Glossary of Terms

This glossary includes many (not all) of the terms you may encounter in the entertainment business.   These are the generally accepted definitions of these words.  Please let industrypana.com know if you come across other terms you’d like defined or other relevant definitions to these words


Above-the-Line Costs:  means a portion of a motion picture production budget that covers major creative participants (e.g., writer, director, actor, and producer) including script and story development costs. 


Adaptation:  means a derivative work.  When a motion picture is based on a book, the film has been adapted from the book.


Advance:  means an upfront payment that counts against earnings or other monies that may be payable at some time in the future.  Non-recoupable advances are upfront payments that are not refundable even if future earnings/monies will never come due.


Art House Theater:  is a motion picture exhibitor (i.e., movie theater) that shows specialized art films, generally in exclusive engagements rather than mass-marketed studio films. 


Author:  means the creator or originator of a work.  Under U.S. copyright law, an author may be the employer (pursuant to a work for hire agreement) of the person who actually creates the work.    


Audiovisual Recording: means every form of Master Recording embodying visual images.


Back End:  means profit participation in a film, television program or other media property after distribution and/or production costs have been recouped. 


Below-the-Line Costs: means the portion of a motion picture production budget that covers the technical expenses and labor including crew, set construction, camera equipment, film stock, developing and printing.


Blow-Up:  means the optical process of enlarging a film, usually from 16mm to 35mm. 


Box Office Gross:  means the total revenues taken in at movie theater box offices before any expenses or percentages are deducted.


Box Office Receipts:  refers to the amounts that theater owners take in from ticket sales to customers at the box office.  A portion of this revenue is paid to the studio/distributor in the form of rental payments.


Budget Record:  means a Phonograph Record at a published price to dealer (“PPD” as defined below) that is at least thirty-two percent (32%) lower than the PPD applicable to the majority (or plurality) of the new releases of Top Line Records of the label’s best-selling artists, in the same configuration (e.g., compact disc) and format (e.g., Album or Single), or, if none, then such equivalent Top Line Record as designated by the label.


Cel:  means a transparent sheet of cellulose acetate used as an overlay for drawing or lettering.  Used in animation and title work. 


Color Correction:  means changing the color tones of colored objects or images by the use of light filters, either with a camera or a printer.


Commercially Release: means the date, sometimes referred to as the "street date," on which an Album (or other Record) is first available and authorized by a label or its Licensees for retail sale to consumers in a particular territory.


Completion Bond:  means a form of insurance that guarantees completion of a film in the event that the producer exceeds the budget and is unable to secure additional funding.  Completion bonds are sometimes required by banks and investors to secure financing for film production.  If the bond has to be used, the completion guarantor will assume control over the production and be in the top recoupment position (i.e., superior to all investors).


Composition:  also know as a, "Musical Composition," means a single work, selection, or expression, musical or otherwise, irrespective of length that has been created, such as a song.


Consideration:  means anything of value, usually money, that is the reason or inducement for a party to enter into a contract with another.  The right, interest or benefit to one party, or the loss or forbearance of another.  Consideration is a necessary element for a contract to be binding.  


Controlled Composition: means a Composition on an album that is: (a) written or composed by the Artist or any independent producer (i.e., a producer who is not an exclusive producer for the label), in whole or in part; or (b) owned or controlled, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the Artist, any independent producer, the Artist's manager or management company, or any Person connected therewith, or any Person which the Artist, or any independent producer controls or in which the Artist, or any independent producer has a direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise.


Cross Collateralization:  means the practice by which distributors offset financial losses in one medium or market against profits derived from others.  For example, earnings from one release are combined with the earnings from a subsequent release, and after the expenses for both are deducted, the balance, if any, is profit.  Recording artists and filmmakers don't like cross-collateralization because it may reduce the amount of money they are likely to receive.


Crossover:  means a creative work that initially is targeted at a narrow market or demographic, that then achieves acceptance in a wider market.


Dailies: refers to the one-light film prints, usually untimed and made without regard to color balance and form, that a filmmaker reviews daily in order to check the action and to select the best takes. 


Day Player:  is an actor, usually with only bit parts, who works a day at a time on a film.  


