We left off talking with my AFM Dispatch – My Film Announced, Star Power Not Enough, & more. Since then, AFM has officially wrapped and I’ve been hearing from clients and members the results they had from the market.
But before I get into that I just wanted to send you a reminder that my TV Essentials course starts on Monday. I’ve been working through my lesson plans and I’m excited to dig into this topic with you guys. I think there’s so much that is misunderstood about the TV business especially coming from an indie filmmakers perspective. So if you’re looking to get the lay of the land plus how to take your ideas and create viable projects with them and how and where to go to move them forward, this will be a good primer for you.
Oh, and event though we’ll be delivering weekly video lesson modules to your inbox, each of the four lessons will contain specific action steps for you to take, so you won’t be left wondering what to do next…. and this implementation plan you can take right into 2018 as there will be more than enough to keep you busy for a while. And if you’re confused about anything, I’m always there in the dedicated class forums to answer any questions.
Now back to AFM wrap up….
The clients I spoke to that had the most success were the most prepared. Period.
For example, those with completed films we had sent teasers and trailers in advance so the sales agents knew who they were meeting and what was on offer. That allows the sales agents to be more prepared too. One client told me that after doing more than a dozen meetings with sales agents, she could easily tell whose business was more solid just by the language they used. And of course their presentation, which I think is a huge advantage of meeting sales agents at an actual market – you get to see how they are selling other films and decide if that’s how you want your film to be sold.
Another client got offers on the spot from sales agents, but we are taking a measured approach and not rushing into anything. Examining all the deal memos that come in and negotiating favorable terms. Also, the next big market isn’t until EFM in Feb so there’s no rush to jump into anything too quickly. Plus, there will be references checked with other producers.
The clients with family films continued to get the most traction. It’s just such a popular genre for AFM!
I had a couple other clients shopping films at the script stage and one in particular knocked it out of the park with a killer teaser he shot and came to the market with. His film is in the horror/thriller genre so it lends itself to investing in a teaser in the first place….plus, it’s his first feature as a director so he needed to prove his chops to be taken seriously. But it worked out well for him and the meetings I set up for him, but we have a lot of following up to do now with getting another key actor attached and reviewing deals from sales agents to see if anyone can come to the table with actual money.
You always have to ask yourself when signing on with partners – what are they bringing to the table? Is it enough value to be signing away rights and being accountable to commissions and market expenses? It has to make financial sense. Sometimes filmmakers get so wrapped up in the excitement of having ‘interest’ in their film that they sign deals that are premature, or don’t make sense, or aren’t adding any value to the equation. Be very selective here.
What about you? I’d love to hear more about your AFM experience and any lessons learned along the way. Let’s continue the conversation below….