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What is a "Package?"

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

Learn about a way that groups of people are negotiated to film studios by representative agencies.

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    Repeating Success

    Hollywood is the type of industry that tries to replicate a film’s success by repeating the formula over and over again. This can take the shape of consistent film franchises and sequel cycles or simply the pairing of certain creative people together again once they have already proven successful. Managing agencies respond to this often, creating what are called “packages.”

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    A package is a group of working people that are sold together as one unit. This is often a producer, director, and lead actor that negotiated as a team to financers and film studios. This is usually done after a couple of very high profile successes for the team, or for things like strait to video work where the team has been proven to work very efficiently and quickly.

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    No Limits

    A package is also not regulated to being just the director, producer, and performer. Often times an entire package is sold with a script, some secured locations, and even some possible merchandising agreement. The idea here is that a film project is being sold to the company with little creative effort needed from them.

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    More Money

    The agency can then negotiate a much larger sum for them than just their standard ten percent of their client’s payment. If this is the case then the clients themselves would not pay the agency the commission that is standard and the agency would simply get a percentage of the total budget and / or backend.

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    Industry Avoidance

    Packages end up being more expensive than hiring each person individually so most companies in the film business try to avoid them. Likewise, filmmakers and actors trying to make a name for themselves individually could actually be harmed by being professionally linked to other people as part of a package.

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    A package will really not be effective unless all these people have a proven track record and at least a little bit of a public persona. This isn’t as important for people like the producer, but the director and the star need to have some visibility. This will make the film news right after the package is sold and even before it enters production. The problem with this is that even one bad film choice can make the package worthless because its value is only in its proven and repeated success. This can even be affected if one of the package members has professional or personal issues away from the group. In a very classical sense, the package is only as strong as its weakest member.