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"All truth goes through three steps. 
First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. 
Third, it is accepted as self evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer


  Distribution is a nasty business filled with liars and thieves dressed in expensive pin stripped suits that feed   off the unsuspecting film producer at every turn in the road.  Like  the jungle leach they suck every bit of   strength from your project along with any profit  that was rightfully yours.  Welcome to Hollywood. 

  The reason you never see one story in print about profits made from a motion picture is because there isn't   any.  (Not to be confused with a film's highly publicized box office gross). The entire system is designed to   seize creative control from the producer and steal every cent of profit.  To the major Hollywood Distributor, it's   a game.  To the film maker, it's their life.

  They steal because they are supporting a corrupt system motivated by greed.   The film maker produces   movies because it's an art form which has captivated every part of their being.  This immoral system   continues because it has never been challenged by our government, like they did with ENRON, or heaven   forbid.......what would happen if the IRS checked their system of accounting with multiple sets of books?    The film maker makes their "deal with the devil" because they believe it's the "only game in town."

If you are part of mainstream Hollywood and think the major studios are your reason for life, read no further.  I don't worship their golden idols and you won't like what I have to say. I started my own studio twenty-eight years ago and have been living in rebellion ever since.  I believe in treating people with love, dignity and respect.   A foreign language in this business., and one that allows me to sleep well at night.

If you are truly interested in GMT's hope for a failed system, hang in there. Like spokes in a wagon wheel each following paragraph will eventually point to the hub; the center of the problem surrounding independent production and distribution and how it can be successfully accomplished.  It's a necessary step in developing a long-term relationship between our company and the independent producer, director and writer.

While I may seem harsh and critical of the entertainment industry, it is relevant to our understanding.  Not because I'm a critical person, but because the industry has achieved a reputation that speaks for itself.  More importantly, if we do not see the industry's intentional deception and barbaric practices together we will have no hope for establishing trust between us during this lengthy and sometimes complicated process.  A process that demands team work and trust at every level in order to succeed.  "Swimming with the Sharks", was the name of a popular book not long ago. I personally believe that while we must enter the water, we don't have to "swim" with the sharks.  Simply put: we don't have to do it their way

Funding, Producing and Distributing a motion picture are like anything else in life.  It's what you do with what you have that counts.  Like giving back extra change accidentally given you by a cashier.  Or calling attention to a mistake by Mastercard or Visa on your monthly statement and not pretending it didn't happen.  Moral ethics.  Honesty.  Doing what's right because it's right and for no other reason, the battle cry if you truly care about integrity. 

Our enemy is not any of the major studios.   It's a "belief system" because the people who are called the “Hollywood System”, are for the most part, just employees.  They don't own any part of a major studio, they just work there.  It's owned by stockholders.  So the enemy we are discussing is a system.  A way of life that maintains a death grip on independent producers and their creative process.

"A consistent man believes in destiny, a capricious man in chance."
-Benjamin Disraeli


For decades now, the distribution of a motion picture in Hollywood has been under fire. While films can be and are successful at the box office, the shell game involving net profits continue as if cheating is a national sport played only by the rich and famous in Hollywood. In the real world, a person who robs a local store for a hundred bucks will spend two to five years in state prison.  In Hollywood, a distributor who steals millions each year gets a front row seat at the Academy Awards.  

In my thirty years in the entertainment business, I've heard it said a hundred times.  "You have to have a major studio, or large independent to distribute your film. You can't get screens otherwise.  It's a 'necessary' evil".  An evil that lurks in a similar fashion to slime in the dark shadows of a rusty sewer pipe.  Like a deadly disease, every producer must eventually embrace it, film in hand, and hope for the best. A process designed to humiliate and undermine each weary traveler.  When the negotiation is over, you'll wonder, was I the first one in Hollywood history to get a "solid deal?" One that will protect my film and my friends who gave a part of their lives to make it? and, most importantly, will there be any profits?

