Ask a Question

Have a Question? I have an answer! Please add a comment to this post or any post you are reading for any questions, or contact me anytime at and we will get back to you within 12-24 hours..maybe sooner! Enjoy!



84 thoughts on “Ask a Question

  1. Hi i am living in Pakistan and planning a movie . A real low budget movie and targeting DVD sales in more then 5 countries. I am not counting my country because i dont believe here is a market for DVD movies due to highest rate of piracy.

    i want to know whats are the legul clause in a deal??percentage of Distrobution company???will they show me the financial records when i am sitting in pakistan and they are in other countries???can i make thatrical release to cinema chains which show movies on digital format???

    i want to know the A-Z of how to make a deal with distributors….


    • I have a documentary of famous pakistani preformers completed for sale.
      It is in DVD form credit free so it can be re authored.
      I wish to sell it with all rights and distribution etc.

    • hi, ive made a small movie that i wish to be distributed worldwide as soon as possible, it consists of two girls saying a knock knock joke with a camera man whose slightly queer and not very trained. i am the slightly queer cameraman 😉

  2. Hello Adeel,

    The legality of contacts varies from one country to another. I am not a lawyer, so i can only advise you to find out information on contract law in english. Percentages for the distribution company varies- usually they will take more than 50 percent- and you should accept no more than 70% from them of all sales.
    You will have to ask your accountant these questions about asking them for financial records. Remember that film distribution is a business and you must work for them to fund you and show them that they are not going to lose money when they fund you.
    You may be able to secure a exhibitor for you film with cinema chains, however, once again, this is a business and you must show them that the movie will have wide audience appeal and gross 10 times what it costs to fund the film..
    I recommend you take a look around my blog and start with my blog post
    to start planning your film distribution memorandum (like a business plan) and please email me with any questions. I would like to hear about your progress.



    • Hi Jonathan,

      I am from California and my friend has made a low budget independent movie but it seems like the independent movie distributors are very picky and I still could not find a distributor for my movie yet. Are you also an independent movie producer/maker?, would you know any distributor with good credit and can sell movie and not too picky?, I really appreciate if you could recommend me some.
      I saw you have a long list of distributors, I am not sure which one you would highly recommend.

      Sincerely Yours


  3. Well thanks a lot moviedistributionfacts .well can you tell me one thing please.when you said ”you should accept no more than 70% from them of all sales.
    ” you mean i should insist that my share after taking out the expenses of promotion will be 70 % from DVD sales?

    second question….i will not be having any accountant.i will be making indie how can i visit another country.suppose i make a movie in Pakistan and DVD sales agreement takes place in US.then how will i be contented that the distribution company is not cheating me???hey dont ask me to visit US [:d]
    can you guide me to these things??

    and when i said clause of legul agreement .what i mean was the numarical figures between me and the distribution co??like if the movie is released on thatres how much will they take in totla????etc etc

    i am really thankful to you for such a quick reply

    waiting for the rpely


  4. Hello adeel,

    Actually the distributor will take no more than 70% You should get no less than 30%. Thus is a big business, the other way around. Don’t get discouraged. If you dont have an accountant and lawyer, you might as well give your movie away for free. You need an accountant for numerical figures and a lawyer for clauses and contracts. Distributors/businesses do cheat people, this is why you need a lawyer and accountant for any kind of business and it does not come cheap, There is no other way. Sorry, I couldn’t help you more as I am not an expert in law or accounting.

  5. I’m a screenwriter and was looking into writing something which would keep the budget low, plus easier to market and get finance. Is that the case?

    Furthermore, if the writing is script is strong what type of budget is achievable? Also bearing in mind I’m from the UK so it would likely be from a British Production Company.

    Thank you very much

  6. Hello James,

    Thanks for your email. Please don’t write with budget in mind my friend. You should write first then edit.. you will not have fun completing the screenplay if you keep on thinking about budget. Anyhow, you should also decide not to have such low budget aspirations about a film because it is your magic..

    If a script is strong, we know need to determine the genre(s) to see what budget you might be able to get. Most low budget films in the US that see country wide appearance cost about $500,000 budget or 250,000 pounds. This is an estimate and 50 percent of the time, it is more than 1 million. Please reply with any other questions.

  7. i few days back saw a blog on this site saying analysis of 50 best movies of hollywood(or may be the word were a little different) but ina ctual it was an analysis of top 50 movies.can i get that link please?

