There’s a discussion going in the FS Forums about compensation for an EP who brings all the financing, and some differing opinions.
On the one hand, I’ve seen EP’s who bring all the financing charge up to a 10% fee from the budget, particularly on lower budget films. That percentage decreases to 5% or below on higher budgets – say anything over a few million dollars.
I’ve also seen a hybrid approach where an EP charges an up front fee and then also gets paid a percentage from the Producer’s pool in the budget and/or backend points.
Then the question comes up if you are paying an EP all this money, what else should you expect from them?
Again, it’s going to depend on the situation but in a perfect world an EP would also bring credibility and access to the project….for example, access to agents/managers/talent…directors….additional financing, distribution, sales agents, etc.
If you’ve tried to do any of these things on your own before you can appreciate what ‘fast tracking’ the process could look like.
I was talking to a writer client the other day who made a deal with a Producer, paid him a portion of his fee up front to ‘fast track’ credibility and access – and within a year they had a talent, director, and financing in place. She said she absolutely couldn’t have done it without having development funds in place to get the process going.
Personally speaking, I’ve started as an EP on certain projects and transitioned to Producer over time. I’m involved in one such project right now that starts shooting in April.
So is an EP right for every project? Definitely not – especially for lower and micro budgets where it just doesn’t make sense financially for you or them.
But as you move up in your career and attempt bigger scale projects, with bigger budgets, that require bigger name talent and teams, then yes it could make sense to bring on an EP to help.
I’m curious what your guys’ experience is with all this – feel free to continue the conversation in the comments section below…