In early November, the American Movie Market comes alive with sellers, consumers, and promoters bartering for placement in distributor’s catalogs. With attendance round 8,000 AFM is the World’s largest movement image commerce occasion. It is a market the place producers and gross sales corporations license movies to distributors and this 12 months they mission to have 2,000+ New Movies and Tasks, 1,000+ Distributors and 400+ Manufacturing Corporations. The market relies on the Loews Santa Monica Seashore Lodge and it makes use of convention rooms and film theatres within the space.
For struggling filmmakers and screenwriters, AFM provides alternatives for networking, mission financing, and distribution. Nevertheless, on a shoestring price range it takes a whole lot of planning to attain ones targets. Attendance charges are steep and exhibition prices are larger. But there are methods to acquire significant accomplishments and accomplish that with out breaking the financial institution.
The immense measurement of AFM could seem overwhelming to first timers, however it’s extra a group with established relationships that date again years. Rapport and belief have been constructed up over time and whereas the merchandise might evolve, the folks keep just about the identical. It is also a market of niches the place consumers should consider which merchandise can have worth of their house markets. Consumers face one other problem, along with assessing potential worth and the whims of movie goers six month to a 12 months therefore; they need to additionally choose how current financial situations will have an effect on the leisure market. In earlier downturns, motion pictures have performed the escapist position however that was earlier than leisure grew to become so fragmented. Now there are significantly extra decisions and youthful audiences discover that the Web, I-pods, and video video games higher match their wants and budgets.
But, regardless of the state of the financial system there’ll at all times be a necessity for product. Theatres, tv, cable, satellite tv for pc, and now the Web all search for viable programming. Multiplex screens and tv schedules eat up an enormous variety of titles. With the key studios chopping again and concentrating on blockbuster entries, there are product voids and unbiased filmmakers stand able to fill them. What’s extra, as the continuing credit score disaster limits the variety of motion pictures launched those who do receive financing will discover international distribution simpler to accumulate.
For the low-budget unbiased filmmakers, particularly on a shoestring, working this market requires appreciable preparation. The AFM Pitching seminar confused the significance of getting a succinct coherent presentation whether or not it is a mission in improvement, a proposed script or a accomplished movie. One should do not forget that consumers, gross sales brokers, and distributors obtain numerous pitches and to keep away from getting misplaced within the shuffle, you and your mission should be memorable. Your pitch ought to have water-cooler talk-ability. By that, I imply it needs to be extremely transferable and be capable to journey by means of the group with out dropping vitality. Lengthy earlier than the market opens this course of ought to start by contacting your prospects and giving them a preview of what you may be presenting. You are able to do this through mail, electronic mail or by cellphone. Give them a style to moist their urge for food. See the Market’s tips about The way to work the AFM, particularly the rules on Pitching Necessities.
Jonathan Wolf, AFM Managing Director, reiterates the significance of acquiring help in areas the place you might be weak. With the ability to pull collectively the experience and common sense of others is a necessary a part of being a profitable producer. This may occasionally require attaching a producer to your mission who’s extra accustomed to the artistic features or one who’s succesful at securing financing, or a line producer who is ready to handle the main points of the manufacturing itself. If the movie is close to completion, a producer’s rep could also be of assist in acquiring competition publicity in addition to securing a distribution deal. A publicist may be required to create the specified pre-market buzz. Including a gross sales agent to safe licensing rights inside numerous international territories is one other asset that ups the worth of your package deal.
One impediment for first timers is figuring out probably prospects and acquiring their contact data. For an inventory of exhibitors and their contact data, go to American Movie Market web site and navigate to Attend/Purchaser/Exhibitor Checklist. Since a few of these corporations additionally function gross sales brokers, this checklist can be helpful in finding these folks. One can use different directories to cross-reference and determine the sale brokers attending. Google or Bing “Gross sales Brokers for Movies” for numerous directories and look particularly for the one put out by the Display screen Australia. This pdf listing comprises 22 pages of detailed contact data, together with particular person to contact, acquisition insurance policies, and up to date acquisitions.
One other supply is the listing on the Web Film Information Base, professional model – IMDbPro.. Navigate to Firm Listing and from Kind Firm scroll all the way down to Gross sales Representatives. This addition to IMDb provides larger business data and is obtainable on month-to-month subscription bases. Additionally, try the KFTV on-line listing for his or her checklist of gross sales brokers. This free on-line service caters to the worldwide leisure industries. Enter Gross sales Brokers in search window.
Quick cellphone calls can assist set up a rapport with focused personnel. Nevertheless, most filmmakers are reluctant to do that as a result of worldwide calls might be costly. I’d recommend utilizing a low pay as you go worldwide calling card. LDPOST has a listing of obtainable providers together with charges by nations. For example, calls to France, London, and Germany might be as little as 2.0 to 2.4 cents a minute, which is cheaper than stateside lengthy distance charges. Merely place your call-in quantity, then your PIN quantity in your velocity dial to streamline this connection course of. There’s additionally a Direct Dial choice accessible the place you dial a single quantity.
As a result of your prospect won’t probably have the ultimate say, your pitch and accompanying supplies ought to present sturdy gross sales arguments that may transfer up the company ladder. Up entrance, it ought to state your aims, i.e., searching for worldwide gross sales agent, searching for co-production financing, or searching for acquisition of accomplished script, and many others. Whereas your presentation could also be convincing, it is competing with quite a few others and having statements and figures to again up your arguments is crucial.
