Hey, Nena. I thought I was going to let the others ring, but no customers? With an SAG agreement, if you sell to a distributor, make sure in your contract that they will take care of the residues. This is a “distributor acceptance agreement” (or something like that). It was a while ago and my brain wasn`t working like it used to). If they don`t want to, you`re really, really screwed. If you sell to a major, there will be no big problem. If you sell to a small trader, they will try to get out of the acceptance of the signatory. I promise you that. Don`t sign a contract that leaves you to become a signatory. period. Sag is working on raw.
NOT how much a manufacturer (the signatory of Sag) collects from the distributor in France or Turkey (or anywhere). Suppose you sold your film to an experienced distributor who sells this thing on television, cable, DVD, etc. all over Europe, and it makes $2,000,000 gross. THE SAG sees this crude and you want its 4.5 percent of the crude. They look at who the signatory is. It`s you. You now owe $90,000. They don`t care if the ATM screwed you up and didn`t pay you a cent. Or that you sold the movie for $50, 000. They are the signatories, and they want that money. And if SAG doesn`t know the height, they`ll appreciate it, and you pay that estimate.
Well, what`s perhaps good news is that I haven`t contracted with a fine tooth since the ULB first existed. There may have been some changes (but I doubt it) that are more favourable to ULB producers. Ask SAG about it. Perhaps they have changed things that make the producer pay for his crude. But I can`t imagine that`s the case. Make sure you read the whole agreement, not just a vague description of the contract on their website. This means the ULB and the standard contract. They sign both. Look, I know you`re reading this contract and thinking, “Well, that can`t be fair.
If I spend money, I could be in the hole. Yes, it is true. They can be easily screwed. It is this bold “gross” clause. Let me tell you a little story: years ago, I was working on this bad little image (long before there was a ULB agreement). I met this really good guy there, who was the producer`s assistant. He absolutely wanted to make films. He was young, I thought smart, and he had an incredible desire to produce. One day, the producer/president of a company came to him and said, “I know how much you want to be a producer. You can be a recognized producer on this film. All you have to do is sign here. So this guy signed. In the contract, deep in the contract in some legal-eeze, was a clause that made him the record producer and the signatories of sag. He had no idea.
He should have had a lawyer to read the contract, but he did not. A few months later, he received a letter from SAG announcing that they were charging him $120,000 for unpaid leftovers. There was nothing he could do. He`d lose. He fled the country, and I heard. I can`t believe how many young filmmakers sign this contract without knowing it or believing in the impact. They think it`s because they`re small, that they`re invisible to SAG. It`s not you. Talk to SAG if you have any questions. They are quite straight depending on who you talk to. I have a few who speak in a circle to appear their position, as there is not much, and it is difficult to pin them.
As soon as you have all the answers from SAG, talk to a lawyer. Good mourning! It`s a terrible deal. So a movie makes $200,000 gross at the box office, but the distributor has already paid that amount in P-A. Before they can even think about receiving fees or recouping their overheads, they have to pay $9,000 in money they haven`t even earned yet. And if the manufacturer is on the line instead of the distributor, they are in an even more unfavorable position in the repair cascade! I`m surprised that independent films are made in the United States, let alone distributed! However, I would say that an independent film is necessarily independent of trade union agreements.