I don’t think I’ve even said this yet to you all but Happy New Year! ;)
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and judging from activity in the FS Forums I can see everyone is off an running already for 2018. Fantastic!
One thing I’ve been getting a lot of panic emails about is EFM and whether it’s worth ‘rushing’ to sign a deal with a sales agent in time for the market next month.
But let me back up a bit….
Basically, many of you guys took a film to AFM to shop to sales agents, and those sales agents are now in need of new projects to launch at EFM. Sales agents always need at least 3-5 new films to launch at any given film market – they can’t show up at the next film market peddling the same films they had at the last one. Interesting isn’t it?
So anyway, the AFM to EFM crunch is always particularly rushed because there’s several weeks of downtime in between those markets called ‘the holidays’ – so come January, every sales agent in town is ‘rushing’ deals to go through on new films so they have ample time to make announcements, etc. In other words, even though the EFM market isn’t until mid Feb, they are under pressure to lock in films a month before that in order to make press deadlines, promote properly to their buyers, and get delivery of a film.
Long story short, I have a handful of Film Market Consulting clients in a panic thinking if they don’t hurry up and sign whatever deal is given to them right now, they are going to miss some great big opportunity in EFM….when nothing could be further from the truth.
First of all, you should never rush into a business deal, ever. And particularly with sales agents as like I always say, never take the first offer. You need to shop around!
Next – Cannes is coming up in just a few months and after EFM, by the end of Feb, sales agents will already be on the hunt for new films to launch at Cannes in May – so your next opportunity is right around the corner.
And Cannes in my opinion, is a better market most of the time to launch a low budget, non big theatrical film.
So don’t rush! Don’t panic! Don’t be bullied into signing anything today because the sales agent has a deadline tomorrow. The truth is, if they really like your film and want to represent it, then the interest will still be there after EFM and at least that gives you a little breathing room, time to shop around a bit, think about the terms of the deal, talk your advisors or lawyer, check references….all before signing on the dotted line.
What do you think? Have you ever rushed into a deal that you later regretted or benefited from taking your time to shop around? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments section below..