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*HIGHLIGHTS AFM Day 6 and 7– Marketing Conference & Producers Forum November 11, 12, 2013

Written By: Marcelle - Nov• 13•13

AFM Day 7 –Distribution Conference & Producers Forum

HIGHLIGHTS November 12, 2013

The 2013 American Film Market (AFM®) presented its final two sessions from the five day conference series focusing on distribution. The Distribution Conference featured two sessions focused on Video on Demand 2014 and Limited & Specialty Releases.

The first session, Video on Demand 2014, discussed the different VOD models and what it takes to succeed in this market. Moderated by Amy Friedlander Hoffman, Founder, Priority Digital Media. Panelists included Andy Bohn, Co-Founder & Partner, The Film Arcade, Kyle Kaczmarek, Co-Founder, Kaczmarek Digital Media Group, Lise Romanoff, Managing Director & CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films, David White, Founder & CEO, IndieReign, and Richard Wellerstein, VP, Content Acquisition, Programming & Planning, AT&T.
The second session, Limited & Specialty Releases, focused on crowdfunding, budgets, attracting actors and making films more marketable. Moderated by Andrew Stewart, Entertainment Journalist, Variety. Panelists included Matt Brodlie, Head of US Distribution & Acquisitions, Exclusive Media, Jon Gerrans, Co-Founder & Co-President, Strand Releasing, Susan Jackson, Co-Founder & Co-President, Freestyle Releasing, LLC, and Tristen Tuckfield, VP of Acquisitions, Millennium Entertainment
Key quotes from the Video on Demand 2014 session:

Lise Romanoff on the ‘Do It Yourself Model’:
“You need a very firm marketing plan and release plan, just like a studio would have with a feature film.”

Andy Bohn on Lessons Learned:
“In a world where you have access to tons and tons of connect at your fingertip, I think the desire to actually own films has decreased.”

Key quotes from the Limited & Specialty Releases session:

Susan Jackson on how the market place has changed:
“The cost of getting the titles out there is significantly less and less, we’ve come up with cost effective ways to reach the audience.”

Tristen Tuckfield on attributes to look for in films:
“Cast always helps across the board. We’re very cast driven and cast focused and the genres that are lower risk genres like thrillers or actions or comedies. I think dramas are becoming increasingly more difficult to sell. For a drama to really work in the market place, you need to have the box office behind it.”

Tristen Tuckfield on the role of twitter and social media:
“Twitter is huge, having some kind of marketable element, no matter how loud you are, you still need a marketable element to really get behind you and your film. Sometimes it’s someone with a huge following who can reach out to a fan base.”

Matt Brodlie on attributes to look for in films:
“People may say ‘my films for everyone, everyone will like it,’ but it’s not. Be realistic in what audience you’re going for.”

Today was also the last day of the 2013 AFM Producer’s Forum which kicked off with a packed crowd at The Role of Today’s Film Producer session featuring Aaron Ryder, President of Production, FilmNation. Below please find a few key:

On Ryder’s definition of a producer:
“There are four parts of being a producer, in my opinion: the first is finding and developing the material, the second is the packaging, meaning the directors, the actors… The third is financing and the fourth is overseeing these three things until the release of the movie.”

On the impact of cable television on the film industry:
“Television has saved the industry. It brings a different speed, a different stamina… the quality of TV shows will make us better filmmakers. Cable television takes more risks, more emphasis on writing… it has pushed the bar higher and has become so incredibly popular.”

On the rapid changes in the industry:
“Out of change comes chaos, out of chaos comes opportunity, out of opportunity comes luck.”

The second session focused on Protecting Your Rights: The Producer’s Guide to Distribution Contracts and Chain of Title featuring Alissa Miller, Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. A few key tips Ms. Miller gave during her session included:

Regarding Distribution:
· “You need a period of 6-9 months to sell the rights and to get them all sold.”
· “You need an antiquate amount of time to sell all the rights before production

Regarding Documentation & registering:
· “Order a copy right report and a title search report. A copy right report will show everything that’s ever been registered with the title that you’re looking for.”
· “Register your copy rights, as soon as possible especially when you have a lot of material.”

Today’s third Producers Forum session: Working with Sales Agents, featured Clay Epstein, SVP Sales & Acquisitions, Arclight Films. The session focused on the current state of the film market, casting, and risk management among other topics. Below please find a few key quotes from the session:

On the Impact and importance of marketplace research:
“The marketplace is going to dictate where your movie is going to end up. Listening to the market is very important. It requires true research development.”

On risk management and enticing sales agents:
“The independent world is all about risk management—reducing the risk at all costs. The film must be execution dependent. Presentation is key, it must contain stars, directors, writers, etc. with built-in value.”

On the state of the current market:
“The business hasn’t gotten bad, the business has gotten selective.”

The final 2013 AFM Prodcuers Forum session: The Craft of Ultra Low Budget Filmmaking, featured Suzanne Lyons, Producer, Snowfall Films. Suzanne provided producers in attendance her “13 Tips to Getting Investors.” She touched upon networking, sales presentations, incentives, among several other key topics. She entertained the crowd through stories connecting her tips through life lessons. Please see the attached document for further information from Suzanne’s seminar.

**For High-Res photos please contact

For additional photos, please visit:

Photo credit: Getty Images/Mark Davis.

AFM Day 6 – Marketing Conference & Producers Forum

November 11, 2013


The American Film Market (AFM®) presented the Marketing Conference  by holding two sessions focused on Crowd Sourcing Your Audience and Demystifying Film Festivals.

