I hope you had a great weekend!
SXSW is in full swing and unfortunately I couldn’t make it this year. Last year I premiered a film there but what I really enjoyed were all the panels and workshops. However, I’m smack dab in the middle of pre-production this year so I couldn’t get away to go ‘play’ for a few days. How about you all? Would love to hear from those that are there any take away’s you have!
Last week we left off discussing Over Packaging Your Project which you wouldn’t think is an issue at first glance, but it can be….
Since then I had a couple meetings about new projects I’m considering coming onto, one of which is almost completely packaged talent wise with actual verifiable name talent. I was pretty impressed seeing this on paper and looked forward to meeting the writer/director. Turns out he’s spent the last almost two years putting together the pieces of talent himself, some with help from a casting director, and others from just hustling to get to them directly through relationships and network building.
It’s quite a feat and in this case, it actually is working in his favor because the talent he packaged (and is still packaging) is all very much on point and ‘financier-friendly’.
Which brings me to this – if you are attaching talent to a project make sure you are working with a producer or EP or Sales Agent who can advise you on the ‘right’ talent for your proposed budget range and financing plans so you are not attaching actors that aren’t aligned with those two things.
For example, on another project I’m producing – we are financing with 100% private money who has given us the creative freedom to attach whichever actors we want. Which is amazing! However, I’m still keeping my eye on the ball with who will be distributor-friendly once we get to that stage. Don’t want to end up in a situation where we can’t find a buyer later.
All this to say, packaging is an art and a science. A lot of people ask for specifics on packaging and which actors to attach and I understand why. I mean, I can give you my best advice here in these emails, but every project is so different – until I really look under the hood, it’s difficult to prescribe specific advice.
It’s why I create courses and do consulting for those that want/need specific advice but in general, you can do a lot for yourself by attending film markets throughout the year and developing and growing your own network just like this particular writer/director did.
Specifically, the mother of all film markets Cannes is coming up in just a couple of months and is worth the price of admission for all these reasons if you can swing it. I’ll be focusing on preparing you guys best I can in my emails and so forth, for those of you who are thinking of going. Any other questions you have about preparing a project for that market, please feel free to email me and I’ll try and address the topics over the coming weeks.
I’m curious what your thoughts are on this topic – what’s been your experience packaging talent and attaching the right actors to your project and budget range? Let’s talk it out in the comments section below…