D.B.O.R.:   DBOR is an acronym for “domestic box office receipts” and means the aggregate gross domestic box office receipts in the United States and Canada in U.S. dollars as compiled by the leading box office reporting company Rentrak and published in Variety Magazine or other such publicly available sources. 


Deal Memo:  means a letter or short contract that sets forth the terms and conditions of an agreement.  In many cases a deal memo, which is sometimes referred to as a “Term Sheet,” is a binding agreement.


Default:  means failure to perform obligation under a contract. 


Deferral:  is when actors, writers, directors and others agree to receive only part of their salary up-front in order to reduce a film or TV production budget. They receive the remainder of their fees from box office and other revenues that are earned.  The inherent risk is that box office and other revenues may not accrue sufficiently to pay these deferrals.


Delivery: means the actual receipt by a designated label executive, at a designated address (usually the label offices), of all applicable Master Recordings, all relevant contracts and written materials, and any other materials required by the label to promote, advertise and release Phonograph Records embodying those Master Recordings and to manufacture Record covers or other packaging therefor. Delivery will not be deemed to have occurred until such time as the label’s business and legal Affairs representative, has confirmed to the Artist in writing that the label has accepted the Master Recordings and Delivery has occurred.


Depth of Field:  refers to the distance range between the nearest and farthest objects on screen that appear in focus.


Development:  refers to the process by which a creative idea is transformed into a finished script (e.g., screenplay, teleplay, etc.)  This process includes optioning the rights to a literary property such as a novel or biography, and engaging a writer to create a treatment, first draft, second draft, rewrite and polish. 


Digital Phonograph Records: means any Phonograph Record distributed by digital means or in digital format, by any means now or hereafter known, including, without limitation, digital downloads of Masters (whether through Online Media or through mobile telephones), “streaming” of Masters through Online Media or any other online transmission, Voicetones, “master ringtones” and “subscription services.”


Digital Products: means Digital Phonograph Records and Electronic Merchandise. “Subscription Digital Products” means Digital Products sold or otherwise made commercially available to consumers other than by means of a per-unit price paid by the consumer (e.g., pursuant to a monthly fee-supported subscription “streaming” plan or an ad revenue-supported “streaming” plan).


Direct-to-Consumer Sales: means sales of Phonograph Records, by the label or label affiliate, directly to a consumer, other than through a record club.


Dissolve:  refers to the camera/optical effect in which one scene gradually fades out at the same time as another scene fades in.


Distributor (film):  means a company that markets a motion picture by placing it theaters, advertising and promoting it.  The major motion picture studios primarily finance and distribute films; whereas smaller independent companies mostly produce the films.


Distributor (music):  means a company that markets an album by placing it at retail outlets (online and brick & mortar), advertising and promoting it.  The major record labels, as well as some independent labels, distributors finance and distribute albums.  Independent recording artist, entrepreneurs and smaller independent companies and some of the major labels mostly produce the albums. 


Distribution Expenses:  refers to all expenses relating to the distribution of the creative work, including taxes, union and guild payments, advertising and publicity costs, transportation and shipping costs, copyright costs, insurance, royalties, foreign version costs, etc.  The distribution expenses should be set forth in the distribution agreement. 


Domestic Rights:  refers typically to rights within the United States and English-speaking Canada only. 


Double Distribution Fees:  means the situation wherein a distributor uses a sub-distributor to sell a territory.  If both distributors collect their fees, the filmmaker is unlikely to see any money from film revenues.


Double-System Sound:  refers to when sound is recorded on tape and picture is recorded on film so that the two elements can be synchronized during editing. 


Droits-Morals:  is the French term for “Moral Rights.”  The term "Moral Rights" refers to the personal rights that a creative artist has in his/her work.  The doctrine protects artistic integrity and prevents others from modifying the artist’s work, or taking the artist’s name off the work without the artist’s permission.  The artist may retain moral rights even if all of the other rights granted by the Copyright Act are assigned to another.


Dubbing:  refers to the addition of audio elements (either music or dialogue) to a visual presentation through a recording process to create a sound track that can be transferred to and synchronized the video elements. 


