This article is about continuous 4 days of exploring the American Film Market and teaches you what to prepare before you go to the next AFM. Always remember: The last day is dead.
Global Film Market
Filmmakers always have to not only be creative, but also be realistic about marketing their own movies.
Prodigium Pictures went to American Film Market, so-called AFM for last 4 days of the event from November 6th to 9th. As I explained in the prodigium blog video, AMF is one of the biggest and worldwide film market where people from over 70 countries sell and acquire about 8,000 films. Entire hotel is filled with sales and distribution companies boothes.
Here is the official website of American Film Market.
We literally dropped by each booth to talk to single salesman. From that experiences, what I really recommend for those who are interested in going next year is...
- To make your own business card & bring hundreds of them
- To make a nice DVD of ideally your feature film, demo reel, or short films
- To have own synopsis of the feature film (If you have a brochure, it would be perfect)
- To remember it & think of a short but good pitch
- To set up appointment with sales and distribution companies (Make a lot of appointments)
In AFM, those sales company mainly aims to sell their own movies, and the department of acquisition is totally different. So if I do 'Hey we are producing action comedy feature. Do you want to buy?,' it won't work. You better set up the appointment to talk in person eariler time of the event. But since we didn't finish our feature film yet, we decided to go to give out our businesscards with DVD of demo reels, and in return, we've got more than a hundred of businesscards.
Next time when we do finish the feature including 'Rocco Bukatzoo,' we can directly contact those people to sell the movie.
Anyway, there were also a few events and had a chance to talk to famous film directors indivisually, Rob Reiner (Dir of 'Stand by me') and Jon Amiel (Dir of 'The Core'). We of course gave our DVD, which I spent whole night to burn 20 of them. For making as professional as possible, I made a motion DVD menu that took me forever. I hate it. I never burn DVD... lol Here is the still of its main menu.
Be an Icebreaker
Being different from other camera expo like cine gear, people are very serious since it is a business. If I go in the booth and talk to them, there is absolutely an invisible wall between us, or I would rather say they rejected me. Maybe it has something to do with my young looks or they smell I don't have money. Fine. I went to one of the booth, which I found the poster was cool, and sat on a chair for like a half hour talking all the bullshit. It doesn't make any sense to those sales people to talk about the film I am making, but the more I talked, the better their expression got. Aha. Then I got to know one of the company called TWRD from Taiwan that does 3D conversion from movies shot in 2D. I visited them three times, and in the end, we could talk to the president of the company. It is really important to introduce who we are very visually.
Now to know AFM more visually, you can watch the blog video here.
At the last day of the AFM, when prodigium pictures visited the hotel, almost entire event was over. Those sales companies are packed up and ready to go home. The prie of the pass was extremely brutal to those young filmmakers, which ripped $700 in total out of our pocket. They took our blood and didn't do the event till end? Well... Fathersucker. Just for the sake of being in the hotel, we jumped into the jacuzzi resting our sour bodies and finishing our first AFM.
Good bye AFM and see you next year.