Producers Reps have been around for many years. When we were presenting Slamdance in the late 90's, there were a handful of key players who could get your movie in front of buyers, agents and mini-majors. As you will see below, a few of them are still around. Others have moved on.
Now, they come in all shapes and sizes, though the core function remains - to connect films with buyers. While the theatrical distribution landscape has seen massive changes, the streaming and international marketplaces are booming. The key is to find the right path for your project, and the trick can often be landing an honest, connected producer's rep to get you in the door.
Yes, you can go the aggregation route without one. Pay a fee and land on iTunes, Googleplay and Amazon; but as we said our piece on Aggregation, you have to have a marketing campaign to drive sales. These companies do not promote you, and 95% of the indies there just gather dust.
As you probably know, you can't just call the acquisitions team at Netflix or HBO. At the international sales markets, you can typically approach the players. But how would you know who to trust in these shark infested waters? There are plenty of crooked lawyers, agents and distributors circling their prey. Horror stories abound, where slimy lawyers charge indie filmmakers $10,000 to sell their movie, only to disappear, with zero results.
Range of Services
As with any other service provider, these folks have strengths and weaknesses. Most will tell you they have relationships with the key streaming platforms and theatrical distributors. Others have deeper relationships with film festivals and agencies. As a filmmaker, you have to know what you want. Are you laser focused on a theatrical release? Or is it more about generating revenues to pay your investors back, or pay your bills?