There are a number of issues relating to distribution that arise in split rights deals for motion pictures. Whether it’s an acquisition, co-production or co-financing arrangement, one of the more important deal points is what kind of agreements a distributor should make vis-à-vis the sharing with or granting access to another party of picture materials. These can range from physical materials such as trailer materials and TV, airline or other versions of the picture, to marketing materials such as artwork, value-added materials and electronic press kits. If you’re a distributor and are contemplating sharing materials you’ve created (or those created on your behalf) with a counterparty, here are some key considerations when negotiating terms that will apply to this arrangement.

Continue Reading Sharing Motion Picture Materials: Practical Considerations

Nollywood, as Nigeria’s movie industry is widely known, has grown in leaps and bounds since the acclaimed 1992 home video movie, “Living in Bondage”. In less than two decades, the average film production budget has increased by ten-fold to about US$250,000 to US$750,000 while straight to DVD release has given way to windowing across theatrical, TVOD, SVOD, and/or DVD.[1] Nigeria’s TV and video market revenue grew by 7.49% to reach US$732 million in 2018 and was projected to reach US$806 million by the end of 2020.[2] Widely known for comedy, drama, and romance (many times of average storyline and quality), Nollywood producers and directors have in recent times pushed the envelope with the few resources at their disposal. Genres have expanded into horror, period pieces, musicals, animations and “nolly-noir”. However, the industry is still struggling and filmmakers are unable to be bold and ambitious particularly due to budgetary constraints.

To state the obvious, Nollywood needs co-production treaties to move to the next level.


Continue Reading Nollywood Needs Co-Production Treaties to Move to the Next Level

Live entertainment venues, an economy nearly destroyed by the COVID-19 pandemic, are finally re-opening around the country and must consequently adapt to varying state restrictions for holding indoor events. Despite being able to reopen, many venues will remain closed until regulations and capacity maximums are relaxed, reasoning that such restrictions make reopening financially implausible.

Continue Reading Safe in Sound: A Reopening Checklist for the Live Entertainment Industry

As the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the movie theater business in 2020 and into 2021, all Hollywood studios have had to adjust their theatrical release strategies via straight-to-VOD exhibition or concurrent theatrical and digital exhibition. According to one report[1], as the reopening of U.S. theaters at full capacity became more remote towards the end of last year, straight-to-VOD movie premieres increased over three times year-over-year in Q4 2020. While 126 films premiered in either SVOD or TVOD  in Q3 2019, 424 films premiered this way in Q4 2020. However, even with the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine and the imminent return to “normal” towards the end of 2021, some experts believe that this trend will likely continue, and the pandemic had simply accelerated an inevitability[2].
Continue Reading The Rise of Straight-To-VOD and the Fate of Box Office Bonuses

In February 2021, SAG-AFTRA’s National Board voted to approve a new Influencer Agreement.  But, the announcement included few details, leaving many Brands and so-called Influencers to wonder what’s the deal?

To date, SAG-AFTRA has not released the actual long form agreement covering Influencers, but it has posted an Influencer Agreement Fact Sheet online here.  The Fact Sheet makes clear that, for now, the Influencer Agreement is extremely narrow in reach.  Indeed, it all but places the entire onus of documentation, compliance, and pension and health contributions solely on the Influencer.  Therefore, the Influencer Agreement will allow Influencers to earn union eligibility and make their own contributions toward their own benefits.  Here are the key points for Brands and Influencers to be aware of:
Continue Reading Brands And Influencers Need To Know About SAG-AFTRA’s New Influencer Agreement

Almost a year ago now, the pandemic outbreak disrupted the worldwide entertainment industry – and in particular, film and television production. Similar to the US, European audio-visual productions were halted, movie theaters were closed, events, premieres and entire marketing and distribution campaigns were postponed or cancelled.
Continue Reading The EU’s Initiatives to Redress the Effect of COVID-19 on the Entertainment Industry