Film Distribution Series Part 2 with Jerome Courshon – The Producer Rep

Independent filmmakers have so many things to juggle.  First they have to coordinate the shoot, and this is after a script is selected, cast, and the crew is in place.   Let’s not forget the actual filming!  Being a film producer, director, or anybody trying to make a non-studio film is quite the load . . . yes, all you indie hopefuls, you’d better love it or you’d better leave it alone.  As mentioned in an earlier related article, filmmaking is not for the faint-hearted!  So as I was interviewing Jerome Courshon on misconceptions about distribution, the topic of the producer rep came up; and I was astonished by what Jerome had to say on the matter.  See for yourself in this video, “Producer Reps and the Misconceptions.”

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This video interview with distribution expert Jerome Courshon serves as the second part of a 4-part series on distribution for independent filmmakers based on the information in the distribution kit, which costs $600.00.  The kit contains nine DVDs and accompanying books.  Jerome has been so kind to share his secrets, and he will be offering a 20% discount to filmmakers who would like to purchase the kit through Agenda Magazine.  To learn more about “The Secrets to Distribution,” visit

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One Comment to “Film Distribution Series Part 2 with Jerome Courshon – The Producer Rep”

  1. Jason Figgs says:

    Courshon speaks partial truths. The fact is that most filmmakers can’t even get the distributor/sales agent to return their calls. And yes, they have 100 mediocre to terrible films on their desk weekly. Do you really think that the truly great films won’t stick out? Think again, because it’s about the movie at the end of the day and if the distributor thinks he can sell it. If you have a rom-com with no stars – forget it. That is what indie filmmakers need a producer rep for. If you are established, know people, etc, chance are you can just go directly to a distributor with a producer reputation from your last film or whatever – and they will consider the film. If a rep (according to the video) shotguns a number of titles to a distributor – it’s usually because they have the relationship with that company, the execs know the producer rep and want to see what they have. It’s easier for them to deal with one person than 20 insecure, non-trusting, question asking filmmakers before they find a film they think they can truly sell. It’s basic common sense really. Out of the 100 films on their desks from indie filmmakers – most will be not well made or unwatchable. I’ve heard it from many many acquistion execs. Distirbs would much rather deal with a producer rep instead of filmmakers, because most indie filmmakers have unreealistc expectations and tend to not know how to talk their language, first time producer/filmmakers fortunate enough to raise their funds and pull of the challenging task of making a film, often make the same mistakes , judgements and just plain bad decisions over and over again. Mostly due to ignorance of current business trends, articles they read about one success story (mostly flukes) and they want to compare their film to those films with similar expectations. They often are disrespectful and arrogant because their movie (in their minds) is a gold mine. To distributors it’s product – not emotional entanglement. Look at it this way – put yourself in their shoes – and rethink the process a little. If you don’t know what shoes they are in do your research. Fact is, if your movie was that great, with the right talent, genre, etc, most of the time that is picked up before it’s completed because distributors can see the value in it. Not sure if Courshon even knows what he’s talking about in street sense in today’s market. Reps can help greatly – just the ones that charge an upfront fee are the ones to practice discretion on. It’s hard work, they often work on percentage of revene – and might not ever get paid if you don’t. So show a little respect and do your homework on them. Remember, it’s not the rep’s fault your movie didn’t get picked up. It’s the movie’s fault most of the time – which means it’s not good enough, in a non-sellable genre, no stars, or stars that just don’t mean anything in the marketplace for a company to get behind. So get over yourselves and be happy that professionals are intereseted in your film. It’s your choice who to go with. And not all reps are good as others. You are buying into the rep’s relationships with distributors. If they can’t do it they can’t do it – find somebody who can.
    2 cents.