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible."
-Arthur C. Clarke

Sure there will be plenty of glowing promises by those who claimed they were honest and would take care of everything.  In a whirlwind of activity that would put a presidential race to shame you are buried in mounds of paper, phone calls and Fed-Ex packages.  After all the trick questions and manipulation you are left confused about what really happened?  In reality, the distributors have just stolen your film and have no intention of doing anything but feed their own bank account while traveling in lavish limos and running up huge tabs at posh restaurants and bars on the Sunset Strip.  With every cent being charged against your project until the money runs out.

By the time you have second thoughts about several aspects of their contract it’s too late.  The deal points you caved in on at the last minute while they threatened to "kill the deal" if you didn't cooperate race through your mind.  (Slimy car dealers call it, "taking away the carrot" just before the close).  The terms and conditions regarding "back end profits" will also boil to the surface.  The reason everyone produces a film in the first place. Yet deep inside, you know all of the horror stories...and in your gut you know you are as good as DEAD!  Pacing the floor that first night when you can't sleep, in search for any glimmer of hope, you will try desperately to convince yourself that having a major studio logo for a mere ten seconds prior to the opening credits is prestigious.  That it means something.  A status symbol.  Something you can at least boast about with your friends and neighbors.  A sure sign of "success" you can point to while seeking to calm your fears.

"Any fool can make a rule - And every fool will mind it."
-Henry David Thoreau


If you are a producer, director, actor or financial partner, you are on the outside looking in. You have lost everything you ever hoped for when you first started developing your dream and shaped it into a motion picture.  A Hollywood distributor has taken that dream and will do whatever it pleases at your expense.  Like the falling of a giant redwood.  The deadly game of distribution is over regardless of how long it takes for you to realize it and the size of the box office doesn't matter.  Like the charlatan who holds up a coin before the toss and says to every sucker, "heads I win, tails you lose". 

Calling it a "minefield" is actually a compliment.  In a minefield at least there is some hope you may traverse a particular path and not step on one.  In a typical Hollywood deal there is no escape.  The entire contract is "booby trapped" and one sided with the distributor knowing full well he can sign the agreement and do whatever he wants with your film, as long as it's to his benefit.  With a stacked deck and him holding all the cards you are at his mercy.  He is also experienced at imposing his opinion regarding the size of the release or if your film will simply sit on a shelf and rot. 

This scenario generally produces two results: The first is when the distributor claims your film failed at the box office because the audience didn't like it.  Before you can catch your breath their solution is to sell off some of the ancillary rights to cover "their costs and overhead".  Or second, the film is a success, but expenses were high and there still are no profits.  In either case, they win and you lose.

"Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to it's original dimensions."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes


The problem everyone in entertainment is facing is illustrated in a highly publicized story from Warner Brothers who claimed the first "Batman", with a world wide gross of $1.2 billion, was $17,000,000 in the red on a production costing $50,000,000.  On closer examination the only ones who profited were Warner Brothers and a hand full of the "above the line" participants that negotiated a "gross deal" like Jack Nicholson who walked away with a reported $68,000,000.

A second example is "Forrest Gump" earning $650,000,000 with Paramount claiming they were still $60,000,000 in the red.  A prominent talk show host, when hearing the news about "Gump" quipped, "Forrest Gump must have been in charge of the accounting too." And so it goes with the distributor and only a handful of producers, directors and stars that have a "gross" deal earning any profit while everyone else gets ripped off.   In what other business could you get away with that kind of out right theft after bragging about it in the press without any harassment from law enforcement?

"Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters."
-Nathaniel Emmons


Controlling the net profits is only a part of the scam.  The game begins when a picture is first presented to a major studio for distribution. Right from the start, even before they read your screenplay, (the key element in every film), they want to know who is "attached".  And no matter how that question is answered the criticism begins.  Either the cast is too old, not popular enough, unknown, or the leading man has been on TV too long. Next the budget is too high, too low or the location isn't right.  (They have never figured out how John Travolta came back from the brink of extinction in "Pulp Fiction" and is currently one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood).

Next, the screenwriter and director on any production come into question followed immediately by strong suggestions of who they should be replaced by.  This is all part of their silly game a major studio plays while seeking to seize the creative and financial reins of a project for their own benefit or crush it in the process hoping it will go away and won't become future competition at the box office.

