Here. Look at this bunny. Don't read anything more in this post. Just don't. It'll keep me out of trouble.
See? Bunny butt. Now look at pictures of guitar amplifiers.
(Look at the bunny.)
O! I do hesitate so in putting details of deals on this blog. As a rule it makes the distributors less than cheery, that's for sure. Hopefully they're just looking at the bunny and not paying any attention. You know, this paranoia about "real numbers" in the movie business is one of the ways that nobody ends up knowing anything about the reality of financing in motion pictures.
Look. At the bunny.
So let me tell you about our last deal for another one of our movies. You will be guessing which is our last picture to get a deal for the market involved. This is for North America: $5K upfront and then the distributor takes something like $15K in expenses and then does an 80/20 split (in their favor) for the next $12K or so and then they split (after the direct costs of making the DVD's) everything thereafter or some such. What it really means is that we get $5K upfront and they get everything for the first $35,000 or so and then we start the 50/50 split (after direct expenses for making the DVD's).
To tell you the truth, the splits deal is so complicated that although I think I understood it for about 10 minutes it has now fizzled out of my wee brain. But it's something like what I've described above.
Are you looking at the bunny?
So what does it all mean? Well, it means we get to make another movie. Ha! No really. What it means is that I split the $5K with my producing partner and we whistle a merry tune while we walk away*. Well, OK, no -- it means we're not likely to make more money but if the movie did as well as Alien Uprising did we'd make a nice additional chunk of change and we'd certainly be paying out money to actors, writer, designers, etc.
Speaking of Alien Uprising: we just got a small home video deal for Cyprus and the Middle East. For us that's less than a couple thousand bucks. But it does mean that Alien Uprising has earned at total of $40,370 including North American and suchly. I'm sure it made our distributor's distributor much more in N. America because of their spectacular Blockbuster deal, but still that puts us less than ten thousand dollars away from the $50K mark -- after which we actually dole out percentages to the "artistes" (which includes the writer, editor, effects, actors, etc., etc.) And it'll also make us feel good.
(Of course, if we're only, say, a thousand dollars over the $50K mark it could be embarrassing: "Uh, here's your check for, uh, fifteen dollars. Thanks!")
Look at the bunny.
*To make matters more complicated to talk about, but vastly cheaper at tax time, there are two separate companies involved -- Bloodmask LLC (which is owned by my partner), and Pandora Machine LLC (which is owned by me). Sole proprietorships pay hundreds of dollars less a year in "fees" to the State than LLC's with multiple members. Feh on the State then.