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AFM CONFERENCE SERIES: DAY 5 Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace – DAY 6 FILM FESTIVAL CONFERENCE: Quotes from the session outlined below

Written By: Marcelle - Nov• 09•15


Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace:

 Arianne Fraser, Founding Partner & CEO, Highland Film Group:

–          “We always pre-sale in North America. I don’t to live in a world where we wait until we go into the festival market. I pre-sale intl. territories and if you go to a festival it slows down the marketing and delivery for the international. It puts a 6-8 month lag on it, which makes it complicated when you’re selling a release on a worldwide platform”

Tom Barry, Founder, Reel One Entertainment :

 –           “Everyone’s challenge in the entertainment business is cash flow and overhead. And its most extreme on a TV series – we’re all very acutely aware that there are a number of buyers who will only buy a show when we have 50 episodes. It’s hard to get that US order for those first episodes – the tough thing from the point of view of the economics, is what happens next after Season 1”

Marketing & Publicity in Production: Beginning with the End in Mind

Richard Baker / EVP, Marketing & Creative Advertising, FilmNation Entertainment:

–          “I see materials come out of production, with the intention for them to make good pictures, good posters, good EPK, which are substandard. This surprises me, and it’s not just inexperienced producers, but seasoned producers too that are overlooking the budget line items called EPK and unit photography and are putting them in the budget dutifully, mindlessly, thinking “we’ll deal with that later”. And I want to challenge that and talk about the changes in thinking you can make that will lead to great posters, great trailers and great media campaigns.”

–          “I have been on the receiving end as a sales agent, engaged for pre-sales to guide and council filmmakers to make choices, and also much later on in the production process, and I’ll be delivered unit photography. On one I had almost 40,000 shots, none of which had talent approvals, and I was looking through to see what was useable, and 2/3rds of the shots were cast and crew eating pizza, or out of focus, or hurriedly taken. There was also no gallery, or special shoot. This blew my mind.”

AFM ROUNDTABLES: Quotes from the session outlined below.

The Passion of Film – Beyond the Pulpit and Pew:

Mike Medavoy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Phoenix Pictures:

–          “It’s not enough to find a story YOU like, you have to find something that most people would like. What do you have in common with others? What I find really interesting about what I do is learning about everything. The thing that drew me into the business was human interest. I really like people…I ask the same questions as most people do in faith. Who am I? What am I doing here? If you’re a producer, that’s what you need to be asking yourself.”

–          “There is an audience for these movies and there’s a big audience. It’s not ‘how do I make a movie that everyone is going to want to see…but that this core audience will want to see?  That’s the challenge…if the film is something that people will emotionally engage with…It’s not the thrill, the thrill is for the younger audience, but the older crowd is being underserved.”

African Co-Productions – The Possibilities and the Challenges:

Mayenzeke Baza, Director of International Relations, Association for Transformation in Film and TV:

–          “When people look at Africa they always look at problems. But in entertainment the landscape is changing – opportunities are coming out’

John Volmink, Co-Founder of Diprente Films:

–          “Africa is a continent of 1.1bn people and untapped potential – people that can think out of the box will reap the rewards. From a location perspective it’s a hot property, because we have good rebates, it’s relatively cheap standard of living, and we have experienced crews from a technical perspective -it’s really picked up as a location to shoot’



                                    Location: Fairmont Hotel- Starlight Ballroom- 101 Wilshire Blvd

                                    Festival Conference

                                    First Session: Navigating the Festival Circuit

Moderator: Jeremy Kay / US Editor, Screen International

Panelists: Judith Baugin / Head of International Marketing Film Division, Content Media Corporation; Audrey Delaney / SVP Marketing + Acquisitions, Myriad Pictures; Charlotte Mickie / President, Mongrel International; Rob Najor / Producer “Short Term 12”, “I Am Not A Hipster”


Location: AFM Studio

Shoot the Book!: French Publishers Present Original Literary Works with Film Adaptation Potential

Moderator: Steven Gaydos / Vice President & Executive Editor, Variety

Speakers: Judith Becqueriaux / Rights Manager, Editions Denoel; Laurent Duvault / Direcotr of AV and International Development, Mediatoon, Daraguard Group; Frederique Masart, Head of AV Rights, Gallimard; Juliette Mathieu / Rights Director, Delcourt Group; Carole Saudejaud / Rights Director Foreign Film & Domestic Rights, Fayard11:15AM- 12:45PM     Festival Conference