If the screenplay isn't "commercial" then they claim it's not "high-concept".  Opposition begins to evaporate however when someone's brother-in-law gets hired as part of the crew.  Usually in a position he's unqualified for.  Like production manager or camera assistant.  Their objective is to divide and conquer all levels of the project while taking complete control of the process, and of course the money.

Once they are in control, the producer will generally be served a summons by the Marshals Office stating he has been "sued" and is forbidden to enter the set or travel on location.  With the fine print providing excellent reading material for his wife or writing partner.


Years ago I read an article about dreamers and visionaries including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, George Patton and others who gave their lives for signing the Declaration of Independence.  The key part of the article focused on the fact that great events in history were generally achieved by a single strong willed individual who was surrounded by those who believed in a common vision.  

"Search the parks of all the cities, and you'll find no statue of committees."
-Author Unknown

The original "Ghostbusters" screenplay was a serious and hard-hitting demon possession picture similar to "The Exorcist" until studio executives turned it into a tongue in cheek comedy with the writers being bared from the set.  A decision that possibly cost everyone an additional hundred million in worldwide revenue.  While it's true "Ghostbusters" was a box office hit the original film will never be seen and similar decisions have resulted in mega flops like  "Heaven's Gate" and "1941". Flops that were full of highly successful actors, directors and producers.  Steven Spielberg being one.

Actor Doug Mc Clure was a close friend of mine before he died and was the co-star of the hit TV series "The Virginian" for nine years.  A TV series that helped Universal escape financial disaster in the late 1960's and early 70's.  In addition to his TV success Doug appeared in 30 motion pictures.  He was always puzzled how the studios he worked for could find a way to "creatively" cheat him out of his money.  On a location scouting trip in Utah I asked him why he never demanded an accurate accounting?  He responded by saying, "he was afraid he would never work again".

One example was the film "Shenandoah".  A film he co-starred in with Jimmy Stewart.  Produced for only $5,000,000 it grossed a whopping $50,000,000 at the box office.  A ton of money thirty years ago.  Critics maintained it was a huge success with both men, Jimmy Stewart and Doug McClure contracted to receive 5% of the back end. Yet neither saw any profit.  Of the 30 plus films Doug appeared in, with only half being financially successful, he never received a single cent for his thirty some years before the camera in Hollywood.  

I was present when Doug and Jimmy Stewart met at GMT Studios prior to their passing. I listened as they discussed their disappointment with the "creative accounting" maintained by Hollywood.  The conversation ended with a handshake and promise to keep in touch.  While it was great to see both of these highly skilled actors reminisce about a business they loved, it was also a sad commentary on the Hollywood film industry and the thievery that continues to go unchallenged.

Several years ago I also had the privilege to meet actor, James Garner at the Bel Aire Country club through a close friend.  Eventually the conversation turned to his legal battle with Universal Studios and his eventual settlement of between $10-$12 million dollars.  In the suit brought by Garner, Universal denied "The Rockford Files", the world's number one TV show at the time had made any profit.  Jim said he spent one million in legal fees over a seven-year period in order to win.  A relentless effort that finally brought the studio legal department to their knees.  (An event that also damaged his career as an actor). The suit was finally settled on the courthouse steps when Universal had run out of legal maneuvering and was ordered to make all of the accounting records public.  Jim thought it was the closest the public ever came to seeing their unethical accounting practices made public.  Something the studio was willing to pay millions to keep private.  A suit settled on the courthouse steps.

"Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience."
-George Bernard Shaw


To complicate an already outrageous system, major banks across the country, as part of an understanding between lending institutions, will claim they have "no understanding of film financing" and refer a potential borrower to an "entertainment bank".  Once in Hollywood, (actually Beverly Hills or downtown Los Angeles), a producer seeking funding for their project will be told that without a "major studio pick up deal" attached to any loan as a guarantee they won't even consider it.

Twenty years ago I approached Wells Fargo in Beverly Hills for a $5,000,000 loan using an audited financial statement worth twenty times that amount.  The bank officer claimed to review the package in detail but said he couldn't complete the loan until I had a "negative pick up from a major studio".  When I questioned his reasoning he said, "that's the way it's done."

