I attended the AFM for the third time in November.
I always find the AFM an inspiring event. The AFM stands for the American Film Market. It is where films are bought and sold by Sales Agents and Distributors from around the world. For example, Ron Howard visited selling his Formulae One film, RUSH. The film business epicenter is Los Angeles and Hollywood and right in the heart of it is the AFM. The AFM is one of the key events every year.
Why do I enjoy the AFM so much and why do I go year after year? Here are five reasons that I love going every year.
Film making and financing requires key relationships to make films happen. The AFM has many people pitching their projects to Sales Agents and Distributors. This year, we made progress. We have now attracted a company in the US who will finance the Script Development and packaging of our $5 million dollar film "The Lima Connection." set in Lima Peru and Mimi Florida With a film like this, we have to take an international approach attending the AFM
Every morning there are very useful seminars on financing distribution and marketing films. Film Sales is in such a state of flux. With the internet changing the landscape of how films are presented and sold, the market is in a state of shift. At these seminars, one is educated in exactly what is happening.
3 Networking Drinks at the Lowes Hotel
Every afternoon about 3PM, the networking drinks start at Lowes Hotel. This is where everyone meets and greets each other. There is a mixture of Sales Agents, Actors, Film Makers and Distributors. You never know who you are going to meet.
The Goal is always to find mutually beneficial relationships. One of the ironies of the networking drinks is that nobody drinks much. Most people do not drink at all. Yes drinks are expensive but the main reason, none of us drink is that we want to stay sharp. Nothing looks worst than a tipsy person trying to network. For me, these networking drinks led to meeting some key people who I will form alliances with in the future.
After the networking drinks, the major players and stars often throw parties. Getting invited is the trick. But every night there is a different party. Once again, this all works back to reason number one. Relationships. It is who you know that helps you finance your films. The more key relationships you build , the better.
I attended a fun party in the Hollywood Hills where there were many people you see in papers all the time. I also attended another very good film industry party in Venice beach. Even with Door Security, this party was packed. Still great fun . Once again, this is where you meet people who in the future , may end up as a key alliance in the financing of a future film. Once again stay sober and sharp, if you want to get the maximum benefit from the parties. Also you want to be in great shape for the Seminar next morning at 9am. Another cool party was where Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly) was playing in his band.
5 Deals and Meetings
Meetings happen at all the cafes and restaurants all over Santa Monica. I had one of my main meetings at my favourite Hollywood Hotel called the Roosevelt Hotel. Yes in the end it is all about signing contracts and financing future projects. I very much enjoyed signing our contract for The Lima Connection at the Polo Bar in Beverly Hills Hotel. Jennifer Anniston was sitting at the power table near-by which added a very Hollywood feel. This is what it is all about. Relationships that lead to your next project getting made and distributed widely worldwide.
Yes it was a great 10 Days in the epicenter of the film business. I find the time there is inspiring and up-lifting. Should you go? Once you are developing feature film projects, I think you will find the international relationships you develop will be of great benefit to you. With two feature film projects in development, the American Film Market is a week where I make major progress and also check closely on how my past films are selling. In the end it is still all about making films.
Since I have being back in Sydney Australia, I have been working with a very cool film called "Repressed "as a DOP. I am also gearing up to shoot my next feature film in May 2012.
If you would like to learn how to make your own films, the first step is to attend a great film course. it is part of my inspiration to teach other people how to produce an direct their own films. As we say at International Film Base, we want toe create the Film Director Stars of tomorrow.
I am presenting my Weekend Film School <http://www.sydneyfilmbase.com.au/sydney-weekend-film-school-brochure-december-10th-11th> in Sydney Australia this weekend on December 10th and 11th. This is one of the last times I will present as next year , I will delegate the film teaching to other Film Instructors
Also we have our One Week Film Directors School <http://goldcoastfilmschool.com/> at the Gold Coast . This is a 100% Hands on Film School where you learn to make a film by actually making a film. Please leave comments as I always like to hear from you.
Till next time have a great one.
Colm O'Murchu Director International Film Base