Joëlle FARCHY (sous la dir. de)
The economic study of authors’ royalties in the film industry is based on data from the CNC and the body (SPRD) which collects and apportions the money concerned. These data provide the material for examining a sample of a hundred feature films in detail. The making of a film involves numerous authors and performing artists – scriptwriters, directors, composers – as well as book adapters, dialogue writers, actors. An examination of modes of remuneration and risk-taking reveals the prevalence of salaries for cast and guaranteed minima for authors, rather than percentage returns, these still being maintained for composers. In addition to cinema box office, other distribution media (television, video, etc.) supply further income under various contractual arrangements. These are by and large keyed to hopes of success. The intricate methods of revenue-sharing, payment after expenses have been met, participation, etc. generate systems of remuneration that are not easily penetrable and are heavily dependent on the celebrity status of the author/artist in his relation to the producer. The latter is presumed to be the granter of royalties, on the basis of such arguable notions as his net takings or the definition of breaking even.