The first session, Crowd Sourcing Your Audience, discussed how successful producers are discovering the latest tools to building and activating a target audience by using social media to aggregate potential audiences before and during production. The keynote address was given by Nicholas Gonda (Tugg Inc). The panel discussion was moderated by Richard Boto, Founder & CEO, Stage 32 with panelists including Rikk Galvan, Principal, RGM/BIG GamesSusan Johnston, Founder & Director, New Media Film FestivalChristian McGuigan, Producer REZ (Director, Social Action Film Campaigns, Participant Media), Jonathan Reiss, Founder, Hybrid Cinema, andAndrea Sisson, Filmmaker, “I Send You This Place.”

Said Rikk Galvan, Principal, RGM/BIG Games during the conference:

“Once you make an emotional connection, keep stimulating them to think, to be in the realm of whatever the idea is of your movie. If you ask your audience to do something – they will.  It’s so easy to access and keep audiences as long as you do it in a small way that keeps them informed.”


The second session, Film Festivals: Demystified was moderated by Dana Harris, Editor-in-Chief & General Manager, IndieWire. Panelists included Robert Ogden Barnum, Producer, e2b Capital, Mike Goodridge,CEO, Protagonist Pictures, Kevin Iwashina, Managing Partner, Preferred ContentRyan Kampe, President, Visit Films,and Charlotte Mickie, EVP, International Sales, Entertainment One.


Key quotes from the Film Festivals: Demystified  session include the following:

On how much does a sales agent have to do with getting into festival:

“It has the potential to increase your odds, but at the end of the day, a quality film will rise to the top. Every film is contextualized to where it fits within the program”- Kevin Iwashina, Managing Partner, Preferred Content


On Festival names & its perception:


“I think they’re looking for smaller films with American leaning stories…” – Robert Ogden BarnumProducer, e2b Capital.



“More prestige films skewing US” – Robert Ogden Barnum, Producer, e2b Capital.

“It’s a really great place for non-American filmmakers” – Kevin Iwashina, Managing Partner, Preferred Content.



“Generally if your film is in Cannes, you’ll sell that movie”– Charlotte Mickie, EVP, International Sales, Entertainment One.

“It’s the premiere event of the year as far I am concerned” – Mike Goodridge, CEO, Protagonist Pictures.


Round three of the Producer’s Forum kicked off with a packed crowd at the Risk and Reward: Presentation to Investors sessionfeaturing Joseph N. Cohen, President, American Entertainment Investors Inc. Topics discussed included: Non-Correlated Investments, Diversification, Monte Carlo simulations, Institutional Investors, how to mitigate risk and many more. Below is a quote from the panel:

On selling a film without a concept:

 “You’re selling blue sky – a concept; a dream…Lionsgate sold the shit out of POINT BREAK with no cast.” —Joseph N. Cohen, President, American Entertainment Investors Inc.


The second and third session, respectively, focused on Production Incentives and Financing and Producing in Canada with panelists including Paul AudleyFilmL.A. Inc., Silvia EcheverriColombian Film Commission, Hans Fraikin, Quebec Film & Television Council,Pam HaynesWest Virginia Film Office, Pedro NotarioPuerto Rico Film Commission, Gabriel PadillaPanama Film Commission,Julia SonHong Kong Trade Development Council, Jeff SpilmanFilm Reno Tahoe, Karen WitteMexican Film Commission andBenedict CarverSVP, Filmed Entertainment, Entertainment One discussing benefits for filming their locations.  

The last session focused on Working with the U.S. Guilds featuring panelists: Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director, SAG Indie andKay S. Wolf, Independent Film Executive, WGAW. They touched upon topics covering SAG Indie low budget contracts, specifically: the Short Film Agreement, Ultra Low Budget Agreement, Modified Low Budget Agreement, Low Budget Agreement and Basic Codified Agreement in addition to the WGA Low Budget Agreements for Theatrical Films.

A few key quotes from the Working with the U.S. Guilds session include:

 “As of December 1st the WGA has a new agreement for low-budget films. These will be more workable for producers and those who wear various hats on a production.” – Kay S. Wolf, Independent Film Executive, WGAW

 “If you’re close to a ceiling, do not run over.  You will incur charges and there will be difficulties…They (SAG Indie) want you to operate your indie film and stay under budget.” – Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director, SAG Indie

Lastly, AFM Day 6 wrapped with an Industry Conversation entitled Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries. The panel discussion was moderated by Marjan Safinia, Board President, International Documentary Association with panelists, Daniel Bauer, Co-Founder/Producer/Business & Legal Affairs, K5 MEDIA GROUP GmbHKevin Iwashina, Managing Partner, Preferred ContentMichael Werner, Chairman, Fortissimo Films and Glenn Zipper, Producer, “Undefeated.”

A few key quotes from the Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries industry conversation include:

On when you enter into the documentary process:

“We look at documentaries at every stage. However, the one thing we don’t do, we do not invest in documentaries by first time filmmakers. Documentaries are different than story narratives.  They are like college papers: you start with a hypotheses and don’t really know where it’s going to go.” – Michael Werner, Chairman, Fortissimo Films.

On what attracts him to projects:

“For us it’s about emotion. If something that comes in punches us in the gut, we want to get involved. You have to give a shit about the film because it’s really difficult to make a documentary. If you ask me what a producer is, I’d tell you we take a director’s dream and make it his nightmare.”

 “The pitch needs to hook us in a few minutes. If you cannot find the hook that makes it exciting in a few sentences, then we won’t be able to make it exciting later on. I find crowd funding interesting because if you can’t find a way of putting a film online to raise money, it’s going to be difficult to find an audience for your film later on if you can’t explain it to people from the beginning.” – Daniel Bauer, Co-Founder/Producer/Business & Legal Affairs, K5 MEDIA GROUP GmbH

**For High-Res photos please contact For additional photos, please visit:  

Photo credit: Getty Images/Mark Davis.



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