To support our community of filmmakers during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to remove the $50 fee for Sundance Collab Master Classes. As we meet this next moment and continue to support artists through our content, we are reinstating a fee at a discounted rate of $27. Both registration for the event and post-event recording access are included in this fee. You can access your recording from this page the day after the event.

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Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career-building and led by renowned industry experts. Past classes have included Emmy-nominated director Lesli Linka Glatter on Blocking a Scene, The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara on TV Writing, Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams on Documentary Storytelling, and more.

It’s one thing to get your film made, it’s another thing to get it seen by an engaged audience. Securing distribution for your fiction or documentary film is a key challenge facing independent filmmakers. Join veteran entertainment attorney Elsa Ramo and special guests as they demystify the distribution landscape and the dealmaking. In this Master Class, Elsa will walk you through the players and the process so that you understand the role of an entertainment attorney or sales agent who can represent you and your film and negotiate with clarity about the goals you’ve set for success. In this live and interactive three-hour event, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the various distribution avenues and what distributors are looking for. Whether you are a fiction or documentary filmmaker, producer, director or screenwriter, this class will help you develop an understanding and a strategy to successfully reach your audience.

Topics covered include:

  • 0:04 - Panelist Introduction/Orientation
  • 4:29 - Master Class Introduction/ Structure for the session
  • 7:15 - Distribution Agreements: Domestic Focused
  • 9:09 - Key Material Terms
  • 10:36 - Types of Rights
  • 15:10 - Territory Breakdown
  • 17:27 - Term of Distribution deal
  • 19:39 - Minimum Guarantee/Gross Corridor/Bonuses
  • 27:10 - Distribution Fee
  • 31:26 - Distribution/Marketing Expense
  • 38:18 - What happens as money comes in?
  • 44:40 - Assumption of Bonuses/Residuals
  • 46:25 - Audit and Accounting Rights
  • 51:35 - Termination Provisions
  • 55:04 - Third Party Contractural Obligations
  • 59:53 - Q&A
  • 1:34:43 - Packaging: How to Pitch Your Package & The Materials You Need
  • 1:35:41 - Materials and info you should have
  • 1:39:10 - What you should pitch
  • 1:40:38 - How you should pitch
  • 1:48:35 - Next steps
  • 1:51:20 - Offers
  • 1:52:52 - Q&A
  • 2:13:30 - Distribution Agreements continued: First Opportunity Right to Any Subsequent Derivative Productions
  • 2:14:53 - Free access to distributor/sales agent created marketing materials
  • 2:16:49 - Insurance
  • 2:20:05 - Indemnity
  • 2:22:35 - Editing Rights/ Right to change the title
  • 2:24:20 - Consultation/Approval Rights
  • 2:26:56 - Security Interests and Liens
  • 2:31:44 - Delivery Schedule
  • 2:33:47 - Q&A
  • 2:46:30 - Closing

Download Recommend Resources here.

If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please complete this form, contact us at (435) 776-7790 or email us at to discuss your specific needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate advance requests; requests made within 5 days of the event may not be guaranteed.

Named to Variety’s 2022 ““Legal Impact Report,” 2021 “Women's Impact Report,” 2021 “Dealmakers List,” Daily Journal’s 2022 “Top 100 Women Lawyers” list, and Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 “Women of Influence,” Elsa Ramo represents financiers, producers and production companies in the sale, production and/or exploitation of content from traditional theatrical release to unscripted and scripted content on Disney+, Netflix, HBOMax, Hulu, Amazon and other streamers. Having founded her firm in 2005 on the Universal Studios backlot to enable up-and-coming filmmakers to bring their stories to life, the now bi-coastal firm has 16 attorneys and has furthered its mission by creating a Packaging and Sales department that advises and connects filmmakers across a range of budgets and production levels. Ramo’s clients include Imagine Entertainment and Imagine Impact, Kevin Hart’s production companies Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions, Scout Productions (“Queer Eye”), Boardwalk Pictures (“Chefs Table”), Hello Sunshine, Yale Productions, Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions, The Jim Henson Company, and Skydance. Passionate about the legal and entertainment communities, Elsa dedicates substantial time to mentoring women through various organizations; and she has become a go-to commentator and instructor on legal issues related to film financing and the entertainment market for media outlets including Variety, LA Times, Fox News and The Wrap. more...
Sean works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution, with a particular focus towards documentaries and docu-series. He serves as counsel for Emmy award-winning companies Boardwalk Pictures (“Chef’s Table”) and Scout Productions (“Queer Eye”), servicing shows such as “Cheer” and “The Black Godfather.” He also represents production companies such as Caliwood Pictures (“A Nice Girl Like You”) and The Solution Entertainment Group (“Killerman”, “Line of Duty”, “Honest Thief”), and he recently provided representation on the 2022 Sundance films “The Exiles,” “Brainwashed,” “Descendent,” “Watcher” and “TikTok, Boom.” Sean enjoys being a part of teams that help elevate unconventional stories, and he delights in sharing his experience with young producers, writers and lawyers when he has the opportunity. more...

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