October 7, 1998

Before going to work this morning I had a brief meeting with Mitchell Banks, the distributor who is interested in my movie.  He's talking about trying to package HONEYMOON with other art films and selling it to television buyers around the world. It sounds as if money from such sales, if any, would make it way to me slowly and in small quantities.  But that doesn't bother me too much: my film was cheap, and even miniscule amounts of money by industry standards might be enough to help me get another project underway.  The question in my mind is whether a deal like this could prove inconvenient if I should be lucky enough to get out onto the festival circuit and attract other interest.  If Mitchell continues to be interested, I'll have to get advice of various sorts.

Mitchell, on his part, wanted to make sure that I was in a position to deliver the film to him in the event of a foreign sale.  In distribution terms, delivery means more than just turning over a copy of the film; one has to meet a number of conditions (for instance, he wants me to establish my legal right to use the songs on the soundtrack) and supply a number of materials.  The most difficult part of the delivery process will be creating the film's music and effects (M&E) tracks.  Foreign buyers require a soundtrack with all dialogue removed, so that they can dub the film in another language while keeping all other original sound effects.  This is not a trivial exercise for me, because my dialogue was often recorded as the same time as other sounds; I'll have to go back into sound mix sessions and separate the dialogue out line by line, filling the holes in the soundtrack with pieces of ambient sound from elsewhere in the film.  This process must be completed within 30 days of a sale; I need to find out whether 30 days is enough time for me to do this work, and get an early start if not.  (As I started to investigate, I found out that Robin had had to erase the original tracks of the film from her hard disk to make room for other projects; neither she nor I had anticipated the need for more editing work.  After some frantic telephone calls, however, it turned out that Paul, the sound mix engineer, has complete backups of the original sound tracks.)

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