vinehill faq

Welcome to VineHill Entertainment's Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have questions not found here, or you are having issues with the website, please let us know by emailing us at:

What does a film distribution company do?


A film distributor is responsible for the marketing and physical distribution of a film. The distribution company is usually different from the production company although most large studios have their own. Distribution deals are an important part of financing or "Greenlighting" a film for production.

What is the process of film distribution?


Film distribution is the process of making a movie available for viewing by an audience. The film may be exhibited directly to the public either through a movie theater or television channel, or for personal home viewing (including specialty channels, streaming channels, DVD, video-on-demand, direct download, or television programs through broadcast syndication).

How do film distribution deals work?


Traditionally, the film is completed and sent to the studio. The studio makes a licensing agreement with a distribution company. The distribution company determines how many copies (prints) of the film to make. The distribution company shows the movie (screening) to prospective buyers representing the theaters.

Do theaters pay for movies?


Most of the money from ticket sales goes back to the movie studio.

A film booker leases a movie to a particular theater for a set period of weeks.

What percentage do film distributors take?


Generally, distributors of independent films typically receive anywhere between 28% and 35% of all film revenues (depending on the deal).


The major distributors (Studio owned) generally do an in house standard which is 30% of net revenues.

How much does it cost to distribute a movie?


Generally, you could estimate 30% of a film's budget for distribution

How do I get a Netflix distribution deal?


Netflix pays a licensing fee for any content they are interested in. And most of the deals are negotiated directly between Netflix and the distributor or aggregator. Our roll in this or any other scenario is to represent the content owner and negotiate on their behalf.

How does an independent filmmaker get their movie on Netflix?

Well, you can call us and get us working for you, or...

  1. Step 1 – Refine Your Pitch For Netflix.

  2. Step 2 – Find An Aggregator or Distributor.

  3. Step 3 – Get A Response.

What is a Film Aggregator?


An aggregator traditionally is a vendor that, for a fee, provides the service of getting your film encoded, packaged and delivered to the digital platforms that won't accept films from individuals (which is most unless you use someone like VineHill).

Many Distributors often have their own in house Aggregators, however there are good number operating independently.

What are distribution rights?


This falls under COMMERCE, LAW. a legal agreement that allows a person or company to sell another company's products or services in a particular area or country: domestic and international distribution rights. The Supplier agrees to give the Distributor exclusive distribution rights in the US and Canada.

Although VineHill has worked on deals for European and Asian content before, we primarily will only accept and work on distribution deals in the North American Region.

Who gets the profits from a movie?


Traditionally with major studios, the investors are repaid in full and then the money is split 50:50 between the Investors' Pool (i.e. profit for the investors) and the Producers' Pool (i.e. the money shared with certain members of cast and crew who were assigned a share of profits).

Independents however get their money after distributors and aggregators costs and fees. This is where a brokerage such as VineHill can get a much better deal for the independent producers.

What are deliverables in film?


Film Deliverables. Deliverables refer to a list of requirements such as a film's final print, trailers, print materials, publicity materials and legal documentation needed to release a film. Deliverables are the last things created by the production team and delivered to the film's distributor, but are often (almost always) overlooked or wrongly gathered by the novice filmmaker.

How much does Netflix pay for original movies?


According to recent audits, Netflix has shelled out between $40 and $50 million to adapt an anime project to fit Netflix's audience on the high side. While this is a highlight for such a product, the average deals range anywhere between $250,000.00 to $5 million. Aggressively in 2020 Netflix will spend 17.5 Billion in Acquisitions.

Generally, our clients who have sold to Netflix have enjoyed a minimum of 75% of these revenues, to a maximum of 95% in their deals.

How long do film rights last?


Movies are subject to copyright laws. Copyright is supposed to be for a limited duration, but that duration has kept getting longer and longer as time goes on. For a new movie, it would most likely qualify as a work for hire, so standard copyright would last for 95 years from publication/public release. While other deals can see as little as a limited 1.5 years in duration.

It is also important to note that every deal as well as copyrighted content is different and may always be open to differing terms as set out by those individuals at the time.

What is an Option?


An option is an agreement that gives someone (usually a producer or a studio) the exclusive rights to buy something for a set amount of time and a pre-determined price.

Options are common in the film and television industry, because they allow producers to control the rights to a piece of material without spending the full purchase price upfront.


A producer might option the movie rights to a short story for $1,000 for 18 months. She now has 18 months to try and set up the movie at a studio and hire a screenwriter to adapt it into a screenplay, at which point she will execute the option and pay the full purchase price.

What do I do when someone wants to Option my script?


Email us right away and we'll do all the negotiations and finalize the contracts with the distributor. All you'll have to do is sign!

What do you mean by Production Facility Design?


We mean, that in addition to representing film and television creators, writers and digital content creators, we also consult with fledgling companies, groups and even individuals in some cases to design and build custom soundstages, production studios, television studios, sound studios and even podcast studios and live stream studios.

We handle everything to do with the initial concept, feasibility study, land use study, planning, architectural design, production needs, models and architectural drawings right through to opening day.

What is Clearance?


Script or property clearance involves reading and breaking down a script or project and identifying all items that represent possible legal conflicts, if used as is. These items include: character names, business names, locations (signage), logos, slogans and quotes, product names, schools, organizations, images and designs, music, defamatory references, and racial slurs, and the use of protected material in the form of copyrights or trademarks.

Additionally, the report includes information on photographs, artwork, books, music, film clips, dialogue, props, identifiable personalities and much more.

The report will be reviewed by your production lawyer who will determine if particular details may pose future legal problems. The report is also distributed to the director, producers, and any other production personnel who will be creating set dressing, props, signage, wardrobe or other elements from the script.

If I'm setting up my first Podcast studio, should I call you?


Yes and here's why. If you don't call us, you'll run the risk of spending countless hours researching gear, microphones, interfaces etc. Then software to solve certain other issues, or WORSE! You'll listen to some YouTuber who thinks they know what they're doing, only to inform you wrongly and end up having you duplicating their mistakes.

A simple phone consultation and we'll give you the right information and we won't just stop there. Our service covers all that plus show concept and development, branding, marketing and of course hosting!

So if I give you $5,600.00 you can put my film in 600+ theaters?


No. There are one heck of a lot of variables to that scenario working out.

Those theater groups belong to or are frequented by certain major studios who release to those groups of theaters on a regular basis. If your project falls into that level of interest to those major studios and indeed what THEY deem worthy of that level or target, then yes that scenario would become the reality.

Note: It's not too likely that your first time "script" will hit that mark, nor your $5,000.00 budget first time indie. However, we have worked with many who have gotten there over the years. Best advice? CALL US.

Can't I just put my film in a film festival and take offers?


One of the major issues we encounter all the time is that assumption. The fact is, first you have to submit to festivals and knowing which ones matter. Buyers (Aggregators and Distributors) worth their weight only attend certain festivals, so getting in on the right one matters.

Next, just because you show at a festival, doesn't mean offers and deals. In the ones that matter, you'd better have a marketing budget upwards of $500,000.00 minimum to even get a shot. Even if you did... well you'd better just call us!

Once I hire you, how long before I'm rolling in money?


Once we have agreed to take you on as a client, that either means we believe in your product and know buyers for that exact type of content, or we love your concept and story (script) and believe we can work with you to edit/rework or enhance it to be a top contender for certain markets.

Nobody will give you a guarantee to sell or option anything in this business, but we will work our butts off get you the best shot! Case by case average to a paycheck from initial signing is 6-12 months.


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