Five Lessons In Momentum To Keep You Going

Since putting up the case study Two Low Budget Films, Two Successful Outcomes I've been getting requests for more of these case studies since let's face it, hearing how others do things and succeed can seriously short cut our own efforts and therefore we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.

So while I'm on the lookout for some more full blown success stories to share with you, I thought I'd at least let you in on some 'developing' case studies and the methods my clients are using right  now to move their projects forward. Never forget: it's all about momentum!

• Yesterday I met with a client for coffee who has a film in post and a script she'd like to get going. Problem – how to get people to care about a script with no attachments at AFM? Solution – do what Ryan Colucci did.... use the completed film/footage to get yourself in the door, impress them with what you've got, and then pitch your script using Key Art and a Pitch Deck (if appropriate) to those companies who are a true fit. Get advance distribution interest on your film in Post, but also use it as leverage to pitch other films on your slate.

• I have another client with a completed film who came to me for AFM consulting. He specifically wants me to train him to be his own sales agent since he was burned from here to Sunday using one on his last film. (gulp) So I'm working with him on an email campaign to hundreds of buyers from all the major territories (just like I used to do when I was a sales agent) to start arranging meetings for AFM. Problem – how do you get buyers' attention if they don't know you?   Solution – he's leveraging an AMC Direct release of his film to let them know he's really putting some marketing dollars behind it and to make it 'known' in the U.S market.

• I have about 3 clients who have projects at the script stage (they are the writers) who need Producing partners to help push the projects forward. Problem – how does a writer solicit a producer?  Solution – it's all in the research! We're researching producers in the target budget range of the film and getting in contact with them one by one. Quality vs. Quantity.... I'd rather get a script to 3-5 quality choices then 10-12 producers who just aren't realistic for the scripts budget range. Keep in mind, the bigger producers have very full development slates and scripts can sit with them in development hell for years.... bigger isn't always better. (go for track record over size of production company). Which brings me to....

• I have a new client who has a script that's been sitting in development hell for almost 2 years with a major production company. She's anxious to get things going so she can get her career moving (2 yrs is a long time to wait in limbo!). Problem – how to get the current Producers to care about her project while they have a development slate 13 projects long? Solution – jump in and start developing it yourself! She's gotten permission from them to jump in and start on some of the development duties (using their name as the door-opener) and I'm working with her to start approaching directors and talent to get the ball rolling and attachments on board. Lesson: Development hell is a real momentum killer!

• Another client contacted me for last minute AFM help – she's got a completed project that didn't get into any of the major festivals and she wants to leverage AFM to try and meet with Sales Agents and Distributors directly. Problem: How to get sales agents to care about an indie comedy with no stars at a market like AFM? Solution: get on a plane and show up in person to meet with as many companies as you can. I'm working with her to line up some meetings in advance and then she'll walk the sales floor and meet a ton more just by being there.  Lesson: Just being there is half the battle!  Related Case Studies - filmmakers Richard Ford and Ron Zimmerman did this in the past with much success....

Additional Resources

For those of you looking at attending a film market, I've collated some free Film Market Resources for you on the site. I hope they help!

For those of you in need of presentation materials to take to AFM or just for your project in general, take a look at the Services we offer on