Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Post AFM Wrap Up

There really isn't a lot to tell. Lots of product with few sales. Buyers were eager to get to Santa Monica, buy what they absolutely had to and leave. Distributors were left holding films that will be discounted at the next market where Buyers will pick up a movie or two for a song (possibly a dance too, but mainly the song).

Bill Martell has a great wrap up here and recounts our phone conversation as I drove back to Hollywood in shock. Bill and I go to AFM every year and occasionally (always) have a beer (twenty) and discuss what we've seen. This year he didn't feel compelled to go on Sunday, and I was able to wrap most of my business up then and seek out new business on Monday.

Bill calls his post "Is Cinema Dead?" and I have to disagree with the phrasing. I may be splitting hairs here, but I'd rather call his post "How has Cinema Changed and Why Hasn't the Business Changed to Meet it?" We discussed this over the phone - not only regarding a specific project we have together and how we're going to produce it well, but how we - the creative folk - are going to have to approach the business.

This ain't your father's movie business anymore. Not even at the studio level. It's not even a movie business per se, but an intellectual property business. That's due to a variety of factors we're going to have to discuss in the Electrogram. It's scary and it's exciting and it's different than to what you've grown accustomed...

But ultimately I think it's going to be far better for those looking to make their first break into media. There will be more opportunity and the possibility of more reward - more people seeing your work, more people in your genre niche seeing your work, better trend spotting, higher production value, more unusual storytelling options and choices and yes, monetization.

More later.


wcmartell said...

Dude, that title was my hook!

Though I think the evolution is towards things that are not *only* movies... so this thing we think of as "writing a movie" may be dead (or dormant) right now. We are writing a property that can be many things including a movie. (Which is what you've been saying for a while.)

I did a script tip a few years back called Writing For Toys that many people hated... and it's more true now, with SLINKY: THE MOTION PICTURE in development somewhere.

These days your script needs to be a floor wax *and* a dessert topping.

Andrew Bellware said...

I'm hoping for a two-step, or maybe a waltz. A jig would be nice. Heck, a jig is ALWAYS nice, but I'm not expecting one...

Earl Newton said...

Read both posts, and I have to say I lean more toward the Pulp Bill's take.

Entertainment is still alive and well; doing better than ever, actually. It just might not look like a movie anymore. But the stories will still be necessary.

I don't think we should lament the slow death of the mid-level indie picture any more than we lament the death of theatre. It's time to find a new model.

I'm looking toward more personality-based media. Reputation with the audience is going to become a lot more important, and the normal marketing explosions less so. In short, more Joss Whedons, fewer Michael Bays.