In one breath, Douglas threw out three options, and then said a whole lot of numbers, the brain analysis a little slower, to keep up with the pace.
Three options, in the end, which is more appropriate? Which program is more beneficial to the crew? A jumble of numbers poured in in less than 30 seconds, and Drake entered a brief state of limbo - Americans are not very good with numbers, not to mention that the calculation of rights and box office is very complex.
For most laymen, anyone would feel that the third option is the best. The reason is simple, the copyright fee is 4 million, even compared to the 5 million buyout is not inferior, but also, can have 15% of the box office share, this simply can not be more cost-effective.
Of course, some people will also choose to buy out straight away, a breath of harvest five million dollars, instantly out of poverty, so tempting / temptation, not anyone can stop.
But Renly knew that this was a trap, an incomparably clever trap.
On the surface, it seems that Focus Features is more generous, giving Drake three options, full of different possibilities, full of sincerity, compared to Harvey Weinstein's calculations and suppression, high and low.
But in fact, another layer of the three options means that only these three options, the bargaining chip will not change.
In other words, the three options are carefully calculated, Focus Features always occupies the control, absolutely will not lose, and Drake also lost the first opportunity to negotiate, only in these three options, pick out the most suitable for themselves.
The options seem to be abundant, but in reality, the space for negotiation, the space for argument and the space for profitability have all been compressed to the extreme. As expected, whether it is Focus Features or The Weinstein Company, none of them are good.
Douglas just proposed a total of three options, in fact, the first option and the second option is not very different.
If the North American box office of "Like Crazy" reaches 10 million, the results of the two options are basically equal, below 10 million, the second option loses a little, but the loss also fluctuates within a small number; above 10 million, the second option is a little more cost-effective, but the space for profit is also not large.
But the problem is, the second option of the publicity costs, a part of the crew to pay for their own pockets. A part, which part is it? Makeup and hair? Transportation? Or styling? The fishy part of it can't be summed up in a simple sentence or two.
The attitude of Focus Features is very clear, choose the second option, share the risk, then the burden of publicity also need to share a part; choose one option, Focus Features will be a big package, bear all the costs associated with the publicity, but also all the risks on their shoulders, naturally, the profit part will also go to them.
It is conceivable that the focus of the film industry must face all the difficulties and risks, for their own benefit, the publicity efforts will naturally give the highest treatment; but the crew will share part of the risk, the focus of the film industry can contribute less, the crew members themselves will be exhausted to bite the publicity.
To summarize, between the first and second options, Focus Features prefers Drake to choose the buyout option.
However, in contrast to the previous two options, the third option immediately stood out.
Four million royalties, fifteen percent of the box office share, although the crew needs to bear part of the publicity costs, but overall, this not only reached the expected height - Andy's estimated share of the royalties, is about four million; but also able to cooperate with Focus Features, not to mention the awards season prospects, at least in the box office market The exposure rate will skyrocket.
More importantly, Focus Features agreed to the option.
When Renly decided to take on "Like Crazy" for $20,000, Andy didn't care about Drake's commitment because he knew it would be difficult for distributors and producers to nod their heads to such a request. Andy has given up the idea of sharing, purely "Like Crazy" as a non-money-making art film to operate.
But it did not occur to me that "Like Crazy" was shot by Indian Paintbrush and Drake out of their own pockets, and after the producers agreed, the distributor also gave in.
For the distributors, if they have enough confidence in the box office, buying out is the first choice, sharing is the second choice, because they can ensure their own profit maximization; if they are not optimistic about the prospects of the work at the box office, then choose to share, can reduce the royalty, and then share the box office risk to the producers and theaters.
For the producers, it is the other way around.
The reason why Focus Features is willing to choose to share is, frankly speaking, because it doesn't like the box office prospects of "Like Crazy".
The North American box office for "Blue Valentine" was only $9 million, so it's hard for this kind of art film to have an advantage in theaters, and it can only rely on the award season's success, and then hope for TV VOD, video rentals and art house playback.
So, it is more advantageous for Focus Features to split than to buy out.