Dupe:  refers to a duplicate negative or duplicate master recording. 


Edge Numbers:  refers to the sequence of numbers printed along the edge of a strip of film to identify the footage. 


Electronic Merchandise: means any Marketing Materials, the Artist’s Names and Likenesses or other materials used in association with Artist’s Names or Likenesses that are delivered, transmitted, or otherwise distributed through Electronic Transmission to the consumer, either directly or indirectly, regardless of whether or not such Marketing Materials are exploited in connection with Masters (e.g., virtual goods and so-called applications or “apps”).


Electronic Transmission: means any reproduction, distribution, performance, display, transmission, download, stream, communication, exhibition, making available, delivery or other use of a recording, image or other work in any electronic or other “non-physical” form or format, now or hereafter known, via any channels, platforms, processes or methods, now or hereafter known, including, without limitation, the internet and mobile devices.


EP: means a Record (other than Audiovisual Record) embodying no fewer than four (4) unique Sides and no more than nine (9) unique Sides or a Record (other than Audiovisual Record) embodying ten (10) or more different Sides with a duration of less than thirty (30) minutes.


Exclusive Opening:  refers to a type of motion picture release where the film is opened in a single theater in a major city, giving the distributor the option to keep the film for a long exclusive run or move it to additional theaters based on the film box office performance.

Execute:  means to complete or perform an obligation; or to sign a contract or other document.


Exhibitor:  means the owners/operators of a movie theater; a movie theater. 


Feature Film:  refers to a full length, fictional motion picture (excluding documentaries or short films) generally for theatrical release. 


Film Rental Fee:  refers to the amount (usually 50% of the Box Office Gross) that an Exhibitor pays the distributor for the right to show a movie. 


Final Cut:  means the last stage in the editing process.  Whoever has the right to “Final Cut” has the right to determine the creative control over the motion picture.  The studio or the financier of the picture usually retains Final Cut rights. 


First-Dollar Gross:  refers to the most favorable form of gross participation for a participant in revenues received form the distribution of a motion picture.  Only limited deductions, such as checking fees, taxes and trade association dues are deductible. 


First Money:  refers to the to the first revenue received from the distribution of a motion picture, from the producers’ point of view.  First Monies generally are allocated to investors until recoupment, but may be designated in part or in whole to deferred salaries owed to talent or deferred fees to the film lab.  First Monies should not be confused with profits.


First Run:  means the first engagement of a new motion picture. 


Floors:  refers to terms in distributor/exhibitor agreements that set forth the minimum percentage of box office receipts the distributor is entitled to receive, regardless of the theater’s operating expenses.  This percentage generally declines week by week over the course of a motion picture’s engagement and ranges generally from 70% down to 20%.


Force Majeure:  means a superior and irresistible force.  A “Force Majeure” clause in a contract states that certain obligations may be suspended in the event the contract cannot be performed due to events beyond the control of the parties such as a fire, strike, earthquakes, war or Act of God.


Foreign Sales:  refers to the process of licensing a film in various territories and media outside the United States and Canada.  Even though Canada is a foreign country, U.S. distributors typically acquire Canadian rights as part of their acquisition of U.S. domestic rights. 


Four-Walling:  refers to when filmmakers (1) rent a theater and its staff for a flat fee, (2) buy their own advertising, and (3) receive all the revenue.  The exhibitor is paid the flat fee no matter how successful the film is and  does not receive a share of the box office receipts. 


Free Goods: means Records sold or distributed as “free,” “no charge” or “bonus” Records (whether or not intended for resale; whether billed or invoiced as a discount in the price to the label’s customers or as a Record shipped at no charge; but specifically excluding so-called “standard free goods” as this term is understood in the record industry).


Furnishing Company:  A "furnishing company" is an entity owned or controlled by you.  Many artists in the entertainment industry enter into agreements through furnishing companies because, by entering into the deal as companies rather than as an individual, you may limit your liability and may gain certain tax advantages. “Limited liability” means that even if a company consists of only one individual, the personal assets of that individual (such as his/her personal bank account, house and car) are not be subject to liability.