  8. Hello..I am representing a DVD Blu-Ray manufactoring facility and we are doing quite well with small to medium sz production companies and distributors. I am wondering where I can get more information on the companies I would be targeting, ie, the ones who actually make the dvd’s and blu-ray discs….Do you have any suggestions?

  9. I would like to write a cover letter to distributors for the purpose of getting distribution for my low budget independent film. What do distributors typically look for in the package, and how should the letter be constructed, and do you have any sample covers?

  10. Hello Marshay,

    I need to know if you film is still in the planning phase, Production phase or Post Production Phase?

  11. what is the differnce between 1930’s films and 1950’s films??

  12. Hi,

    I am a producer of an independent film finished in 2005. It is a 93 minute feature film and cost us 200k to make. We played 5 festivals in 2006 and 2007 and now are looking to try to get some sort of distribution.

    The movie has great reviews and won awards at the festivals we played.

    Can you advise me where to go with this film to get it distributed?? It’s my first independent film and I feel like I made a bad investment.

  13. Yasemin,

    In the 1930’s the movie distributors had their own theatres, in the 1950’s they lost them and had to deal with the government over a restraint of trade. Things are different now , the film industry has creative control again.

  14. I recently acquired the rights to a large movie/TV/radio library. These are older shows and I would like to do several projects with them.

    First, I would like to lease some of the film items to networks like G4, VH1, TNT, etc.

    Second, transfer to DVD for retail sale, what is the avg. price and split with dist.

    Third, license merchandise of the images for t-shirts, mugs, etc.

    My primary question is how do I put a price on a 2 hr movie for a network to show? is there an average? These are primarily B&W films many with historical as well as entertainment value. Some are “B” movies and a few are 4 star.

    On the TV shows, I own several long gone shows usually 30 min. shows, What do I charge for one time showing or in the case of the series, how do I set a price for them.

  15. My name is Salome Kikaleishvili. I’m from Georgia, Tbilisi. I`m the editor of the first Georgian cinema magazine CINEMA and journalist of the monthly cultural magazine Tskheli Shokoladi. At the same time i`m a FIPRESCI member.

    I`m writing this letter because I’d like to inquire about one issue, regarding the movie translations in my country. Since you can’t watch movie original version, correct translation is very, very important. And in most cases the Oscar nominee films and world premiers that are shown at our movie-theaters have absolutely different translation, sometimes even the names of the characters are changed. I tried to obtain information about this tendency from the people who are in charge, but nothing worked. According to their opinion, it is absolutely legal to change some details in the film even if “some” sometimes mean the whole content of the movie. For instance, this was the issue when the CASINO ROYAL, MASK OF ZORRO and ICE AGE were shown in Tbilisi theaters.

    That is why I would like to inquire about legal details. Is it truly allowed to change things in the movie content and title? If so what are the rules of changing and what is prohibited? Do the different distribution companies have different codes? I know you can’t keep track on the movies that you sell around the world, but I am just curious if Georgian movie-theaters have right to change hero names and even dialogues too?

    These are the topics I need in order to complete my research for the magazine. I have to admit that my deadline is really close and that’s why I would like to ask you to get back to me as soon as possible.

    If there are any documents and any written material that would be helpful for me to write this article, can I also obtain them via email?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Looking forward to your reply,

    All the best

    Salome Kikaleishvili

    P.S. I understand that you might not be a person who is in charge of this theme. However can you be kind to give me a contacts or e-mails of the person who is in charge of this.

  16. Dear Salome,

    Your question pertains to licensing rights. You must first contact the
    licensor as the licensee to purchase the movie rights and inquire
    about changing certain things in the movie if they allow it, as it is
    totally up to the licensor. When making as translation, you will have
    your own right to translate, however I don’t think you can change
    character names. Inquire with the licensor after you have signed a
    contract or at least have on in the mail coming to you.

  17. Hello Mark Chenarides,

    The way you would gauge a price for a black and white movie is to find out what the budget was for it at that time. You can then add an inflation rate to what it would cost now and make a decision on what price you can sell it for. It also matters on your location. Where are you located? If you wanted to sell it, you should do it in NYC, Manhattan to get top dollar.please reply for any other questions.

  18. Hello Eric,

    Thanks for your question. I am sorry it took so long to get back to you. Please read the email I sent to you and we can discuss this.


