American Film Market
If you’re a filmmaker and you’ve never been to the American Film Market you’re missing out. I’ve gone to L.A. to attend screenwriting conferences, writing and directing classes. They’ve been great and AFM to me was the next step. With so many people and businesses looking to buy and sell films I got the feeling of “it’s happening” every day I was there. I didn’t have a film to sell (next year I hope to pitch and sell “Rhymes With Wolf”), but that didn’t stop me from meeting great people, attending great panels and talking to cool companies that are looking for content. There’s a real feeling I got as a writer that there is a market for my material. It was refreshing and gave me a renewed sense of purpose.
Films are made and sold there every year. Companies are always looking for new fresh material and people to work with. Besides that, everyone is looking to connect with other people in the industry. I’m not always good at networking but I didn’t have to be. Several times people came up to me and struck up a conversation. That gave me courage to do the same and I ended up meeting some really cool folks, including an acting teacher who I was thinking of taking classes from in San Jose. Also, the businesses there were open, for the most part, to talking to people who just walk in. Granted you have to plan a bit to choose which companies to scope out but even those who were busy took my business card and were very courteous.
One of the best benefits of attending was to see all the marketing material. You could see what worked and what missed the mark pretty clearly. I really got a sense of community there and enjoyed the mix of business folks and dreamers like me. This is show business and it doesn’t have to be ugly. I suppose when the money talk starts it could get at least not pretty. I guess I’ll leave that to my agent when the time comes.
Never been to AFM? Check it out. It’s worth the price of admission. Going to go? Hope to see you there next year. I’ll be the guy with a bunch of DVD screeners under my arm looking to sell.