The Coproducers is a revolutionary productive system, to bring Italian cinema back with new films we would all like to make and see.
The Coproducers is a system which can be used by new international film forces, it frees film makers from the artistic and financial official film production circuits, and brings the creative energy back to what the original production objective should be: the making of a quality film.
It keeps being more obvious that Italian producers do not give space to new ideas and new authors. This leads to premature aging of Italian cinema and less and less public interest, the public being more open than classic producers think.
The Coproducers allows the making of a film with high technical and artistic quality at a very low financial risk. It is a productive principle which allows quality and independence to meet, to create new authors and professionals in show business.
A bit of history
In 2002, Eros Puglielli, Marco Bonini e Gabriella Blasi put together a group of professionals in show business and spontaneously started the production of an experimental film called AD Project, directed by Eros Puglielli (www.erospuglielli.com), the intention being to show a finished product to a buyer, complete in its artistic expression and commercial potential. At the end of the process it was necessary to find a technical contract that would allow the film to be sold,
and guaranteed all of those who participated in the project financial retribution without upsetting the independent production impulse that allowed for
The lawyer Natalia Paoletti found this formula. A Formula which gives each participant ownership in the film.
In 2004 The Coproducers becomes international. Marco Bonini (www.marcobonini.it) develops the idea and together with Jacques Lipkau Goyard puts together another group of professionals to make the first film produced by the system from day one. A co-production with Youssou N'dour (coproducing for Senegal): Billo, Le Grand Dakhaar (www.billofilm.net) , directed by Laura Muscardin, Music by Youssou N'Dour.
In 2005 the first two films that have been produced with the system The Coproducers, are ready for their debut. To promote this historic birth we now publish the Manifesto of this new system and make it public.
The Coproducers is a productive system that allows the making of audiovisual products in co-production with all the participants, who in exchange for their contribution ( financial, labour or artistic), become owners of a percent of the film and its earnings.
Classic film production
In independent low budget films, the producer gives percentages on the film after covering the expenses. Very often the producer never covers the expenses. Often expenses exceed earnings. Often when those who participated in the film want to check on the expenses, this is not allowed as not vouched for in the contract. The result being that those who worked on the film never receive due payment. At least in the case of a dishonest producer.
In the case of an honest producer, the participants receive in the best case scenario, what they agreed on before working on the film.
Production in a coproduction
The revolution of the system The Coproducers lies in the fact that the producer, as sole proprietor of the film is eliminate. The film belongs to those who produce it physically. All of those who participate in the making of the film become co-producers and therefore owners of the rights of the film forever. Having ownership in the film as if it were a piece of property which they will own forever. If the film earns money in twenty years, in twenty years they will continue to receive a percent of these earnings. This happens with regular producers as well (honest and dishonest ones)
In this system the only financial need is to cover expenses such as catering, insurance, legal fees, transportation, or any other expense that cannot be put into co-production. The funds to cover these costs will be put on the market through sponsorship such as product placement or through a simple sale of shares of the film to financers . The Executive producers will spend that money which will be billed directly to the financer.
Those who finance the film just cover the expenses which have been approved by all the co-producers before starting the film in the expense budget.
INVOICES for these expenses will be made directly in the name of the financers. This system reduces beurocracy and increases the level of transparency during production.
The financial co-producer will just have to cover the costs billed for the expenses of the film until he extinguishes his agreed economic participation. He will then be expected to keep a copy of these expenses for the other co-producers to view if desired.
In order to calculate the correct percent of ownership of the film, any payment will be considered Net of IVA (French TVA or English VAT).
Another revolutionary aspect of the co-producers is the equality between WORK ad MONEY. The co-producers who invest money will receive their investment in the same manner as co-producers who invested their labour. Expenses are part of the budget of the film. No longer is the covering of the costs a priority.
The Executive Producer
The focus of the work now goes from the classic Producer to the Executive Producer, a simple co-producer like everyone, whose job is to elaborate a budget, expenses, find financial co-producers and labour co-producers, take care of the relationships with the suppliers, and then promote and sell the film, looking for buyers. The producer is doing the same job as a classic producer, but is now just a delegate of the pool of co-producers.
Co-production can be applied to all sectors: labs for print development, post production, press offices, ad agencies, billboards, music etc.
The more sectors are involved, the lower the need for financial co-producers and the higher the commercial value of the film.
The variety of co-producers involved is only conditioned by the potential they see in the film and the ethic credibility and professionalism of the co-producers.
The system also works well for co-productions with other nations, if the script calls for this.
