Many Filmmakers, like everyone else effected by COVID-19 are itching for some level of a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, like many others think that there may never be a full return to normal. It may well end up as a pre-COVID and a Post COVID period. Similar to how the world changed before and after the great depression, 9/11, The internet, or World War II. Societal traumas tend to leave lasting scars, and that tends to effect the market as a whole and certain industries in meaningful ways. So let’s look at what one executive producer thinks is likely to happen in the film industry as a result.
AFM this year will be interesting. Here’s the current state form someone who’s been going for 10 years, and has been a Practicing Producer’s rep for 6 years. Two quick things before we get started. First, You should definitely go to AFM at least once. It’s eye opening, and if I hadn’t done it I probably wouldn’t have a career.
Second: These opinions are mine alone, and have not been approved, endorsed, or otherwise condoned by the International Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) owner of the American Film Market. (AFM is also a Registered Trademark of the IFTA.)
This is a topic that’s a little basic, but it’s a fundamental building block of understanding how to market your film. So I thought I would do a breakdown of why genre is so important to independent filmmakers in terms of marketing and distribution. I do touch on in my book The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, but even there I only cover it in a sense as it pertains to the market. Let’s get started.
Even though the delivery materials in the first 3 parts of this blog seemed pretty thorough, there are still more that may be required to fulfill an international sale. Generally, these deliverables are only required if requested at a later date, and sometimes they’re created by the sales agents as an additional recoupable expense to be paid before the filmmaker begins taking their cut.
Distribution deliverables are far more than simply technical requirements. As we saw last week, there are also substantial marketing materials that you’ll have to provide to the distributor, and more that they may have to generate themselves. This week we’re covering the basics of legal distribution deliverables.
Last week, I covered the basics that are required as deliverables for almost every U.S. Distribution or International Sales Contract. This week, I’m going through the servicing lists. Most of these servicing requirements are for internationalization of the film, be they subs or dubs. Some are more for marketing purposes, but in the end it’s what the sales agent need to effectively put together a package and the film to where it needs to go.
In closing contracts, one question I get asked a lot is why distributors, sales agents, and producer’s reps need exclusivity when we do our jobs. Sometimes, this question even comes from the lawyers of my clients. I understand there is risk when giving someone the exclusive right to represent your project, so I thought I would write up a blog post examining exactly why we need exclusivity. Generally speaking, the goal is not to tie up your rights and make it so you can’t do anything with them. There are lots of other reasons why sales agents or producer’s reps need exclusivity.
A lot of people are afraid of the complexity of deals with sales agencies. They have a reputation as being very dense, and difficult to understand. While there is truth to this, there’s also a general layout every filmmaker should understand. Many of the pitfalls for distribution can be avoided by knowing these 7 major deal points. That said, you should always have a lawyer or a producer’s rep look over your contract.
To Celebrate the launch of the Second edition of my book, The Guerrilla Rep, American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, I'm giving away the first chapter for free. This blo represents a small fraction of the 58 additional pages in the second edition. The book is currently the only book that currently exists on film Markets. So without further adieu, Here's the first chapter.
After the prologue, you have a 50,000 foot view of AFM. Let’s zoom in a bit, and check out a bit more about the total landscape of Film Markets in general, as well as the sales cycle for them.
What’s the difference between a Film Market and a Film Festival?
When speaking, I get asked this question more than any other, with one possible exception that will be covered in the next chapter.
My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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