There’s a lengthy checklist of evidentiary supplies and listed here are a number of the extra outstanding ones. Embrace those that greatest symbolize your mission. Comparisons to related budgeted films–their important and field workplace success, log line, elevator synopsis, full synopsis, script protection, named actors, named director, named DP, projected price range, competition awards, opinions, check screening outcomes, viewers scores, trailer, DVD screener, poster artwork work, press ebook supplies, manufacturing stills, manufacturing tales, music tie-ins, merchandising alternatives, distinctive places, EPK, movie’s web page, and mission’s blogs. Label this stuff with mission identify and call data, then package deal them in a transparent plastic bag so they don’t seem to be combined up with supplies submitted by others. State the supply of the grasp and launch copies in addition to their screening format. Condense your pitch into succinct leave-behind summaries that include pertinent arguments and embody targets together with all very important contact data.
Whereas one quest in presenting a movie on the market is to acquire a sale, one other is to generate a buzz to your film. Put up playing cards, DVD handouts, one-sheets and strolling billboard characters are a number of the strategies used. A movie’s talk-ability inertia is a key consider gaining distribution or illustration by a global gross sales agent. The truth is a small variety of this 12 months’s international language Oscar contenders are utilizing AFM to maximise award season publicity. Extra buzz might be obtained from opinions or information briefs posted in commerce publications corresponding to Selection, Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, Deadline Hollywood, and indieWire.
Throughout the later half of the market, Trade Half-Market Badges can be found. Throughout this era, exhibitors have extra time to fulfill with you and are extra receptive to listening to your pitch. To greatest make the most of your time, map out your prospects and their places within the accommodations. Remember that exhibitors are on quite a few flooring and that some share house. Scheduling appointments will assist lend extra credibility to your mission. Whereas the Half-Market Badge is sweet for 4 days the ultimate day is a get away day and most exhibitors are packed and closed up by midday.
It might take a while for consumers to get again to you so it is a good suggestion to follow-up reinforcing your pitch and doc the arguments supporting your mission. It additionally helps so as to add new developments that make the mission extra interesting. Comply with up first with an electronic mail and later with a cellphone name. As a result of these are busy folks, give attention to the suggestions you actually need. Whilst you could also be on the lookout for a deal memo, you also needs to be on the lookout for methods to strengthen the connection. An appreciative thanks card might be useful on this regard particularly when it notes helpful recommendation or suggestions you have obtained.
AFM conferences and seminars are additionally good locations to community and promote your mission. In previous years, subjects have included seminars on pitching, financing, co-production offers, and incentives and tax rebates. These conferences are usually an added value to your market move and costs are listed on the American Movie Market web site.
One of many perks to being a move holder is having the ability to decide up numerous print publications masking the market. These publications embody Display screen, Cineuropa, Past Cinema, Filmmaker Journal, American Cinematographer plus business commerce editions corresponding to Selection and The Hollywood Reporter. These can be found on the mezzanine degree and free to move holders.
I’d additionally recommend taking in a lot of screenings to see how different filmmakers promote their product. There are over 500 screenings to choose from and whereas huge price range, huge star movies draw respectable audiences, most movies play to small crowds. But these gatherings afford alternatives to fulfill business folks, notably filmmakers and producers. Use this time successfully and select movies which might be intently associated to your mission. Screening instances and theatre places are listed within the catalog. Shuttle buses to numerous theatres are offered outdoors the Loews Lodge.
There are quite a few alternatives on the Market to pitch concepts, community, and acquire information concerning the business. The resort lobbies the place contributors mingle are prime spots. It is a relaxed ambiance the place spiels and enterprise playing cards fly about at will. As well as, it is a good suggestion to have as a lot data as attainable in your card. Some attendees apply a sticker to the again with pertinent details about their mission and/or firm. The place relevant, write on again a desired name to motion. Issues corresponding to “View my trailer at… ” Whenever you trade tons of of playing cards one might be simply neglect, so make notes on the again of these you obtain.
With the advances in know-how, additionally, you will discover pocket book shows as a sensible means of constructing a presentation. These units are capable of play trailers, interviews with stars, and supply samples of promotional supplies. There are quite a few benefits to this sort presentation in that they’re fast and to the purpose. Movie is a visible medium and what higher method to promote a mission. Most prospects are amicable to watching a brief trailer and if open to viewing extra supplies. Nevertheless, it’s important to determine the consumers and open a dialogue. Whereas the color-coded badges present some helps, most consumers are so inundated with impromptu pitches they stuff their badges inside their shirt.
There are additionally particular receptions, events and purple carpet occasions, and most require being on the invitation checklist. Whereas most of those occasions are for established mates and associates, a kindly inquiry can generally lead to an invitation. Whereas not overtly publicized, invites are handed out to advertise a product or firm. It some instances it’s to agency up established relations or in appreciation of previous enterprise.
Lastly, mingle successfully. Introduce your self by tagging your identify with a occupation, firm affiliation, and data about your mission. Hear, ask questions, and work all the room with significant productive dialogue. For in terms of mingling with the worldwide facet of the enterprise, AFM is on the prime of the category, a market the place probability encounters can simply evolve into profitable offers.