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.

Master Class live event registration and on-demand recording access are included in Collaborator and All Access memberships. Upgrade today and get a free 14 day trial.

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.

At the dealmaking intersection of where content makers meet buyers, financiers and distributors, Elsa Ramo is often at the forefront of first-time deals with emerging and established streamers, guiding her clients into innovative terms that optimize their reach and prevalence in today’s flattened marketplace. Ramo works with established content-creating powerhouses such as Imagine Entertainment, Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud and Hartbeat Productions, Hello Sunshine, Skydance, Boardwalk Pictures and Scout Productions. She also represents independent prolific producers such as Yale Entertainment (recently completing Katie Holmes’ directed “Rare Objects” and Mayim Bialik’s “As They Made Us”) and Unified’s Keith Kjarval, as well as talent such as choreographer JaQuel Knight, producer Anne Clements, and female directors Amber Sealey and Vera Miao. 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...

Join the Discussion