    Jonathan Glatt

  19. HI Jonathan-

    What is the difference between a distribution company and a sales company that sells films-
    i know that might sound really stupid- but there is a friend of mine who was in a film-
    the director said it was picked up by a distribution company and when we searched out this distribution company it talked mre about “sales” that it acted as a sales agent-
    so whats the difference? is there any??


    • Of course, there is! Film dynamics are so many and so many details to follow. This is why their are so many niche companies to make a film.

  20. Hi there,

    I have a documentary that I am now shopping to distribution companies and I spent over $100,000 on making it and I want more than that back and worldwide distribution. I wanted to ask you, what kind of questions should I ask the companies I am speaking with to get what I want without them trying to screw me. I am new to this and I know my film is good. It has been in over 15 festivals this year and has won best international music documentary in one of them. There is so much interest but I want to make sure I go with the best deal. Please help me with some info I need to know before I talk with them. Thank you!!

  21. Hello Julie,

    Sorry in my lateness to get back to you. I have been very busy lately. I would say you question lies in what exhibitioner takes the deal from the distributor. Or if any exhibitioner takes a deal from this film in the midwest or ohio for example. Or for example if United Artists, which has their own studio and theatres takes an interest. I guess it is about risk assesment to fill the seats at the theatre or if the thetres like the film. Remember, a distributor has to find a theatre that will take the film and they, the filmmaker, actors, and the theatre that is show it makes mucho dinero to feed everyone. Please reply with any questions you may have.

    Hi there,

    I found your blog. I’m wondering if you could offer me your opinion on something. I have been reading alot of “news” articles online about Terry Gilliam’s forthcoming film The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. It is Heath Ledger’s final film. Like all Gilliam films, it’s an indie. I’ve read many (apparently erroneous) “news” articles that the film has had trouble finding distribution. Then I read a statement made by the film’s publicist that said they are waiting for a completed film to screen for US distributors and that the film has already been pre-sold to 90% of the rest of the world.

    One question I have, is why, do you think, they would want to wait for the final cut to screen to US distributors, but be satisfied screening a rough cut to all other distributors world wide?

    I also read another article where someone said that just because the film finds a distributor, does not mean it will be widely released … in other words, even though it may (I’m sure it will) secure a US distributor, that it still may only be released in major cities across the US (LA, NY). My question is why? I know it is the distributors job to market a film to exhibitors, but what criteria do exhibitors base their decisions on as to whether they even want to license a film at all? Is it based on the success/failure of previous films (genres) in their particular market? How do they know (think) a film will or won’t do well in their theater? In smaller towns, do they simply want the bankability of a big studio Hollywood cheesewiz film or what?
    Thanks, Julie

  22. Hello Alexa,

    I am sorry for my delay in keeing up with posts as I have been busy. Here is the answers to your questions :

    1. How could the movie seemingly be pre-sold to foreign distributors before a final cut, with no problems?
    All movies have a pitch to sell them, and if producers and filmmakers and distributors need additional funds, this is how the invest. Not always is this a safe investment but presales have generally alot of success

    2. What reasons could there be for producers to wait for a completed film before screening it to US distributors, especially since they have pre-sold the rough-cut overseas?
    As per the last question, pre-selling does not mean the film has been completed with editing and scoring. Europeans love our movies and just a good investment partner. Americans don;t invest as much as the foreign market does most of the time.

    3. Would an online “support forum” for a movie have any bearing at all on whether a film is widely released (meaning released in theaters in small towns, vs only big cities)?
    I don’t quite understand the question. please rephrase what you mean by a “support forum”.

  23. Can you tell me how or the ways that straight to dvd production deals can be structured? When are the payments? Does a filmmaker ever get paid upfront? I’m so confused.


    • Hello Chrissy,

      Do you have a film finished? This is the most important question because if you do a liscensing agreement can begin right away if the distributor likes it. You may have more luck overseas and i know a few contacts. If not, we can try to screen your film. If your movie is not completed, be prepared for alot of paperwork to convince the distributor to make it and this is the hardest thing of all. Check out a film distribution contents :

      This should clear up all you need to know. If you have you movie finished, we can help right away. Please reply with any questions to this email.



  24. HI There, Thanks for all you do!

    I hope you don’t mind my asking a quick question: Where is the best place to find out about rules to follow if you do not want to disqualify yourself for distribution? ie: is it okay to sell the movie on your site, ebay, amazon, etc until you get a distributor?


  25. Hey John G. Amazing information on this blog. Thanks so much. Here’s my story and question…

    I just finished a film and am talking to a small distributor who says he’ll carry the film. He just wants to know my pricing and payment policies. Isn’t that something he should be telling me? Or is he thinking I’m a wholesaler of some kind?

