-by-six inches (4”x6” in.) – at minimum
c.      Resolution: three-hundred dots per inch (300 dpi) – at minimum
d.     Color Mode: CMYK or RGB
e.      File format to be Camera Raw (preferred), Photoshop (*.PSD), uncompressed TIFF (*TIFF), or high quality (low compression) JPEG (*.JPG)
6.     Lab Access Letter shall be irrevocable for the duration of the active term. 
(even if you are the lab, you still need to provide the letter.)
7.     Copies of the passing grade Quality Control (QC) report for all delivered video and audio masters.  (again, a proper video post house will need to do this. This is something you should discuss with the distributor, becase many will require you to use specific post houses and will not accept others.
a.      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Agreement, in the event a QC report is not provided with a master, Sales Agent will immediately obtain a QC report and shall recover such from Licensor an amount equal to 150% of the cost of furnishing such item, with the right to demand immediate payment of such amount from Licensor and, if Licensor fails to pay, the right to recoup before any payments are made to Licensor via any channel.
b.     If masters fail QC, Licensor must repair or replace faulty masters at their expense and such masters shall not be considered Delivered until a passing grade QC report is obtained.  The quality control reports must be administered and attested to by a verifiably reputable lab.
8.     Errors and Omissions policy maintained by Licensor for three (3) years from the date of delivery.  
(its not as much as you might think. Dependnig on the size of the production, they start around 3k. The lack of an E and O policy held up the Edges of Darkness delivery for almost 2 years.)
9.     The chain of title should comprise the following:
a.     copies of copyright registration certificate filed with the U.S. Copyright office with respect to the screenplay and the motion picture;  
****(special note about registering your work. If the work is registered to you as an invidual and not your LLC. You will need to sign an Assignment of Rights. Giving the rights to your LLC. This is another thing that held up Edges of Darkness.)
b.     copies of a Copyright Report and a Title Report provided by an attorney acceptable to the distributor.
c.      a complete statement of all screen and advertising credit obligations, with the names listed in the same order as they appear on the billing block together with a layout of the proposed screen and advertising credits and photostatic copies of excerpts from all agreements defining and describing both the form and nature of the required credits and any restrictions as to the use of name and likeness, including licenses for all logos appearing on the billing block;
d.     a statement of any restrictions as to the dubbing of the voice of any player, including dubbing dialogue in a language other than the language in which the Show was recorded;
e.      copies of all licenses, including, but not limited to: fully-executed master use and synchronization /performance music licenses; contracts; assignments and/or other written permissions from the proper parties in interest permitting the use of any musical, literary, dramatic and other material of whatever nature used in the production of the Show; 
(make sure you have both permission to use the music and the synchroniztion rights to every piece of music in the movie.) Mastering rights and synchronization rights are two completely different things.
f.      copies of all agreements or other documents relating to the engagement of personnel in connection with the Show including those for individual producer(s), the director, all artists, music composer(s) and conductor(s), technicians and administrative staff;
g.     a copy of the final approved shooting script.
10.       Certificate of Origin should be an original copy notarized by the applicable governmental authority attesting to the country of origin of the Show and setting forth the following additional information: title of Show; Producer; at least two of the principal cast members; Director; year of production; and running time. (This must be notarized)
11.       The dialogue continuity script must be a detailed subtitle spotting list of the completed Show (and trailer if applicable) conforming in all respects to and with the action and dialogue contained in the completed Show in form and condition suitable for submission to various censorship boards.  If the dialogue of the Show was recorded in whole or in part in a language other than English, the continuity shall contain a literal English translation.
12.       Music cue sheet (complete and accurate) to industry standards.
13.       All DVD Extras.

TRAILERS
The following trailers must be provided by Licensor to Sales Agent:
1.          Release Trailer – approximately 150-240 seconds – to be included in all the delivery materials described above. The goal of this “Release Trailer” is to drive audiences to the Show.
2.          Sales Trailer – approximately 60-90 seconds – to be delivered as an MPEG-2 File (720x480 pixels / min 5000/448 kbps). The goal of this “Sales Trailer” is to highlight the Show’s value for the potential distributors.
3.          Extended Trailer (EPK) – approximately 7-12 minutes – to be delivered as an MPEG-2 file (720x480 pixels / min 5000/448 kbps). The goal of this EPK is to add value in the eyes of the potential distributors by its availability as a DVD extra and by reinforcing the overall production quality of the Show. An EPK is used by the Sales Agent to support sales that will not necessarily require a full screening of the Show, often before the Show has been completed. The EPK will usually be made available on the Show’s webpage as a supplement to the Sales Trailer for those wanting to see more of the film immediately.





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