So here’s the situation:

You’re almost done with your film. Folks are finally going to get to experience the story you’ve been working on! We both know all the sweat equity (and cold hard cash) you’ve put into this movie. But it’s finally paying off.

The hard part is over. Securing a distribution will probably be as simple as sending a few HD masters through Dropbox. Right?

Or that’s what you think. Until you get a long and complicated email from a distributor’s legal reps. There’s a lot of jargon. Plus a lot of technical film stuff. What does it all mean?

More about distribution

Deliverables are one of the last steps in post-production, but it’s a pricy and multi-step process. Most distribution contracts contain a list of required delivery items. Without these items, sales agents will pass on making a deal. Therefore a film needs to have all the necessary documents.

No one goes into the business of making film because they love file conversions or frame rate quandaries. But every filmmaker who wants their work seen, screened, distributed, or streamed needs to understand these technical things.

This means having the ability to switch between ProRes files, DCPs, and HDCAMS. And that’s just the beginning.

Deliverables must fit the exact requirements of the distributor. This applies to the film, the trailer, TV spots, photography, and legal documents. Without these you will be unable to show your film to a wider audience.

These need to be given to the distributor within a set timeframe. Missing delivery deadlines — or flat out not delivering the correct files — can have huge commercial implications.

Not to mention it’ll be way more stressful for you.

More than just Movies

While deliverables are most commonly associated with feature films, the term applies to any and all types of media. Is your brand shooting a piece of branded content right now? Once you get through post-production, you’ll have a brand new, shiny deliverable (or more) on your hands! Need a photo shoot to get some new headshots for your team? Technically, the final photos are also considered deliverables!

The point here is this: deliverables are the finished product at the end of your production, packaged up to very particular specifications depending on your needs. Say, for instance, you shoot a commercial and now you need to transmit it to the masses. There are so many avenues to get the word out: social media, YouTube, broadcast, etc. However, all of those different platforms have different specs that you have to follow. Mastering a spot for broadcast is VERY different from mastering for the web. Optimizing a video for LinkedIn varies from how you would optimize for facebook. There are even spec differences from one tv station to the next! In short, it’s almost never just a single master video, but rather a few iterations that cover the myriad deployment platforms.

We’re here to help

ECG has over 10 years of experience in post-production. We understand what materials are necessary for industry-standard deliverables. Our staff has the tools and know-how to create knock-out deliverables. Whether it’s a project you’ve been working on with us already, or an existing asset, we can package your deliverables to order, every single time.

At the end of the day “deliverables” is an easy thing to define. But a hard thing to get right. It can mean the difference between a good film for your friends to enjoy, and a good film that can be enjoyed in domestic and international markets.

Call ECG today to learn more about our post-production options and deliverables. Let’s get your story out there!