WORK THE MARKET
Welcome to the business end of ‘Show Business!’ No lights. No cameras. Just action!
The Capital Film Market is setting up an event to bring all industry players together and close deals. At the same time we are providing vital information for veteran and novices alike. The more you know going in, the more you’ll get coming out.
So what do I do? How do I work the market?
Know thy self and what you are bringing. Are you a producer with a finished film? Are you a writer with a finished script? Are you lost? If you are, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Have a plan.
The market starts well before the doors open. There is a map, but the instructions on how to proceed depend on you. An exception to every rule is around every turn and the goal posts are constantly moving. The independent media industry is inefficient and volatile. In there lies opportunity. It is all about the preparation, execution and the hustle. It is an entrepreneur’s delight.
Figure out where closest you fit below and proceed with focus.
PRODUCERS WITH FILMS
Be equipped with the following in preparing to meet representatives. The less you have on this list, the more ‘challenging’ your endeavor.
a. A finished film with names.
b. A solid, professional one sheet with incredible KEY ART.
c. Have a pitch trailer, teaser or scene.
d. Your pitch. Know everything about your film (budget, genre, running time, names, camera, etc…). Be ready to go into a meeting with both guns blazing.
e. Company/Agency background. Do your homework. Research the companies/agents you
would like to meet. Do they have a catalogue with your type of film? Do they handle world-
wide rights? Agents and distributors are looking for films they can sell and you’re looking for
someone who can sell the heck out of your production in every possible territory.
f. Introductions. Weeks, if not a couple of months before the market, get on their radar. Let
them know to expect you. Contact them. Pre-pitch over the phone or email.
g. Understand the human equation. We are people doing business with people. The foundation
of this leg of the journey is personal relationships. After closing a deal, you will be involved
with each other for at least the next 5-8 years.
PRODUCERS OR WRITERS WITH A SCRIPT OR GRAPHIC NOVEL
This is if you’re looking to presell or develop a relationship. Be equipped with the following. The less you have on this list, the more ‘challenging’ your endeavor.
a. A finished (well vetted) script (or successfully published book/graphic novel).
b. Signed names and dates for production.
c. A veteran producer officially signed on.
d. A ’successful’ director in your film’s genre.
e. Your budget. How much do you need? How much do you have?
f. Your pitch. The above embodies your ‘pitch’. Have your pitch down cold.
It gets a little complicated here, because you may be wanting to meet these companies to fulfill the list above. And that’s okay.
This one’s pretty simple. We will be setting up courses on the basics of the business (finance, distribution, sales, etc.). We have panels explaining the state of the industry from the people in the trenches. And the market floor will be flooded with incredible networking opportunities.
a. Go to the courses.
b. Go to the panels.
c. And yes go to the market floor and exchange business cards with everyone.
If you’re looking for cookie cutter, you’re in the wrong industry. Every film is it’s own business and it is terribly competitive. This is a business of finding champions, where contact is king. Networking and making connections at events like the CFM will give you an edge in a very exhaustive journey. But take heart. The industry rewards passion.
-Fernando A. Mico, CFM executive director
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