Film Distribution. What do you need to know!
FILM SALES AGENTS vs. PRODUCER REPS
“The general rule of thumb: This is not an absolute, but you don’t want to sign a contract with either one of these people for the whole world. Film Sales Agents are not that good at securing domestic deals (with some exceptions, of course), and most Producer Reps are equally useless for the international territories. All a Producer Rep can do for the international territories is connect you with a Sales Agent for this — which you can do yourself! It’s not that difficult. Really. It is not difficult if you have a decent movie or it’s the right genre. If you let a Producer Rep connect you with a Sales Agent, then you’re just giving up another slice of your pie to another middleman.
[Side Note: Not to confuse you, but the only good reason to NOT split up your domestic and international rights when making deals, will be when a major studio or mini-major comes calling because they’ll want worldwide rights if available.]
So it’s important to know the distinctions above, and important to know who you’ve been approached by and what they want to do. You don’t want to: a) Contract and lock up rights with someone that won’t do you any good for certain markets; and b) Contract and lock up rights with someone who will just be a second middleman eating more of your pie.”
by Jerome Courshon