    I’ve read your posts about saying $8 for wholesale (as an example), but what’s a standard markup for the retailer to sell to users? Double it? And how does the person pay me out? Do I ship him copies COD? Or net 30? I have 1000 printed already… in one scenario, I sell him my pre-printed dvd’s for $8, in another he takes a master and does his own run and pays me a percentage after he’s cleared his costs.

    Any thoughts?

    Sorry for the barrage. Thanks for any info.

  26. hi. i just finished my feature film and entered it into a couple of festivals, however i’m not too interested in wasting too much money in festivals as i know first hand a lot of it is political.

    my question is, what’s the best way to contact distributors and what is a straightforward approach to find out if they are willing to purchase my film? how much advance money should one expect upfront if they like the product?

  27. Hi Jon….I’m setting up a leased access cable channel and wanted to show “old” movies. Where is the best place to lease/buy movies, through your company or some other route?…Any info and or direction that you can steer me will be appreciated.
    Thanks, Bill

  28. i shot my movie on dvdsd24f/p i have hard time to sell
    pls help me where to go from hear

  29. It seems that there is a trend over the past few decades of fewer “Hollywood Premieres,” which I think of as the initial exhibition of a film at a single screen theater to which the film is rented exclusively. I was curious whether there are any statistics that back this up. If I am correct, is this a consequence of the rise of the multi-plex and distribution sequencing aimed at shortening the time to wide-spread distribution? I would appreciate your thoughts on this subject.

  30. Hello,

    I have completed a feature film and would like to market through DVD and find the right distributors. I am placed in India and would like to know how do I find the distributors abroad.

    I will have my Film ready in the next 4 weeks completed. Any advice please.



  31. Hi, I’m pretty much just a concerned movie consumer. I live in Mexico, and as of January 1st of this year Universal Pictures distributes Warner Bros flicks. There have been rumors that Spike Jone’s Where the Wild Things Are isn’t going to be arriving to Mexico. What I would like to know, if you are able to help me, is what kind of marketing procedure takes place to export films, what are these guys’ concerns and what kind of questions can I ask them to exercise some pressure. Any help would be great

  32. HI

    I have had a question for years. In the early 60’s I used to walk up and down Hollywood Blvd. There a an unkempt 2 story house with the old fashioned wire fence. I believe it was green. There were always lights on at night and I wondered who would be living on the east end of the huge activity of cruising and teen agers on the weekends. It was the only house you passed on your stroll. Don’t think it was as far down as the Pantages. A 67yr old mystery for me, I hope you can help.

    Thank you
    Ginny McVay

    • Hello,

      My guess is it’s someone or some people who don’t want to be found. Imagine all Hollywood stars who don’t want to be found. Sorry I couldn’t be any more help.


  33. Hey Jon,

    Great Blog. Love the content here. I manage international distribution for a Bollywood film studio. Out next upcoming feature is a great product for international markets. I am looking to connect with agents and buyers in Non English speaking markets (Americas, East Europe & East Asia) and explore a potential there. Would you know any such folks I can connect with or a direct marketing agency who can help me reach film folks in these countries. Any help is much appreciated.


  34. what happens when unexpected expenditures are incurred in the making of a film (which are not included in the budget)?

  35. Hi, great blog!
    We´re presently producing a documentary and are interested in connecting with distribution companies for pre-sales, especially to TV networks (as it is a documentary, that will be our major market), and also forming connections now so that when the documentary is finished, we already have a deal in place. Should we look for a distributor, or a sales agent? What is the difference?
    our documentary
    The movie is in Spanish but with universal appeal, as it is about soccer and slums.

  36. Yes sir i have a movie to be distributed in Turkey however i need to get a copy of an LOI to furnish my producer can you please assist me.


  37. I just finished a feature film. I have more scripts all lined up to be shot. aside from the film festival circuit, what’s the best route to go about securing a distributor who is reputable?

  38. At the end of John Q It says for Sasha. Who is Sasha?

  39. Hi,
    I would like to start a drive-in movie theatre but I have no idea where I would purchase the movies. I would not be allowed to just show the movies would I? I’m thinking about new and old classical movies. Any help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Irene Basley

  40. Hi,

    I was hoping you could clarify something for me. I am doing some research on movies and I wanted to know what would be the difference between a movie Production Company and a movie Distributor? How do they differ?

