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usual back points percentage on indie project

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aaron ekrothusual back points percentage on indie project
by on Feb 28, 2006 at 8:58:19 pm


I'm looking at editing a foreign language documentary project that was shot abroad for not much $.

Since the producer is essentially broke I am in the process of negotiating for points if the movie is successful (fortunately I am passionate about the subject matter so I won't be heartbroken if this means $0.) but am unsure how this back points business works and am curious what a reasonable percentage rate would be- i am usually booked as an editor in a bigger market (NYC) but would have to take time away from paying gigs to do a good job with this.

what is a reasonable way to see that i'll be rewarded for my time if the movie makes $?

Thanks

A-dog



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tony salgadoRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 2, 2006 at 4:52:11 am



Forgot it.

If there is no money up front there will never be any money on the back end.

You should be spending your time looking for real work that will produce a more reliable stream of income.


Zero points of nothing equals Zero no matter how you do the math.


Tony Salgado


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webfilmsRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 2, 2006 at 6:49:48 am

How do you know a producer is lying? His lips are moving. You will never see any money. You are better off working on your own project for free. If you sell it you make the money. Get others to work for credit and experience while you build your reel. Video tape producers telling you they have no money and want you to work for free. Then video tape yourself asking stores in NYC if you can have something now and maybe pay them in the future if someone related to you dies and leaves you some money. Good luck.


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ArniepixRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 2, 2006 at 10:12:08 pm

The 1st thing you should know about documentaries is that very few of them make money. For every "March of the Penguins" or "Roger & Me" there are a few thousand that are lucky to land a slot in a festival that they had to pay a submission fee to.

If it was me, I'd tell the producer that I'd love to work on the project at my regular rates. If he didn't mind working with no deadlines, I might be able to work out a discounted rate for weekends/nights/othewise spare time. Alas, I could not work on it for free because my co-op, the phone company, etc, won't let me. And if the project is important to him, then it should be important enough for him to find the money to have it done properly.

BTW, Good luck!


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aaron ekrothRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 6, 2006 at 6:08:27 pm

thanks for the input, gents

I have considered all of these factors and as it turns out I negotiated about 75% of what i had asked for in terms of my (albeit reduced) rate for the project. While it's true that few docs actually make money, many do get funding from other sources (although it's also true that many don't). I negotiated that the other 25% of my rate would be "up in the air" - that is - funding/revenue dependent- while 75% would be paid within one year. I'd also be intitled to 25% of whatever comes down the road in terms of funding, revenue, etc (although that clearly may be nothing). An added bonus is that there is flexibility in terms of the timing, taking other jobs, etc - that really makes it all more workable. And fortunately, as it turns out my producer isn't broke and he brought more to the table than I had anticipated in terms of the financial reality.

Thanks for your caveats about not trusting the producers- i would agree with this in many many cases and I have been burned pretty badly in the past myself. I would never suggest that someone turn down paid work for a totally unpaid job. That is ridiculous.



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ArniepixRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 6, 2006 at 6:16:39 pm

Good for you! and best of luck on eventually getting some of that other 25%!

Arnie

http://www.arniepix.com


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aaron ekrothRe: usual back points percentage on indie project
by on Mar 16, 2006 at 4:14:32 pm

touche- and bravo. thanks


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