Grass Roots Marketing:  refers to the process of using flyers, stickers, posters and other “traditional” methods to build word of mouth with special screenings or showcase performances in order create a marketing buzz in certain key markets for you film or music project.  The hope is that the buzz will be so loud that it gains nationwide recognition.


Gross After Break-even:  means that a participant in shares in the gross earnings after the break-even point is reached.  The break-even point can be a set amount or determined by a formula.


Gross Box Office:  refers to the total revenue earned at theater box-office locations for ticket sales.


Gross Participation:  means a share of the gross receipts, without any deductions for distribution fees or expenses or production costs.  Checking and collection costs, residuals and taxes, however, are usually deduction.  For obvious reasons, getting a share of the “gross” is the most desirable type of participation. 


Gross Receipts:  refers to distributor revenues that are derived from all sources.


House Nut:  refers to the operating expenses of a venue such as a nightclub, movie theater, arena, etc.


Hyphenates:  refers to people who fulfill two or more major responsibilities on a film’s production such as “producer-director,” “writer-director,” “actor-director,” etc.


In Perpetuity:  means forever.


Inception of Recording: means the first recording of Performances or sound or vision with a view to the ultimate fixation of a Master and will include, but not be limited to, all rehearsal recordings, "outtakes", and alternative versions.


Indemnify:  refers to the legal concept whereby one party agrees to restore the other’s loss by payment, repair or replacement.  It's another way to say "reimburse." 


Intellectual Property:  refers to a wide variety of property created by musicians, authors, artists, and inventors.  Intellectual property also describes the intangible rights protecting the products of human intelligence and creation, such as copyrightable works, patented inventions, trademarks and trade secrets.


Invasion of Privacy:  refers to a wrongful act that includes a variety of conduct such as unjustified and unauthorized use of another’s name, image or likeness; the publicizing or intimate details of another’s life without justification; or intrusions into another’s privacy by eavesdropping or surveillance in an area where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.


Irrevocable:  refers to something that cannot be revoked or withdrawn.


Key Art:  means artwork that is used in posters, advertising and other promotional material for a film or music project. 


Libel:  means the written form of defamation.  Libel is comparable to Slander, which is the spoken form of defamation. 


Licensee: means any Person to whom a content owner may grant any rights to master recordings, literary rights, motion picture rights, musical compositions, or any other content or intellectual property.


Licensor:  means any Person who owns content, and may grant to others, the rights in and to such content.


Likenesses: means all likenesses, visual representations of an individual and/or Marks (as defined below).


M & E Track:  means music & effects track of a motion picture.


Marks: means all logo(s) symbols, emblems, designs, service marks and trademarks.


Master Recording: Mater Recording means every form of recording, whether now known or unknown, embodying sound or sound accompanied by visual images, by any method and on any substance or material, whether now or hereafter known, which may be used or is useful in the recording, production, or manufacture of Phonograph Records.


Master:  in music, Master means a final, mastered recording embodying an Artist's Performances recorded under the terms and conditions of a recoding contract.  In motion pictures, it refers to the final edited and completed film, videotape or digital file from which subsequent copies are made. 


Mechanical Royalty:  Mechanical royalty is a licensing fee/royalty payable to the composer for the right to reproduce and distribute copyrighted musical compositions on Phonograph Records.  This royalty is set by a legal statute, hence it often referred to as the "statutory rate."  The current mechanical royalty rate for compositions that are five minutes or less is 9.1 cents per song (per unit sold).  If a song is more than five minutes in length, it will be paid an increased royalty of 1.75 cents per minute. This rate applies to new releases, as well as any older compositions that are still being distributed and it applies to both physical sales (CDs) and digital downloads.  The statutory mechanical royalty rate for ringtones is 24¢ per copy.


Merchandising Rights:  Right to license, manufacture and distribute merchandise based on a motion picture or music project; or an artist’s name, image or likeness.  For example, merchandising rights may be based on the characters, names or events in a picture.


Mid-price Record: means a Phonograph Record at a published price to dealer (“PPD” as defined below) at least fifteen percent (15%) lower but less than thirty-two percent (32%) lower than the PPD of the majority (or plurality) of the new releases of Top Line Records of the label’s best-selling artists, in the same configuration (e.g., compact disc) and format (e.g., Album or Single), or, if none, then such equivalent Top Line Record as designated by the label.