    Thanks in advance.

    Rick Ocasio

  41. Hello,

    I am trying to get hard facts on the indie and low budget film audience, profile and size of this audience and even some demographics. If you have this info and some rough numbers I would greatly appreciate it. If you don’t perhaps you can steer me in the right directions.
    Kind regards,

  42. Is there a difference between a Top Line Budget and Film Budget?

  43. Hello:
    I am look for a table/pie chart, etc. which list profit total for Direct to DVD films without a name actor as a draw but have been unable to find one searching the web..
    Can you direct me to an appropriate site or source?
    Thank you so much.

  44. how many movies have been made into video games over the last 20 years?

  45. Hi John I am looking for a template cover letter to send with my finished short filn to get distributation. Can you email me one please and a list of the best distributors in film and tv to send it to.the short film is called 88 and a trailer for it is on youtube Thank you, Michael

  46. Hi, I have a very good idea for a movie or mini-series. My question is how do I sell my idea a major movie production company?

  47. I’m trying to become a Spanish film distributor, meaning DVD that have been translated to latin. I want to have people stream them online but I don’t know where I can get the content. any suggestions or help would be great.


  48. A film festival has requested for my film so they screen in one of their workshops (private screening). How much should I ask for screening fee? What is the normal fee?


  49. I work for a company that specializes in cloud based digital file delivery in CA, USA. We also do captioning and translation services. We currently send paid programming to TV stations around the US and oversees. I’d like to know the best, most efficient way, to contact distributors about using our digital file delivery services- We operate a level 5 transcode facility so we can crunch files fast. Then deliver directly to end users- skipping satellite or tape duplication. See for more info. An insight would be helpful.

  50. Greetings!

    Hope this email finds you well. I received your contact details from Carolyn Wanyama of Royal Media.

    I’m very interested, in opening up an Open Air cinema in Nairobi, Kenya.Would you have any contacts of company’s in a position to supply movies for my weekly cinema?
    Have any idea what are your charges and the purchasing process are like? Also,is there a minimum number per order?

    Any assistance on how to acquire movie rights; would be highly appreciated.


    Kathy Shiko

  51. Hi guys,
    We are a distribution company based in NY. Our distribution channel is more driven toward African content and Latin American contents. Currently we are collecting New movie trailers from film makers, so if you are interested we can help distribute your NEW movie trailers for free on our network, providing we have the original files and the right to do so. Please email if you like more information. Thanks.

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  55. Hello, I’m trying to get in contact with Latin movie Distributors. I have a streaming platform but i’m struggling to get movies on it. Can someone help please.

  56. Hi,

    I wanted to know how to contact film distributors to stream online content in certain regions. Thanks

  57. I Have made a very low -budget 90 min. movie about a gangster that was finally saved by the grace of God after some unpleasant crime actions in drugs etc. How will I get my movie out or do anyone have any advice what I do now? Please help..I am also a Pastor thats trying to let people know God can bring you out of anything but unfortunately everyione done make it

  58. Hi I’m looking to reopen a theatre that has been closed for years and need some basic knowledge about how to get in touch with film distributors and ensure that I can be up and running before I buy

  59. What do you call a movie that has “behind the scenes” subcaptions” and where can I purchase it? I absolutley loved THE MUMMY movie that ran on AMC channel 8/27/13, that had the extra information appearing intermitently during the movie.

    I have been on the Internet for two hours and I just cannot get the answer.

    Thanks for your time and help.

    • Hey,

      Your question circulates when you buy a dvd that has subtitles on it already and you use authoring software to rip the subtitles off a dvd onto a computer.

      Use the same process when you Want your own movie pick as well.

      Hope i answered your question.


  60. How are you.i just wanted to know if you only give advice to the young film,makers or you also help them with the distribution of their movie product.

    Well the reason am intrested in that question is that am one of the developing film makers and i would like to get some help in publishing my product.

    Thank you.

  61. I have a sixties movie question that I can’t find the answer to. My friend and I go back and forth asking questions but this has me stumped. Her question is what sixties black and white movie was filmed using only to scenes..meaning half the film in one place…half in another. Also the film was remade as we’ll. both she says we’re good. No actors names were given..sorry this is so long…but I need a movie guys help…haha..thank for any help you can give.. Content!

  62. You actually make it seem so easy wityh your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which
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  65. Hi,
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  67. Does anyone remember an anthology horror movie that opens with a green thumb coming out of the ground?

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