Focus Pictures has been squeezing the box office share of "Like Crazy", from 45% to 25% or even 15%, so that their box office share is higher and the possibility of losing money is less. Together with future peripheral profits, Focus Features will be invincible.
Nevertheless, the third option for Drake, for the "Like Crazy" crew, is still a choice that can not be refused.
This is the most clever place focus on the film industry, the surface seems to open up a variety of possibilities, let you choose, but in fact, that a series of digital attack, Douglas invisible in leading Drake to make a choice - the third option, which is undoubtedly, followed by the first option, and finally the second option.
Especially with the contrast of the first two options, the advantage of the third option is very obvious. Drake's decision, it is not difficult.
But, is it really just these three options?
This is like a multiple choice question, someone asked, "The next step to the left or to the right?"
The answer is obvious, left, or right. Almost every person will make a choice. But the truth is, there are actually other options for the answer, go straight, go back, ask other passersby ... and so on and so forth. This is the myth of multiple choice questions.
Countless numbers rushed through Drake's mind, and he was now a bit baffled. Compared to Harvey, Douglas gave a clearer choice, Drake instead wavered even more - afraid of making the choice.
So Drake turned his head to Renly and cast a questioning glance. Or rather, a look of help.
Dealing with numbers is not something Renly is good at, it's Matthew Dunlop's domain; but dealing with people is not new to Renly. He knew that Douglas had named three options, and no matter which one they chose, Focus Features would readily agree - negotiate? There was no negotiation, just a choice.
So Renly chose the easiest and most straightforward option.
"How about, you listen to the scenario that our crew has conceived." Renly's words caused Drake to freeze, full of questions - they have a program?
Douglas, who was sitting across the table, laughed, "Oh? You have a program too?"
"Two, we have two options." In the face of Harvey, Renly always refused to show his cards, that is because he did not have an accurate concept of royalties, always can not unreasonably ranting price.
But now, after the price of Andy, Harvey and Douglas, he probably has a vague number in his mind. He decided, to the limit of the highest point of this number to report, try to say.
Whether it is Harvey or Douglas, Renly truly does not like this kind of deceitful number of calculations, rather than for the sake of a small profit catty, it is better to quickly cut things off, dry and clear.
"First, buyout." The words of Renly only fell, next to Drake's anxious call, Renly some helpless, but the surface is not moved, continued, "eight and a half million, "Like Crazy" North American distribution rights to Focus Features to handle."
Eight and a half million, Drake received a shock.
"Second, the split." Renly's voice but always unperturbed, that calm and collected posture let Douglas impressed, "the copyright fee of five million, the crew's box office share ratio of thirty-five percent."
Just now Douglas threw to Drake's situation, now Renly threw back to him, just thirty seconds of time, the initiative to complete the alternation of change.
Douglas found it very interesting.
This was not the first time Focus Features and Renly had dealt with each other, and "Buried" was a real eye-opener for Douglas, who hadn't negotiated the distribution rights in Toronto, but he had heard that Renly's agent, Andy Rogers, was definitely not a good guy. He showed great confidence in "Buried" and did not give an inch in the box office share.
The facts also proved Andy's wisdom. "Buried" made $52 million at the North American box office, and before the peripheral distribution started, Focus Features had already made a small profit of $12 million, and after the video distribution and TV-on-demand started, they would continue to make profits. What's more, the production is still in the awards season waiting list and remains competitive, which is rare.
Focus Features is also very optimistic about the production of "Like Crazy", especially about Renly's future. Even if "Like Crazy" doesn't make the final nominations for the 2011 awards season, Douglas is confident that Renly will remain a powerful force, even more so than Ryan Gosling was four years ago.
The Weinstein Company, Paramount Vantage and other contenders aside, Focus Features itself is also aspiring to win.
It's just that the calmness, wisdom, and confidence that Renly showed was really surprising.
"It seems that you are very confident about the North American box office of "Like Crazy"." Douglas did not answer directly, but made a joke.
The corner of Renly's mouth gently raised, as if leaping up the treetops of the morning sun, "Do you have no confidence?"
Grab em by the... emm,... eh... whatever