Mini-Multiple:  refers to a type of release that falls between an exclusive engagement and a wide release.  It usually includes top tier theaters in key cities, generally preceding a wider break.


Multi-Tiered Audience:  refers to an audience of different segment of people to whom a particular motion picture or music project would be appealing.  Each audience segment is reached by different publicity, social media, promotions, advertising, etc. 


Musical Composition:  means a single work, selection, or expression, musical or otherwise, irrespective of length that has been created, such as a song.


Negative Cost:  refers to the actual cost of producing a motion picture through to the manufacture of a completed negative (excluding the costs of prints and advertising).  This cost may include overhead expenses, interest and other expenses, which may inflate the amount significantly above the actual amount spent to make the film. 


Negative Pickup:  refers to an agreement whereby a distributor guarantees to pay a specified amount for distribution rights upon delivery of a completed motion picture negative by a specific date.  In the picture is not delivered on time and in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the distributor has no obligation to distribute it.  A negative pickup guarantee may be used as collateral to secure a loan for production funds.


Net Profit:  means the amount of money remaining, if any, after all allowable expenses are deducted.  This usually amounts to zero.  Typically expressed in terms of 100% of net profits, although payable out of the producer’s share.


Net Sales: means gross sales for which the label is paid, less returns, exchanges, errors in invoicing, and credits. Net Sales shall specifically exclude, without limitation, Phonograph Records distributed for promotional purposes; Phonograph Records distributed to the label’s employees; Phonograph Records sold as scrap-deletions, overstocks, or surplus; Phonograph Records distributed as server copies or incidental copies; Phonograph Records sold or distributed to Artist; Phonograph Records distributed as Free Goods; or Phonograph Records sold at less than fifty percent (50%) of the otherwise applicable wholesale price of that Phonograph Record at the time of sale.


Normal Retail Channels: means Net Sales of Phonograph Records hereunder by the label or one of the label’s principal distributors, in the country in question, including without limitation physical format and permanent digital download format.


Novelization:  refers to a book that is adapted from a motion picture.


Obligation:  means a duty imposed by law, contract or courtesy.


On Spec:  refers to working for nothing on the hope and speculation that something will productive will result from your work.   


Option:  is a period of time during which the option holder (e.g., Production Company) has the exclusive right to develop a project based on a story owned by a rights owner.  The production company pays the rights owner compensation for the exclusive right (i.e., option), for a specified period, to develop a project.


Original:  refers to a screenplay that has not been adapted from an article, book, play, old movie, or other work.


Original Material:  refers to a work, such as a musical composition or script, that is not derived from another work. 


Pan:  means a horizontal movement of the camera.  


Pari Passu:  is a Latin phrase that literally means "with an equal step" or "on equal footing."  The term refers to equitable participation in a project. 


Performances: means speech, singing, playing an instrument, programming, conducting or any other activity necessary or useful for the production of Phonograph Records or Master Recordings.


Person or Party: means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, legal entity, and other organized group of persons, or the legal successors or representatives of the foregoing.


Phonograph Record: means every form of reproduction, whether now or hereafter known, embodying sound alone, sound accompanied by visual images, sound accompanied by graphic material, text or other materials (whether now or hereafter know and whether in an interactive format or otherwise), distributed or transmitted through any and all methods or manners, now or hereafter known (including, without limitation, by means of record, retail or other stores, television, radio, cable, satellite, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, and any other distribution, transmission or other channels, now or hereafter known), for any purpose or use, whether now or hereafter known (including, without limitation, for home use, school use, jukebox use, use in computer- driven or optical media, now known or hereafter developed, use in means of transportation or any other use); Phonograph Records specifically include, without limitation: compact discs, digital downloads (including without limitation permanent digital downloads and Conditional Downloads), Streams, Voicetones, so-called “master ringtones”, so-called applications or “apps”, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and vinyl discs.


Platform Release:  refers to a method of release whereby a film is opened in a single theater or small group of theaters in a major market, then later expanding to a greater number of theaters. 


