The term deliverables refers to a collection of "finished products" required to release a film. Deliverables are the last things created by the production team and delivered to the film's distributor.
Deliverables can be divided into three categories:
- Print materials: The actual film in the form of negatives and/or video transfer. Used to create prints for release to theaters, plus versions for different media, trailers, etc. Digital technologies are making this a changeable process so you need to stay abreast of developments (no pun intended).
- Publicity materials: Still images, press releases, synopses, profiles of main actors & crew, etc. This can also include production information, especially if you have a good story to tell about how the film was made.
- Legal documentation: Paperwork required to prove that you have all the appropriate rights to make and distribute the film. This can include release forms and contracts for cast and crew, music licenses, resource/environmental consent and "Chain of Title" (a record of ownership for different aspects of the film).
Deliverables are often overlooked by new producers planning their first major film project. Unfortunately deliverables can add a significant impact to the budget — usually at least tens of thousands of dollars (much more for a major release). Most of the expense is tied up in print materials.
Note: In some cases the distributor may create the deliverables at their cost, then recover the cost from the film's income or ask for a greater cut of the profits.
Throughout the filmmaking process, bear the following in mind to avoid problems at the delivery stage:
- Ensure that everything appearing in the film has been legally cleared (e.g. talent release, product placement, music, etc). Get a legal opinion on the script to guard against possible lawsuits.
- During production, take plenty of photographs that can be used for publicity, especially key scenes. Include professional photos of cast and crew.
- Wherever possible, keep all materials and footage used in production in case you need them later.