Attitude of coproducers
The pool of co-producers needs to have a high level of motivation and group unity. The main element is the Responsibility of the single individual toward the film. No one can force anything on anyone (long working hours for example), but no one can act like a dependent waiting for the union to step in! One has to want to do what is necessary for the GOOD of the film.
The good of the film is decided by the MAJORITY. From here on anything is possible. The co-producers is a democratic system for film production.
However the roles remain, the director is still responsible for the artistic view of the film as each department head is responsible for their own department.
Unity and transparency
The unity of the group is helped by the transparency with which the project is administered. Not receiving a salary, the energy of the co-producers will be geared towards making a film that will be as appealing as possible to the buyers thus pushing to the most their artistic potential and the quality of the film.
The legal identity of the co-producers, is the group. Each individual acknowledges each others percent of ownership of the film in a single contract that binds each individual. Therefore it is not a cooperative it is not a company, but is more like a consortium.
The way to attribute percentages is simple (thanks to Sinne Mutsaers) . The executive producer elaborates a plan from which he will estimate the expenses (cash flow) and the work budget the costs of each individual involved ( technicians, artists, suppliers )
Expenses will be covered by financiers who will buy quotas (percentages). It can be one single financier or multiple financier who buy smaller percentages.
Labour will be determined by each individual who will provide an estimate for the job to be done. This cannot exceed 10% more than the last contract signed for the same work. When there is no previous experience, the minimum wage for that job will be applied.
The sum of the labour estimates, plus the expense budget will give the total budget for the film.
The proportion between the budget of the individual and the total budget will give a percentage, which will be the individual percent of ownership of the film.
Director euro 5 = 33,3% = (15 : 5 = 100 : x)
Writer euro 4 = 26,6% = (15 : 4 = 100 : x)
Actors euro 3 = 20% = (15 : 3 = 100 : x)
Electricians euro 2 = 13,3% = (15: 2 = 100 : x)
Cash/Financers euro 1 = 6,6% = (15 : 1 = 100 : x)
Budget TOT 15 = 100%
Unexpected and later addition
It is possible to let in Professionals and financiers after signing the contract. It is advised to leave 10% of the total budget open for unexpected events.
Any new entrance must be approved by the majority of the co-producers (majority by percentage) In the event that the unexpected 10% remains unused it will be redistributed proportionally to the percentages of the co-producers.
Even during the sales phase the level of administration necessary is reduced. It can be compared to the sale of a house.
The executive producers will present the offer to buy the film to all the co-producers in writing, who will have 15 days to come up with a better offer. When the time is up the executive producers will be automatically allowed to sign the contract to sell the film in the name of all the co-producers and cash in without Iva ( VAT ). Everyone will know that their agreed percent of the film of the amount in the letter of sale will soon arrive.
The executive producers will then proceed to distribute the percentages to all the co-producers who will send an invoice without IVA.
Invented by the lawyer Natalia Paletti, it overcomes the antagonism between those who give work and the workers. In the contract of The Coproducers there are no workers or those who give work (classic producer). All participants are entrepreneurs to the full extent of the law as they are all producers. And since they are all entrepreneurs according to Italian law, nothing is owed to the government as social security taxes. (For use out of Italy this must be checked in each nation)
This system allows to cut a 1.5/2 million euro budget film (totally financial if produced by a classic producer) down to a 7/800.000 euro budget (if produced by The Coproducers) with only 100.000 euro real cash need.
The Coproducers will be the identity that presents films produced in this manner In the credits and advertising.
The Logo will be made as a graphic composition of all the individual signatures, see the example AD project logo (above) or Billo Nouvelle Couture on www.billofilm.net
Each film will have a common identity (the method) but will vary in the realization, since both the participants signature and the graphic designer who will actually compose them, will be different.
Rights of the Logo and the contract
The system The Coproducers ( Manifesto, Logo and contract scheme) has been registered with the literary rights and is now at the disposal of all audiovisual creators on the world.
We promoters give the rights to use the logo the co-producers, if used in the manner hereby outlined, whoever has the PHISICAL & MORAL force to apply the spirit of this system. You may download the outline and contract immediately. Contact us for the formal authorization Good work!╔ . Contract
We believe that thanks to The Coproducers we can create a movement that can innovate the audiovisual industry through a vital creative surge. We believe this surge must come directly from professionals in the business, only they have the sensibility, the experience and the talent to elaborate a new films that are free, innovative, audacious and democratic.
Eros Puglielli Marco Bonini Gabriella Blasi avv. Natalia Paoletti