In the past, the job of a sales agent on a motion picture was to procure financing for the producer by way of pre selling the film through to territories in advance thus allowing the producer the ability to fund his or her project through discounted contracts at a bank or B lender. Now that banks are shying away from doing this as a result of too many of the buyers not putting up guarantees the question we need to ask is are sales agents becoming a thing of the past?
For years, the buyers relied on the relationship that they had with these sales professionals to mediate the deal between the producer and what the public was more than likely going to want to watch. Times have changed. Social media has allowed for the fan to become involved with projects at various stages of a films production, distribution and exhibition. So the question is...Can the fans replace the sales agents? If so, what will the structure look like?
So here's a scenario....
Joe is a good producer with a bit of a track record for making decent cult films in the 1MUSD range. Joe decides that because he makes his films for his fans that this time he wants them to fractionally own and benefit from the making of his next film. He creates a page that allows people to prebuy a copy of the download or dvd of his film for a set price. Lets say for this its 25 bucks. If Joe needs a million bucks to make his new flick he needs 40,000 fans to prebuy his film.
The dilemma is how you create a buzz that will engage 40,000 fans to pony up 25 bucks!
There are lots of sites out there that enable the crowd to swarm around a project and get involved but I have yet to see a site that has been able to garner 40,000 fans around a single project prior to its production.
Again...what if you made the fans...sales agents? What if you monetized the monetizer?
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