Not willing to accept his offer,  I met two days later with his boss, the bank's executive vice president.  I was told the bank would accept the financial statement and guarantee from my financial source without any problem "but" I still needed the studio paper to obtain funding. An insane statement because the $100,000,000 statement in my possession was backed by seasoned income producing California real estate plus $5,000,000 in cash.  As I sat there dumbfounded the friendly banker made it very clear I needed to do it his way or leave and stop wasting his time.  As I started to exit his office I asked, "how many independent films were submitted to the bank during the previous year?  "300" he answered, to which I replied, "and how many did you fund?"  "None" he said, "unless you do it our way."  Another reason the system is established in such a way that an independent producer can't get traditional funding without playing according to the rules established by the majors and the banks they control.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
-Antoine DE Saint-Exupery


Decades ago major studios and their management were seriously interested and involved in the making of "pictures" as they called them.  Pictures in the 1940's and 50's starring "John Wayne", "Elizabeth Taylor", or "James Dean".  The heads of these giant studios actually read scripts themselves and personally visited the sets because they were truly interested in the art form and every detail of the creative process.  It was a time when Hollywood delivered productions that changed lives and impacted society in a positive and uplifting way.   There were actually consequences in each film for the "bad guy" and his actions, rather than a reward.  Morals were upheld not ridiculed.  It was a studio system that has long faded from history and holds little resemblance to today's folly.

It reminded me of a time when Hollywood films played a positive role in improving the social and moral part of our society.  When producers and writers took responsibility for the story and it's eventual impact on the audience. Stories that actually sought to provide a solution in life rather than further complicate our problems.  Like liquor store robberies and car chases.   Films where the bad guy didn't get away and our country and what it stands for wasn't laughed at or mocked.  Legends of the silver screen were deserving of our praise because their performance in Hollywood generally matched their personal life.  The "bad guys in real life" in the 1950's were “put away” and not paraded around for years on the evening news like some sort of "anti-hero."   

"Take away the cause, and the effect ceases."
-Miguel DE Cervantes


Fifteen years ago my partner and I met with a foreign distributor.  The meeting began as I was handed a financial report listing all of the expenses charged to our picture.  As I read the line items on the couch my co-producer sat across the desk from the companies controller seeking an explanation.  Next to me on a couch was a bookkeeper with her lap filled with data to support their claims.  While they may have spent the money, or at least part of it, the amount equaled ten times their original estimate.  One item in particular was $30,000 for a six hour rental of a yacht to hype the film at the “cons” film festival.  An event we said we wanted no part of.

Eventually the meeting got heated and the bookkeeper next to me sought escape by exiting the room.  When she pulled open the door it revealed the companies president eavesdropping through the narrow crack in the doorway.  We made eye contact just before he fled down the hallway embarrassed. The meeting ended abruptly and we eventually received only pennies on the dollar for our efforts.  An eye opening experience and one I'll never participate in again.  Another reason we are confident our in-house distribution is correct in every respect.

In "Three Days of The Condor", actor Robert Redford is seen telling a member of the CIA, "You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth!"


In the 1990's I had an interesting and lengthy conversation with a producer friend regarding distribution.  During a location scouting trip to Indiana he told me about how he had produced seventeen major motion pictures starring one of Hollywood's most popular stars.   On one particular film that grossed $43,000,000 in the first six months of release a major studio reported the ten million dollar film was still $5.5 million in the red meaning it would take approximately $90,000,000 to reach break even.

Together we closely examined the expenses charged against the picture as reported by the studio.  The cost for prints was one area that I recall quite vividly.  It seems he knew from an inside source the original 800 prints were in fact re-billed for 3,000 prints costing the production $3,000,000 instead of $800,000.  In reality, the additional 2,200 prints were bogus.  They were never made. This single act of fraud resulted in the studio profiting an additional $2.2 million, all with a stroke of the pen.  Additionally, 30% had been added to the budget to cover “bogus” studio overhead because most of the picture was shot on location.  Advertising was also 100% higher than what was actually spent.

