WHO IS THIS FOR?
This post is for filmmakers who:
- have a completed film
- would like to know how to find distributors who are looking to for films to buy.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
In this post you will learn:
- the best place to pitch a completed project.
- how to contact these companies along with how to book a meeting.
WHERE FILMS GET BOUGHT AND SOLD
If you are new to the business side a film-making you may not know this little secret (or not so Secret) trick for meeting film acquisition reps. These reps are not hiding under a rock somewhere, nor is there some secret handshake that you must to know in order to get a meeting.
The acquisition agents job it is to find films to buy. Every year these reps attend this event with checkbook in hand. The ultimate goal of this event is to buy and sell films on both sides.
Sure a couple of films may get purchased at a major film festival but for the most part no one is there to buy films. They are there to admire the creativity of the films not the marketability/sell-ability of the project. And whats more unless you make it into one of the top 5 festivals in the world the festival run is more for show than an effective marketing strategy.
Most of the films bought and sold at the AFM are what we called in the old days straight to DVD movies (So even if you don’t have someone as big as let’s say a Denzel Washington in your film you can still sell it).
This event is called the “American Film Market”. Every year a hotel in Los Angeles is converted into a mass film networking event.
All of the furniture in the rooms are taken out and an office is set up in each of the 400 rooms. Distribution companies across the world go to this event every year to buy and sell films.
From distributors large and small to airlines companies who need to buy films for their flights if you have a film to that needs distribution this event is a must attend.
HOW TO BOOK MEETINGS AT THE AFM?
You will lay the groundwork for your AFM experience in the weeks leading up to it.
If you visit the American film market’s website you will see a list of all the distribution companies who will be attending that year. Contact information will also be supplied on for each company. Click Below.
This is where a little research on your end will come in quite handy.
- Search through the list to find distributors who deal with films similar to yours. (It will look very unprofessional to contact a company that doesn’t even deal with your genre or style film.It also shows that you didn’t even take the time to do the due diligence to research the company you are reaching out to. It is the equivalent of submitting a hip hop song to a country music radio station)
- Once you have a list of all the companies that deal with films that are similar to yours reach out to them and ask to schedule a 10 or 15 minute meeting with one of their acquisition Representatives. (Since this is the whole reason that they go to the AFM they will gladly set up a date and time)
***You want to skip the first 3 or 4 days of the event since that is when the distributors themselves will be trying to sell the films they already have in their catalog.***
Most companies will be busy at this time therefore it will do you no good to try to set a meeting during that time. If money is an issue I would advise maybe skipping the first 3 days all together.
Tip -You can save money by only buying a ticket for the last couple days of the event instead of the full week.
If done right you should be able to schedule 5 or 6 meetings a day for everyday you attend the event.It’s that simple.
Acquisition reps are very busy people (as most people in this industry tend to be) so you should start by asking for a short 10 minute meeting to start. If they are interested in what you say in that 10 minutes then they will ask to see your film.
If you follow these instructions I can’t promise that they will pick your film, but I can guarantee that you will get a chance to pitch it to them directly. Now if you are able to close the deal or not, that is a totally different story entirely.