The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros

Mentoring Room

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This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.

Doug Block
the lines are getting increasingly blurry with the john sloss types
out there doing both, but generally an entertainment lawyer is paid by
the hour and a producer's rep gets a percentage of any distribution
advance and, depending, other sales.
Deleted User
hi there, new to the board.
i am thinking of making a doc, i have very limited resources
in terms of money.just curious what is fair compensation for a main
character(s) in terms of percentages if the film makes any money?
Doug Block
it's your choice, jennifer. most doc makers don't give their
subjects a profit share. some give up to 50%. it all depends on your
relationship to the subjects, what they want, what you want to give,

just make it clear to them that the chances of making any profit is
excedingly small.
Rhonda Moskowitz
Thanks Doug.You are a wealth of information and very generous in
sharing it! Which would you advise for someone like me? An
entertainment lawyer or a producer's rep?
Rhonda Moskowitz
Hi Doug, Just saw the list of Sundance grant recipients and saw you
just received a development grant. Congratulations! That's
Doug Block
thanks, rhonda. i'd recommend an entertainment lawyer until you're
confident your film will start a bidding war at sundance next year.
then, hey, give me a call ;-)
Doug Block
Well, I like my lawyer, Robert Freedman: 212-974-7474. He's been
very involved with AIVF over the years and is very sympathetic to
indie filmmakers. Say hi from me.
Rhonda Moskowitz
Thanks Doug. Also, I called Fernanda Rossi, because I don't like my
demo reel and she was extremely helpful and knowledgable. I saw that
you mentioned her in this "Mentoring Room", and I trust your
referrals. She made some terrific suggestions and she's also
extremely nice. You are very hooked in to the documentary film scene
and are a wealth of knowledge. As I've mentioned,I'm making my first
film and I find your suggestions and this whole doc film site an
invaluable resource. (For other people reading this I am not related
to Doug, and I'm not earning any extra income from him for my
feedback, which he didn't ask for.)