To top it off, he said the star in question had to sue the same studio for every picture he ever worked on.  In one meeting he witnessed the studio president exchange a settlement check for one film and at the same time hand the star a check covering production costs for the next.    In the years that followed, the same star began filing suit at the close of principal photography on each subsequent picture so he didn't lose time in the court system waiting for his money.


When a film opens today pay close attention to the negative hype that surrounds it.  The focus will be on the controversy of who slept with who during production or why an actor got fired or what kind of drugs he's on.  Every piece of dirt that can be found will be spelled out in the headlines.  Gossip magazines that flood our local super market will effectively banter every sordid detail for us and our children to see.  What has happened to our society as a whole?  Have we all decided to swim in the sewer of humanity, or,has the media made that decision for us? 

One evening I became interested about an upcoming story on actress Julia Roberts.  The anchorman made it sound like it was about her new film. After the commercial break, the story skimmed over her new film role and quickly focused on her live-in boyfriend being investigated for assault.  90% of the story was about trashing her boyfriend being investigated by police for tossing a rock at a car driven by a tabloid photographer.

The same week, one major studio got caught having a fictitious film critic working on their payroll who recommended every film they released for the past ten years as "outstanding" or "the best of the year".  Not just false advertising but an out and out lie.  If this same situation had involved a major corporation like Enron, Ford or Pepsi, the FCC would have issued the company and their Board of Directors, heavy fines. Unfortunately in Hollywood this is acceptable behavior and is overlooked by our government regulators.

"Experience is not what happens to a man;  it is what a man does with what happens to him."
-Aldous Huxley


When GMT was first considering distributing films independently I was introduced to a man that had spent his entire life in distribution.  (Because I was asking very delicate questions about the true internal workings of the system he made me promise to keep his name confidential in exchange for the truth). Before we got started he claimed his only reason for being candid was he was set to retire in two weeks and was actually trying to talk me out of bucking the Hollywood system. 

As the head of a sizable and highly recognizable distribution firm he had worked most of his thirty plus years in New York and Hollywood.  His particular "minefield", as he called it, was air tight. In the one-hour phone conversation he described intimate details of how he, as the head of a major distribution company, balanced the books daily for his own benefit. He was actually boasting about the fact of how easy it was to make money regardless of whether the film was a success or not.

If a film failed, he'd sell off the rights to cover his loss leaving the producer with nothing.  If it was a success, he'd bill for everything under the sun, including actual costs to distribute his other releases.  One highly profitable area was keeping reps on the road to meet with film buyers and exhibitors.  While traveling he would entertain in the best eateries and night spots available. All in the name of "marketing" a particular film and it's release.  I asked how much that might be on one trip and he said, " in New York for a few days, it could cost a minimum of $10,000.  But cost was not the issue."

At the end of the trip the rep would bill nine other films they were representing for $10,000 each totaling $100,000 which actually cost the distributor a 10th of that therein producing a whopping $90,000 in pure profit.  Receipts were duplicated then presented to each company they were representing as a cost of distributing their individual film. He went on to say, "unlike other companies outside entertainment, the more reps he had on the road the more profit he made."  Conversely, a corporate salesperson would normally divide the cost equally between the ten films and bill them $1,000 each not the additional $9,000 per picture that was completely bogus.

When I questioned him about "double or triple billings" for prints he laughed and said, "everybody does that.  It's the way things are done in our business." Advertising costs purchased at a discounted rate earned by his company he billed at the highest rate possible.  Even when the exhibitors split the cost of print ads in an area his company billed for the entire amount therein equaling 100% profit.  Imagine making 100% return by a simple stroke of the pen. 

"Some men see things as they are, and say, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were, and say, 'Why not?'"
-George Bernard Shaw


Kevin Costner bucked the Hollywood system with his classic box office hit, "Dances With Wolves".  After shopping it to every major studio twice, (something only fools in Hollywood say you can't do), Kevin finally obtained most of his funding outside the traditional Hollywood system. The experts claimed, "nobody wanted to see a "cowboys and Indian" film.  A tired format and story line everyone had seen for decades.

