As Sundance winds downI’ve enjoyed following along in the trades the films that are getting bought and for what amounts. Seems like the acquisition price sweet spot this year in all-rights buy outs is a bit lower than last year and as usual, Netflix is the highest bidder.
I think what It boils down to for buyers like Netflix is that Sundance is a great one stop shop for them. The films have been highly vetted and are the creme da la creme….so it makes sense to do a lot of their shopping there rather than wade through tons of submissions to find the needles in the haystack. Sundance IS the needle in the haystack!
Outside of Sundance and back In the real world, I’m in the process of packaging a client’s film right now which is SAG ULB. It’s amazing the level of actors we’re getting to consider the lead roles even offering scale rates. Our biggest challenge has actually been finding someone who’s willing to leave LA during pilot season…which if you’ve ever tried to cast a film between Feb and April you know what I mean.
It’s tough to even get a casting director to work on your film during pilot season since they’ll all booked solid. So most of my consulting these days for films in development and pre-production actually involves hands on, calling up agents and managers, and making offers. It’s been fun to get my hands dirty on this stuff though I have to tell you!
On another client project, I encouraged the filmmaker to cut together a sizzle reel/teaser for her ‘elevated’ horror film – mind you, she edited something together using stock and existing footage (sometimes referred to as a rip reel…), anyway I started presenting it to a few key sales agents who I know can generate pre-sales off a horror teaser and they went crazy for it.
One of them even wants to take it to EFM. next month and start right away….. so that’s been exciting!
Another update from the trenches….
Ever since Slated launched I get a lot of inquires from ‘financing sources’ looking for ‘packages’ and most of the time it’s one of those things – I know a guy, who knows a guy….
The funniest part about these inquiries is that they always are looking for ‘packages’….. to which the response in my head is, If I had a package, why would I need you? There’s plenty of financiers lining up for packages…reputable ones…. I don’t need the I know a guy, who knows a guy connection.
In fact, my personal policy has become not to deal with ‘finders’ or middle men – I’m either dealing directly wit the financiers or I’m not at all.
Another thing that usually comes out in these conversations (if you want to take it that far!) is that they are almost always debt disguised as equity.
I’ve discussed this concept at length but what you want to pay attention to is what is debt is vs. what is equity. Nine times out of ten, run don’t walk :)
And that’s what’s going on in my world at the moment, at least on the feature film front.
What about you all? Can you relate to any of what I’ve said here? If so, hit me up in the comments section below…