The root of the word “partner” is to partake, or more specifically, “to share.” We know this intrinsically, of course, as we look at partners in business, in marriage, even in square dancing. There’s a sharing of the load, of life itself, or of a plucky tune. A give-and-take. A pulling in the same direction. A commitment to see things through.
There’s also a shared risk.
Ah, and there is where the word “partnership” is emptied of meaning, particularly in the film marketing and distribution world.
A film marketing agency, as a fee-based service provider, always wins — even if the film or show fails at the box office or ratings. The agency makes their fee no matter what.
Is this a partnership? Are interests appropriately aligned?
One of our business partners often tells us:
“True partners share in the aspirin and in the champagne.”
In other words, partners feel the pain when things go south — and they share in the celebration when things go well.
That is one of the reasons we continue to shift our business (distribution and marketing) toward arrangements that allow us and the filmmaker to pull in the same direction, to see things through together, and to feel every decision and dollar, for better or worse.
How are you creating better alignment with those working on your film?
Remember the goal: aspirin and champagne.
In the film business, and more specifically in marketing and distribution, the word “partner” needs rethinking.