When the film was finished he screened it to a long line of Hollywood distributors.  The 3 ½ hour film they thought was a director's rough-cut was the actual version we all saw at the local cinema.  At the time he was told, "no one will sit through a film for that long. It has to be cut in half".  Fortunately for us, Kevin held his ground and the rest is cinematic history.

After it's domestic success, the experts were then concerned with the foreign market, especially Asia, would not sit through a 3 ½ hour "cowboy and Indian" film.  In Korea, people lined up around the block for months.  They were mesmerized. Oh yes, and a final and amusing note: The screenplay was written by a short order cook working at a Montana truck stop.  A first time writer I might add.  A part of the formula that would have been rejected by the experts who think only "their" writers are qualified to tell a story they think is worth telling.  Stories with their political and moral twist. 

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."
-Albert Einstein


GMT Releasing is a new and unencumbered entity. One dedicated to serving every picture's unique needs from the first focus group or test market to the final domestic or foreign ancillary sale.  As an intricate part of the plan, GMT Releasing will select and contract seasoned talent in each area of the industry to distribute and market each film, but with a twist; they will follow our rules not that of the major studios. While hiring the right individuals to fill each position and working with the very same companies used by the major studios on their productions the manner in which we operate is quite different. 

All ancillary sales contracts will be negotiated by GMT Releasing and will be submitted to the project's investor for approval.  All without the Hollywood shuffle.  Contracts regarding personnel, the cost of travel, agency commissions, and ordering release prints, just to name a few, will done in plain sight for all to see, on a secure, 24/7, web site.  All without the typical "hidden agenda". 

"Every time a value is born, existence takes on a new meaning; every time one dies, some part of that meaning dies."
-Joseph Wood Krutch


The heart of our proposal is how the funds are handled and reported. First and foremost, the selection of a CPA firm, one approved by the distribution investor(s) to establish a "trust" account that will be the only place domestic income is deposited.  No commingling of any funds associated with other projects or our Company.  There will be no side transactions or hidden costs deducted from revenue.  The funds are paid according to the agreement between the investor(s), producer and GMT Releasing based on a chart of accounts that match the contracts attached to the picture. This means the investor will see what his money is being used for in each element of the distribution plan 24/7.  All with no slight of hand. No creative accounting. 


I have spoken to several attorneys who claimed they didn't like this idea.  A rep from Deloite and Touche in Century City said,  "the reason lawyers don't like this type of 'above the board' accounting it is it eliminates any reason for them to sue or disrupt the process because every transaction is accounted for and reported openly and honestly."  Personally I am also confident it reduces needless legal fees billed to a film project which increases the film's bottom line.

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you."
-Henry Ward Beecher


In simplicity, GMT will select and contract key companies and individuals from the best Hollywood has to offer for a given period of time.   When the process ends, (unlike a major studio), the sizable overhead is eliminated which protects the back end profit participation for each of us.  Much like hiring key sub contractors when building a major high rise hotel.  In other words, we will take the best the industry has to offer, pay it well for it's services and easily compete with other major studio releases.


Many of the major studios, and mini-majors,  don't distribute their own films. That's right! They don't.  Most of the actual distribution effort is done by contracting third parties to do it for them.  When all is said and done the cost is multiplied several times over and charged to each picture as we have previously presented.  The exciting part about this scenario is each and every one of these same individuals and companies are readily available for our film's as well.  These highly creative people and/or their companies can be contracted to do the same job they do for the major studio distributors.  All for a reasonable price, hired by GMT.   By altering the traditional "creative accounting" method profits end up where they belong; in the hands of those who earned it in the first place.

The services I am talking about include: The placement of key advertising and national buys for the regional release at “cost” along with; i) The production of theatrical prints. ii) The creation of major key art for the film and it's publicity. iii) The distribution of press kits and trailers to each theater domestically. Other services include: booking, audience research, advertising design, cross promotional activities, the production and printing of movie posters, newspaper ads, print advertising, the placement of prime time television commercials, radio spots, licensing, movie related merchandising, publicity, marketing, star tour strategy, video news services, and gathering local and regional support.

