Has anyone had experience working with a producer's rep? Successful/not successful? Pitfalls? Perils? We have an offer from a reputable, experienced and successful Beverly Hills producer's rep for distribution on an indie documentary, and while they have an impressive track record it would be great to hear from my fellow producers about your experiences. Many thanks.
We've worked with Peter Broderick (a consultant really, not a rep) and fended off more reps than I'd like to say. It is hard to find one who works (as they 'ought to') on commission. Most want an up-front fee which is pretty unacceptable.
I'd look closely at what broadcasters they've successfully placed films with and what distributors. Be really clear-eyed about the challenges and cost-effectiveness of a theatrical release... it's probably a money vacuum. You don't want to see any profits from a TV deal be "cross-colateralized" (ie. spent) on a money-losing theatrical run.
There are a number of "DIY" options for digital distribution (ie. Distribber, IODA) and more distributors willing and able to work out service deals for theatrical than ever. In my opinion, the hardest nut to crack without a rep is the TV deal.
Happy to talk more about our odyssey on indy doc distrib.
Thanks for this Colin. I went to Peter Broderick's Distribution U and it was totally inspiring - great resource for all indie filmmakers: @http://www.peterbroderick.com/ We will probably end up going the DIY route - though being considered for a lovely little PBS series right now, which would be a great home for the film. Will keep you all posted.
I've gone both the producer's rep and DIY route before, with both being successful. We only wound up going with a rep when they seemed like the best partner for the film.
I'd be happy to discuss more specifics off-site, so if you'd like to chat feel free to shout me out at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me at (415) 771-9987.