Second Session: Creating a Successful Festival Strategy

Moderator: Kevin Iwashina / Managing Partner, Preferred Content

Panelists: Glen Basner / CEO, FilmNation Entertainment; John Sloss / Principal, Cinetic Media; Gary Michael Walters, Producer, “Whiplash”, “Nightcrawler”


Location: AFM Studio

Distributing and Monetizing Documentaries

Moderator: Senain Kheshgi / Director & Writer & Producer, Senain Kheshgi Pictures

Speakers: Richard Abramowitz, President, Abramorama; Jamie Carmichael, President, Film, CONTENT; Julian Cautherley, Producer, Good ‘n Proper; Femke Wolting, Founder and Managing Director, Submarine

 AFM CONFERENCE SERIES: FILM FESTIVAL CONFERENCE: Quotes from the session outlined below.

Photo credit: AP Invision/ Richard Shotwell



Navigating the Festival Circuts

 Audrey Delaney, SVP, Marketing & Acquisitions, Myriad Picture

 –      “Getting your film to any one of these festivals can really help to separate your film from so manyand put it on the map. It’s helpful in the positioning of the film, to get reviews in the trades andonline it helps give that film a profile in the market place to help with the sales and distribution process.”

Judith Baugin, Head of International Marketing, Film Division, Content Media Corporation:

 –          “Some festivals aren’t right for all films. The top festivals aren’t necessarily relevant to any given films – and they can be very expensive. Some filmmakers don’t realise this, and if the festival isn’t quite right it can end up damaging their campaign.”

Creating a Successful Festival Strategy:

 Glen Basner, FilmNation Entertainment:

 –          “This year with “Room”, we had already sold the movie around the world – there weren’t many territories left so we didn’t need to rush to find a festival. We devised a festival strategy that worked, which included Telluride and Toronto. It’s about what is the best way to get the film in to the right theatres and get audiences compelled to go to that film. It’s all geared around theatrical distribution at that point”

Gary Michael Walters, Producer “Whiplash”, “Nightcrawler”:

 –          “Ultimately everything we do is a function of mind share – how do we get people’s attention when we don’t have Ryan Gosling in our movie? I encourage people to get as much experience help early on in the process. Having the guidance of those that understand the market place is invaluable. You either play the inside game(the buyers), or the outside game (the 8 billion people in this world).”

 AFM ROUNDTABLES: Quotes from the session outlined below.

Distributing and Monetizing Documentaries:

Richard Abramowitz, President, Abramorama:

–          ‘It’s simple: we look for tribal films – films that have easily identified audiences… we identify community leaders that can bring people into the theaters. We target people invested in the message.’

Jamie Carmichael, President, Film, CONTENT

–          ‘Documentaries have to work around the world. When I’m picking a Janice Joplin movie, a Steve McQueen movie, I know they can be used everywhere’

–          ‘I think there is a trend now for documentaries – it’s come back. We have more now than we did 5 years ago’.



                                    Location: Fairmont Hotel- Starlight Ballroom- 101 Wilshire Blvd

                                    Distribution Conference

                                    First Session: Working with Sales Agents

Moderator: Clay Epstein / SVP Sales + Acquisitions, Arclight Films

Panelists: Richard Gray / Producer, Yellow Brick Films; J. Todd Harris / Founder & President, Branded Pictures Entertainment; Ennis Hensley, President of International Sales & Distribution, The Weinstein Company

11:15AM- 12:45PM     Second Session: Navigating the VOD Landscape: What Every Producer Needs to Know

Moderator: Russell Schwartz / Co-Principal, Pandemic Marketing Corp

Panelists: Paul Davidson / SVP Film & TV, The Orchard; Steve Nickerson / President & Home Entertainment, Broad Green Pictures; Lise Romanoff / Managing Director & CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films; Hanny Patel, Sr. Director, Revenue & Product Marketing, DirecTV


Location: AFM Studio

Working with the U.S. Guilds

With: Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director, SAGindie; Lisa Layer, Associate Western Executive Director, Directors Guild of America; Kay S. Wolf, Independent Film Executive, Writers Guild of America, West


O: +44 20 7932 9800
M: +44 7525 624 652




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