As an example, a few years ago I was quoted a 9% advertising agency fee by one of the largest media buying firms in the industry therein allowing a mark up to the traditional level of 15%.  Meaning 6% would traditionally go to a major studio. 6% of $20,000,000 is $1,200,000. They call it a "mark up" I call it theft!  A common and acceptable practice within the Hollywood industry. Prints actually costing $1,500 each suddenly become $2,000 and $2,800.  800 prints are recycled and the producer is billed for an additional
2,200 "phantom prints" that never existed.

The creative cost on any given film could reach between $500-600,000 and a major studio would charge the production $1.5 million or more.  All part of a major studio's acceptable accounting procedures.  With GMT's team in-house, control and management is where it should be: with the people financing, producing and distributing the film.

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
-John Wooden


The major studios continually claim independents can't get screens.  One statistic they use is to claim the “theatrical chains are controlled by the majors themselves”.  Another lie. In reality the demand for an individual picture by the audience is the only reason an exhibitor keeps a picture playing on their biggest and best screen.  According to their numbers the majors control 16% of the screens which is hardly a monopoly. 

Behind closed doors they are actually concerned about the Billionaire from Denver who has already purchased the United Artists Theater chain and others because he personally hated taking his family to films with no moral or social benefit. As of last report, he controlled over 8,000 screens with two thousand additional screens in escrow.  If anything, Hollywood should be considering his criteria rather than fighting him in the Hollywood Reporter or Variety, which he doesn't read.  Regal Cinemas, his company, controls United Artist, Edwards, and Regent, just to name a few.

Having a powerful film is the exhibitor’s first requirement for scheduling screens.   They could care less about who the distributor is.  If the film has what they call "legs" they want it.  If it doesn't, they replace it with another.  Contrary to popular belief, the exhibitors provide screens for films that attract an audience.  Especially one with a "strong word-of-mouth".  Exhibitors make their real profit selling popcorn and sodas each containing an enormous profit.  (I spent $9.00 last week for one ticket and another $9.00 for a soda, small box of popcorn and ice cream).  Without an audience, they have no customers at the concession stand and their main profit center suffers.


No hidden agenda.  No middlemen. No excessive mark ups.  No egos that make unreasonable demands.  No hype.  No hassle. Only a team approach to each and every detail.  With safeguards where we need them and where they count.  Especially how money is expensed and accounted for.

The real surprise is how simple it really can be when light is shed on a complex situation.  In my opinion it is like a news report exposing a team of pick pockets working the subways in  New York.  Their time of day, what method they use and how they keep the unsuspecting victim off guard.  One distracts you while the other deprives you of your wallet or the contents of a purse. Hearing the report, some riders would no doubt ignore the warning. Others would maybe try to be more cautious. While others, once they knew the truth, would take another mode of transportation until the thieves were caught. Similar to distribution, once you finally realize how your being taken advantage of the whole scheme is unmasked and you know how to protect yourself. 

"Most people focus on how to avoid pain and gain pleasure in the short term, and thereby create long term pain for themselves. 
-Anthony Robbins


By maintaining a solid, well-planned, team approach rather than the typical divide and conquer routine we can raise the opportunity for success.  It will also add considerable financial benefit to the process rather than lining a third parties pocket.  Even with a considerable amount of competition in the marketplace, we will have a highly skilled team on our side, all of which have "been there" and "done that" previously to make the difference.  Because GMT will terminate third party contracts wherever necessary, we can keep the cost of distribution at a very reasonable rate.

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance."
-Bruce Barton

I guess I should mention in closing, that the producer of the highly successful trilogy, "Lord of the Rings", (which grossed $3,000,000,000 at the box office), was suing to get his share of the profits with the distributor claiming their wasn't any. 

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity".
-John F. Kennedy

There is the right way and the wrong way to do anything.  It's my opinion, that the best way to traverse a minefield is to avoid it altogether.   Thank You for your time and consideration.

Alan Hauge
@ GMT Releasing.com

For more information go to: CreativeMovieAccounting.com.

Our partnership with Alan and GMT Studios ensures we can avoid the Hollywood Minefield altogether.  Coupled with our Transparent Accounting and Distribution strategies we have systems that maximize profitability and ROI to our investors, which allows us to have partners with which to make our next slate of films.

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