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how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer

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Deborah Kurtzhow much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 8:12:17 pm

Hello,
I'm new on the site.
I have someone who is willing to introduce my treatment to a producer for potential sale of rights to adapt it to a mini series. They are asking how much I am willing to pay them if their contacts turn into a deal. They are an independent and not employed by the producers they will contact.

Any advice you can provide is appreciated. I just need to know if there is a standard fee for finding producers. I saw the post on finders fees for financing but it seems like my situation is different as it is only an introduction by an industry individual not someone bringing in millions of dollars. Cheers thanks in advance for input by anyone.
Deborah Kurtz
Alberta Talent Management


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Mark SuszkoRe: how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:15:21 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:20:30 pm

This is not a case of baksheesh or Lagniappe, two terms you should understand in all their distinctions... It's a sales commission or finder's fee, also known sometimes as "bird-dogging". In other retail sales areas, like automotive sales, the old standard fee for bird-dogging you a new customer referral used to be fifty bucks; I have no idea what it is today. The traditional way to get your script treatment to a producer is thru an agent. See the WGA web pages for links to plenty of horror stories about people offering to get you "coverage" or an intro like this, for a fee, that are NOT agents. I'd take a pass on this guy.

What it's worth to you, if you play this game, is dependent somewhat on the status of the contact and the level of business we're talking about. I gotta wonder though; if this guy isn't anybody special by himself, why you couldn't do as well approaching the producer on your own, and saving the money. My take on the overall concept is, if I know one of my friends was brokering access to me for cash bribes, he wouldn't be my friend for very long, and I wouldn't think much of the people he was funneling to me.


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Nov 22, 2014 at 9:59:00 am

I'm with Mark on this.

You would be better off considering using the "introducer" in the role of an exec producer (=finance finder) in a more official capacity.

However, do keep in mind that "the producer", the one that you are being offered an introduction to, is not normally the one with the money. A better introduction would be to someone who would commission/purchase the end product.

What I am trying to illustrate, is that the chain can be very long, and if all you have is an idea (treatment) then you have no security, unless you can turn the treatment into something tangible with a script and a sizzle-reel. This would likely cost you money, but also test and show your convictions in the project.

My best advice would be to offer a position within the production based on a small percentage fee on your profits, maybe cap it at an reasonable amount (think $10,000 rather than $50).

However, keep remembering that if all you have is the treatment and no other assets, then you are entering into a long chain of decision makers who will all want their cut of the pie, or take the whole pie...

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Mark SuszkoRe: how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:26:36 pm

The more I consider this, the worse it sounds. If all you have is a treatment, anybody can read it then rip you off with a similar idea and script, and you'd have little or no recourse. This is why it's useful to have a real agent and be a member of the WGA to protect your work. At the very least, use the WGA free service that archives a copy of your scripts to prove authorship.


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Mike SmithRe: how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:10:27 am

Sounds so like a scam, doesn't it. What does s/he want?


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grinner hesterRe: how much should i pay to someone who only introduces me to a producer
by on Dec 13, 2014 at 3:12:27 am

A percentage is the safest for you both. Motivates them and you're not out of pocket just for them pitching for you.



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