Picked up the market badge today and the Loews hotel is already buzzing. There are signs up all over Santa Monica with parking directions, pointing out screening venues and shuttle stops, all with the AFM logo. On the eve of the first day at the market the trip to AFM seems very very real. Excitement at seeing semi-celebrities filming today is subsiding and the seriousness of final preparations is kicking in.
Of course being busy leading up to the AFM has meant that not everything I wanted to do is complete, some of it will be completed this evening, some tomorrow and the rest… well some things are more important, and some things are actually unnecessary.
If you plan a trip to the AFM, take my advice and be organized. Over organized even. Really you need to be making the decision to go around June, and committing to it. That way you have ample lead in time to prepare your resources and set-up meetings. Of course when things don’t go exactly how you want them to you need to readjust your plans and make the most of it.
What you want to achieve at the AFM is generally dependent on what you have. Do you have a finished film or one in development? Research suggests the difference between the two will depend on how long before hand you start approaching people. With a finished film it is suggested that you start approaching sales agents and distributors a month out from the market. With a film in development it is suggested you approach people during the market.
Unfortunately other commitments means that one day out no approaches have been made. I am going to the market with one film in post and four films in development. The goal with the film in post is to try and find a sales agent. The goal with the films in development is to gage the interest in the marketplace and find sales agents or distributors that may be interested in the films once they are completed.
Preparations for the projects are fairly similar. We are ideally looking for a slick sell sheet, solid synopsis and a statement about market intentions. For the film in post having video back up will be important. For the one project that has a much higher budget than the others we are preparing a booklet with pictures, synopsis and logline.
Things tomorrow will be interesting though no matter what. I’ve been putting together a rough schedule with things like the conferences (topics are financing, marketing, VOD, micro budget filmmaking and pitching), screenings and cocktail hour of course!
Tomorrow’s update will include pictures…