If you are anything like me the the idea of going to events for the purpose of talking to strangers can be daunting. The only way to get over this is to do it and to do it often. In these situations I have found that it is better to be shy than arrogant and there are so many amazing people in this industry that you will hardly ever be left alone for long.
In this industry we all tend to work in small groups or alone for a lot of the time, but meeting new people is crucial both in terms of finding crew as well as finding people to help make your projects happen.
If you have a friend to go with who is there for similar reasons it makes things much easier, but even if you don’t these are some of the things I have discovered that have helped me get through the awkwardness over the years.
I have just returned from my fourth trip to the American Film Market, and boy did the time go fast! As the winners of Tropfest NZ Andrew and I got to attend an LA Immersion course run by the LATC (Latin American Training Centre) – so thank you MPAA for supplying that prize. This trip we were also lucky enough to have an American Producer attached to our project – Sex With an Alien – which certainly helped in terms of generating leads at the market. So what are my gems of wisdom after the trip…
I have said it many times before but there is never enough time to prepare. This is doubly true if you are over ambitious and trying to prep more than one project. That being said I think a number of things have been accomplished that I can be proud of. Continue reading →
The last half of the AFM gets crazy as an influx of filmmakers with half market passes sweeps into the hotel. This means that my haven, the filmmakers lounge, once empty is now filled with people and gaining access to a computer can be a hard task.
An early start to the 3rd day with the film financing conference. Was really good to hear that financing is picking up and presales are once again available for independent film after the dark days 2008-2010. The panelists really knew their stuff, but were mainly talking about films with budgets around the 15-25 million mark, which may be a little bit higher than my next film. Here is the link to a much better summary of the conference: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/afm-indie-financing-dark-ages-386040
The day started off overcast again today but by midday boy was it warm. Started a bit late today as it was the last day we didn’t have anything on early in the morning. Had a meeting confirmed last night and woke up to find I got a good grade for my marketing paper so it was a good start all round!
Started off by wandering around the market place. Lots of booths, 7 floors of a hotel, all the rooms filled with distributors and sales agents flaunting their wares. Some of the posters are interesting – Sharknado caught the eye.
Woke up today to an overcast day in good ole sunny California. Of course I am not going to let that, or the fact that I have no coffee on hand get me down.
The market on the first day is bustling. There are badges of all different colours walking around, more green badges (buyers) in one day than I saw the entire last time I was here! A hive of activity that is for sure!
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.