Well the big news this week is that AFM kicked off yesterday. Even if you weren’t able to make it in person, you can follow along by reading The Hollywood Reporter and Variety daily editions online which I highly recommend.
As always, I’ll be sure to give my unfiltered two cents and take-aways of my own, and actually look forward to doing so this year since the indie film business has shifted so much from even just last year.
The most noticeable shift is the seemingly ‘taking over’ of tech companies in the acquisition and production space. It used to be just Netflix and Amazon….now we’re really see Hulu ramp up, You Tube, and even Facebook.
I was having lunch with a producer friend of mine last week and we were scratching our heads wondering how much longer the traditional sales agent structure can remain relevant anymore. It explains why sales agents have gone into financing and producing the last couple of years to diversify their revenue streams and stake claim to hot projects while they are in early stages.
I also wonder how much longer boutique distributors can stay in business with the likes of these tech companies using their deep pockets and their ability to overpay to snatch up the best films in sight.
Personally I think the real opportunities in the indie film space are still at the micro budget level where private investors can still pull ROI and the downside is mitigated due to available and directly accessible distribution channels (without the need to paying a middle man to connect the dots).
The other opportunity, and a space I’m producing in currently, is the $1-$3 million rage with award winning name talent – reverse engineering a Sundance, Toronto, or other major festival premiere and selling to deep-pocketed SVOD buyers and pulling ROI that way.
To be fair, I’m also playing in the micro budget space but diversifying some of those resources towards digital series which if done right and with TV level talent, can pull ROI from online channels and in shorter sales cycles than feature films. I’ll be digging into this topic more of course in my upcoming TV Essentials course which also covers digital series.
In other AFM related news….
There’s the usual movie announcements with star power where you can get a glimpse at who is selling what and with whom. You can get a sense of who the new players are and what they are spending. So analyze carefully and soak in the intel!
And if you have questions or anything you want me to specifically address in my AFM coverage, let me know in the comments section below….