November 13, 2013

Taking the New "Point B" Trailer to American Film Market

Before I talk about our grand road trip (#conorvsconnor), I'll just let you watch this gem!

Point B - Trailer from Connor Rickman on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Joel Petrie from Parking Garage Pictures who cut that for us.

"Point B" director Conor Long and myself headed down to Los Angeles to meet fellow Point B-er Elli Legerski for this year's American Film Market. The goal: find someone to distribute "Point B!"

Neither Conor or I had any idea of what to expect but we came prepared!

Business cards, screener DVDs, posters, pitch books and the most enthusiastic pair of human beings ever descended upon Los Angeles! 

American Film Market takes place in a giant hotel in Santa Monica where every room is rented out by a production company, distributor or studio. Filmmakers looking to sell projects can come and meet acquisitions representatives from various companies to show them trailers and press materials.

Usually, people like us pay for credentials to be able to do this but my cousin Corbin Timbrook shared a little secret. The public areas of the market are open to anyone and anyone can get the literature printed by the market which contains contact info for each room and therefore each company. So rather than pay $400 for the privilege of talking to some Hollywood types, do this:

1. Research every company, big or small, that has distributed movies similar to yours in the past.

2. Figure out which of those companies are going to be at AFM.

3. Once you get to the market, get a copy of the directory and call every company on your list. Try and get a meeting. More often than not, they'll at least let you show the trailer and drop off a screener. Because you don't have credentials, you won't be able to get through security to the many hotel room/offices, but each suite has guest passes and will come get you at the elevators if they want to see what you have.

4. Pitch your finished film to everyone who said 'yes' to a meeting. Be prepared to pitch other projects too, because many times distributors want more.

5. Talk to as many people as you can. Everyone knows everyone else, so be personable.

6. Follow up with everyone you took meetings with after the market. 

7. For any and all offers, read your contacts carefully. Even better: get a lawyer to read them!

8. Finally, think long-term. You may not get a lot of money for your project, but establishing a relationship with a distribution company may help you make your future projects.

We did exactly this for 3 days, although we were learning as we went along! 

The atmosphere is very similar to a film festival. Everyone wants to schmooze, everyone wants to party, everyone wants to pretend to be famous. Pretty much my idea of the perfect weekend.

We also got a chance to check out the American Film Institute Festival. Elli managed to get us on a list for the filmmaker party. Apparently George Clooney was there but I didn't see him. We also got on a list to meet a baby tiger. Scroll down for that picture!

Watch for some more exciting news about the potential distribution of "Point B" coming up soon in a later post. We've received a few contracts and are already looking ahead to the future!

Here are some pictures of our adventure, lots of festival fashion from me as always!

God willing, we'll be back next year. Bigger, faster and sexier!

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