Player:  is another term for actor.


Positive Film:  refers to film stock used primarily for making master positives or release prints. 


Print:  means a positive picture, usually produced from a negative. 


Pro Rata:  is a Latin term that means proportionately. 


Quitclaim:  means to release or relinquish a claim via a quitclaim deed.  A quitclaim deed is a legal instrument that is used to transfer interest in property. The entity transferring its interest is called the grantor, and when the quitclaim deed is properly completed and executed it transfers any interest the grantor has in the property to a recipient, called the grantee.  The grantor transfers its rights, typically without any warranties of title.


Record: means every form of reproduction, whether now or hereafter known, embodying sound alone, sound accompanied by visual images, sound accompanied by graphic material, text or other materials (whether now or hereafter know and whether in an interactive format or otherwise), distributed or transmitted through any and all methods or manners, now or hereafter known (including, without limitation, by means of record, retail or other stores, television, radio, cable, satellite, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, and any other distribution, transmission or other channels, now or hereafter known), for any purpose or use, whether now or hereafter known (including, without limitation, for home use, school use, jukebox use, use in computer- driven or optical media, now known or hereafter developed, use in means of transportation or any other use); Phonograph Records specifically include, without limitation: compact discs, digital downloads (including without limitation permanent digital downloads and Conditional Downloads), Streams, Voicetones, so-called “master ringtones”, so-called applications or “apps”, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and vinyl discs.


Recording Costs: means all costs, including, without limitation, pre-production and post-production costs, incurred in connection with the production of Master Recordings or Records hereunder. Recording Costs include, without limitation, union scale payments made to Artist; payments for musicians, producers, vocalists, conductors, arrangers, orchestrators, copyists, and any other individuals rendering services in connection with the production of Master Recordings; payments required by any agreement between the label and any labor organization; sample fees and clearance costs; studio charges; costs of tape, editing, mixing, re-mixing, mastering, re-mastering, reference discs, and engineering; expenses of travel and living (including so-called “per-diems”); immigration clearances; costs of rehearsal halls, non studio facilities and equipment; dubbing; costs and transportation of instruments including cartage and rental fees; and other costs and expenses incurred in producing Master Recordings or Records hereunder and other costs that are customarily recognized as recording costs in the recorded music industry, but excluding per-record payments to the AFM Special Payments Fund and the Music Performance Trust Fund.


Regional Release:  refers to a pattern of distribution where a film is opened in one or more regions at a time, rather than a simultaneous national release.


Remake:  refers to a new production of a previously produced motion picture.


Right of Privacy:  refers to the right to be left alone and to be protected against intrusive conduct such as (1) unjustified taking an use of one’s name, image or likeness; (2) the publicizing of intimate details of one’s life without justification; or (3) unlawful eavesdropping or surveillance.


Right of Publicity:  refers to the right to control the commercial value of one’s name, likeness and image.


Roll Out:  means the distribution of a film around the United States after opening in a few key cities or one city such as New York or Los Angeles. 


Rough Cut:  means a preliminary compilation of film footage.


Royalty Base Price: means the applicable amount set forth below for the Phonograph Record concerned less all excise, sales and similar taxes included in the price, if any:

(a)       (1)      With respect to all Phonograph Records other than Subscription Digital Products, the net wholesale price received by the label (i.e., net of any allowances, rebates or other discounts, whether expressed in the published price to dealers (“PPD”) or otherwise) in the territory concerned for the Record concerned in the configuration concerned.

            (2)      Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section (a)(1) above, for Phonograph Records sold by us through Direct-to-Consumer Sales, the Royalty Base Price means seventy percent (70%) of the price paid by the consumer, less any referral fees, and less the label’s actual shipping and handling costs.

 (b)      With respect to any Subscription Digital Product, the label’s Net Receipts from any royalty, fee, or other payment made to the label and directly attributed to the applicable Subscription Digital Product (excluding any payment attributed to the musical composition embodied in the Subscription Digital Product concerned).


Run:  refers to the length of time a feature film play in theaters or a territory. 


Scale:  refers to the minimum salary permitted by the unions or guilds.


