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The People You Need on Your Distribution Team

The process of prepping, shooting and cutting your project will drain most of your resources – definitely the project’s budget and finances, but also your sanity and emotional well-being. So if you set aside the money ahead of time, your early footage has drawn some additional investors or you discovered a gold mine in your couch cushions, here are some people to help ease the pain in this final stage of the project.

Photo: Public Domain

"PMD" | Producer of Marketing and Distribution

The PMD is a relatively new but very smart job concept. Even if you can’t afford to hire someone to this position, at least one person on your team should focus on how to get your project out to an audience. This producer should and will budget for distribution materials, organize photos and videos from production and secure relationships with organizations or companies that can help with promotion. So all that stuff that seems like a total headache and additional burden to the project…leave it to the PMD.

Sure, it’s an hour long – but it’s good.


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Publicists aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, but more likely a couple grand for a handful. Still, there’s no shortage of supply out there. The best recommendation for a publicist is word of mouth – since that’s basically the point of the job. Ask anyone you know who’s worked with a publicist on a media project to see what the experience was like. Otherwise, look for the agency or person you feel is the best fit and who get your work. Once you feel like you’re in good hands, then you can worry about how much those hands are going to cost you.

Hitting you with another hour and change of things to watch – but come on, it’s SAG-AFTRA, they know things.


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Social Media and Web Manager

This can be a highly enthusiastic friend of the project, or a professional. If it has to be you, so be it. But remember that social media works on a “once you pop, you don’t stop” model. The best use of web and social media marketing takes consistent, daily work – not half-assed measures. Make sure you honestly have the time and energy to do it before deciding not to hire a pro or delegate to an existing team member.

Sales Agent

Sales agents are by no means necessary, but if you decide you want someone to negotiate for you, it’s a good idea. Try to find one who is a sales agent and lawyer with enough of a conscience not to charge for both services. This will keep you from spending double the money. Most sales agents are paid with a percentage of the money they earn for you, but some will work for flat fees. There are advantages to going to the hottest sales agents in town; in sales, it really kind of is about who you know, and they are talking to all the right people already. But remember the sales agents, like all agents, will only focus on how to make money for your project. They won’t really care if it’s in the hands of the company that will do right by it. Buyer, or in this case seller, beware.

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There’s no way you haven’t dealt with lawyers already. You needed one to make sure your clearances are done. You needed one to make sure you have talent agreements. Now you need one to review your distribution contracts. So you still need one. If your production lawyer didn’t have media experience, now is the time to find someone who does. You can use him or her sparingly to save money, but do not do this yourself – unless you happen to also be a lawyer who has dealt with these types of agreements in the past.

Financial Advisor | Manager

Someone will need to handle the money. If you have investors, they need accounting statements. If you are selling your film online, someone will need to monitor the PayPal account or exchange the BitCoins. Even if you have a commercial distributor, you may need to chase down payments. And when you realize that your distributor is actually the front for a Ponzi scheme, someone will have to oversee the audit. Find someone you trust who has a clue about accounting – maybe your new best friend the production accountant is willing to take your relationship to the next level.

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