Today in my Distribution In Reverse course we discussed “Production & Post-Production For Distribution” and everything you need to be doing during those phases to increase your chances of getting distribution for your film in the near future. And it got me to thinking about the “rhythm’ of distribution — because if you think about it, there are CYCLES within the film industry that need to be adhered to if you want to hit certain ‘marks’, premiere at certain festivals or markets, and so on….
For example, the Cannes Film Market just passed last month. Now we are in the midst of what is so-called ‘dead time’ in the industry – ie: Summer! Traditionally the months of June-August are very slow in the film business, but actually I see it as an opportunity to get things set up for the next big CYCLE which is Toronto & AFM in the fall. So I’m working on getting my projects, and my clients’ projects, to a stage where they can be launched in the fall market cycle, before the next big ‘dead zone’, otherwise knows as the HOLIDAYS, creeps around!
The film business is built around all these cycles and if you are in pre-production or production of a film, I suggest you WORK BACKWARDS from the festival or market you want to premiere at, and set your Post schedule accordingly. Don’t suddenly rush through post and have to sacrifice the quality of your film because you need to make the deadline to SXSW or AFM…..
Another thing to remember – if it’s a Film Market you want to premiere your film at, don’t forget that the way to premiere at a Film Market is through a Sales Agent, and in order to get a Sales Agent on board to represent your film, you need to be submitting to them at least 3-4 months in advance. Every year Producers come to me in October with a film they want to launch at AFM and are surprised to hear it’s too late. You needed to have come to me in August for that!
And as fall comes creeping around, if you find that you won’t have your film at a stage ready to premiere at AFM, there’s always Berlin’s European Film Market in February, where you guessed it, you need to start thinking about by October/November to avoid the black hole of the holidays…..
I got accustomed to this “Rhythm of Distribution” as a sales agent, when for many years my life revolved around these cycles. As a result, it stuck with me so I just naturally operate like that now.
How about you? What are you doing as a Producer to flow with the natural rhythm of distribution cycles? And what are you doing during Production & Post to prepare for the distribution of your film later?