Sequel:  refers to a book or film that is a continuation of an earlier story, usually with the same characters.


Shooting Script:  is a later version of a screenplay in which each separate shot is numbered and camera directions are indicated.


Side: means a Master Recording of a continuous performance of a particular Composition, not less than three (3) minutes in playing time. A Side will not constitute a "unique Side" if it is a remixed, alternate or audiovisual version or arrangement of any Side embodied on the Phonograph Record concerned.


Single: means a Record (other than Audiovisual Record) embodying three (3) or fewer different Sides.


Sleeper:  refers to an unexpected hit; a film or music project that audiences love and make successful. 


Song:  means a musica compositon or a single work, selection, or expression, musical or otherwise, irrespective of length that has been created.


Sound Track:  means the portion of a film reserved for the sound.


Soundtrack Record: means a Record reproducing Masters used in the soundtrack of or inspired by a motion picture film, television film, stage production, video game, publication, personality or brand.


Specialized Distribution:  refers to distribution of a film to a targeted audience, in a smaller number of theaters, with a limited advertising budget and reliance on publicity, reviews and word of mouth to create a buzz for the motion picture. 


Stills:  refers to photographs taken during film production for use later in advertising and publicity.  Stills should be in a horizontal format and should list such information as film title, producer/director and cast details below the photo. 


Story Analyst:  also known as a Reader, is a person who works for a studio or producer to read submitted scripts and stories, synopsize and evaluate them. 


Story Conference:  refers to a meeting at which a writer receives suggestions about how to improve his/her script. 


Sub-Distributor:  for theatrical releases, a sub-distributor handles a specific geographic territory.  A sub-distributor is subcontracted by the main distributor which coordinates the distribution campaign and marketing of all distributors. 


Successor-in-Interest:  refers to one who follows another in ownership or control of property.


Synchronization:  means positioning a sound track so that it is timed to, and in harmony with the image portion of a film.


Syndication:  refers to the distribution of motion pictures to independent commercial television stations on a regional basis.


Talent:  refers to those involved in the artistic aspects of creative endeavors (e.g., writers, performers, actors, directors, etc.), as opposed to the business people.


Target Market:  refers to a defined audience segment that a distributor seeks to reach with its advertising and promotion campaign, such as teens, men over 35, African-Americans, etc.  Sometimes referred to as a “target demographic.”


Television Distribution Fee:  Usually 10% to 25% for U.S. Network broadcast sales; 30% to 40% for domestic syndication, and 45% to 50% for domestic distribution. 


Television Spin-Off:  refers to a television series or mini-series based on characters or other elements in a film.


Term: means the time period during which an agreement is in force and effective.


Territory: means the geographic area in which an agreement is in force and effective. The standard Territory in entertainment contracts is the universe.


Test Marketing:  refers to pre-releasing a film in one or more small, representatives markets before committing to an advertising campaign.  The effectiveness of the marketing plan then can be analyzed and modified as needed before the general release.


Trades:  refers to the daily and weekly periodicals of the entertainment industry such as Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, etc.


Translations:  means the reproduction of a book, film, recording or other work into another language. 


Treatment:  refers to a written account of the storyline of a motion picture.  Usually between 5 and 50 pages and comes after an outline and before a screenplay. 


Theatrical Distribution Fees:  is a fee that is generally between 30% and 40% of gross film rentals.


Theme Master: means a Master embodying a Composition based on an overall theme, such as a holiday or Christmas Composition.


Voicetones: means Masters embodying material comprised of Artist’s non- musical spoken-word messages or greetings.


Warranty:  is a promise.  It is an assurance by one party as to the existence of a fact upon which the other party may rely. 


Wide Release:  refers to the release of a film in numerous theaters, usually between 800 and 2000 theaters. 


Work-for-Hire:  Under Copyright Law, this refers to either (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of employment; or (2) a specially ordered or commissioned work of a certain type (e.g., a motion picture, a musical composition), if the parties expressly agree so in a writing signed by both, before work begins. 


Work-print:  refers to a picture or sound-track print, usually a positive, that is intended for use in editing only so as not to expose the original elements to any damage.