I mentioned this was something I’m hearing a lot from filmmakers in the aftermath of AFM and on that note, there’s another one I want to share with you….
Probably the number one refrain from those at the script stage is some version of hearing this from sales agents – “If you can get X attached, we’re in!”
OK fine but, the fly in the ointment is that X usually equals an unattainable A-list actor or at least mostly out of reach for a first or second time director and/or producing team.
It drives me crazy that the sales companies do this – it’s like they’re sending you on a wild goose chase. It’s really the world’s biggest fool’s errand.
Because let’s face it – if you could get the likes of X attached to your film, do you really need this sales agent at that point? The level of actor they are sending you out the door to get is one that will attract financing from easier/better sources.
But here’s what you DON’T want to do….
You don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that in any way this means they are seriously interested in your project. In fact, they are probably laughing as you walk out the door thinking of course they’ll come on board once a project is completely de-risked with said A-lsit talent!
I fell for this trap myself as a young producer until I realized how impossible the task is they are setting you out to do. So nowadays I see this coming a mile away especially from clients who are so excited when they tell me how so and so company is on board just as soon as I get ‘enter A list actor here’ attached.
I hate to burst bubbles, but it’s basically B.S.
Anyone will be on board if you can attach that level actor – it’s not rocket science.
And what I’ve seen happen time and again is the filmmaker inevitably leaves AFM and for the next few months tries to no avail to attach the super A-list actor and then slowly becomes disillusioned as they realize the ‘trap’ and eventually lose steam altogether….not a good result. So don’t let this happen to you – take a more measured approach steeped in reality and laugh in the faces of those sales agents as they tell you the ridiculous requirements for them to come on board :)
What about you? Have you experienced this yourself? Let’s tell stories in the comments section below…