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Insiders ViewPoints Following up at the American Film Market - Making It Happen Film News And Views - Insiders ViewPoints - Following up at the American Film Market - Making It Happen Insiders ViewPoints,,Following up at the American Film Market - Making It Happen ,recommendation,shopping,advice,simple,movies,films,film news and views,news and views,film industy,movie reviews,film news,film,news,views,television,made for tv movies,interactive entertainment,hollywood,hollywood news,celebrity news,insiders perspective,film reviewer,watch film,film trailer,new releases,new release,new release movie,new release film,movie reviewer,opinion,viewpoint,forum,discussion
Following up at the American Film Market - Making It Happen

by Erik Sean McGiven on Dec 10, 2013

Leveraging your time and investment to create more opportunities

I've attended numerous American Film Markets and this year's event was another success. It's a market that's alive with sellers, buyers, and promoters bartering for placement in distributor's catalogs. With attendance around 8,000 AFM is the World's largest motion picture trade event.  Itís a marketplace where producers and sales companies license films to distributors and this year they had over 2,000 New Films and Projects, over 1,000 Distributors and over 400 Production Companies.  The market was based at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and for screenings; it utilized conference rooms and movie theatres in the nearby area.

For struggling filmmakers and screenwriters, AFM offers opportunities for networking, project financing, and distribution.  However, to do this in a proficient manner takes considerable planning.  One must have a succinct coherent presentation whether it's a project in development, a proposed script or a completed film.  

So you get a meeting, maybe meet a contact where possibilities exist. You make a pitch and receive interest. What do you do?  Following up is where most attendees fail.  They become frozen with indecision.  They don't know what to do or how to do it.  One should look on follow up as an extension of networking. Networking is the means by which we engage new business friends, seek out innovative and fresh ideas, locate useful information, and foster connections that can grow into lasting partnerships.  Follow up is the means by which we continue the networking relationship.  Without it the relationship dies of neglect. 

Another caveat is that the person doesn't have a clear idea as to what they want to accomplish.  Could it be financing, distribution, or a co-production deal?  Could it be feedback on a story idea? Defining the end goal greatly assists how you do your presentation and what actions you take in your follow up.  Another factor is the size of your goal.  Big goals usually lead to procrastination, as itís almost impossible to get a handle on how to proceed with cumbersome objectives.  Think of immediate goals that will have an impact on your connection. What can you do now to extend the relationship?  Long-term goals progress out of intermediate goals and will likely lead your final objectives

Tom Molloy, a film-financing consultant wrote in his email blast that he had given out hundreds of business cards and only a few had taken the time to respond with a follow up.  And it's not just a matter of confirming the connection, it's a matter of continuing the relationship. 

To spend hundreds of dollars on fees, plus the time attending events, networking and collecting business cards; it's is a waste if you don't make something happen.  This could be with your career, your project, or gaining valuable information that makes you better at your profession.  Following up leverages your time and investment.  It creates more opportunities.

Here are some tips on following up whether it is by phone or email.

1.      Express appreciation and acknowledge what was accomplished. 

2.      Amplify on things discussed during your meeting.  Add something new.

3.      Remind them of something promised, such as an appointment, a favor or a deadline.

4.      Sum up what was accomplished at meeting so there is a record and that your view can be verified.  It pays to restate a pitch as this reinforces the idea. It also allows the potential for you idea to move up the ladder.

5.      Confirm a meeting date, or correspondence with a third party.

6.      Request feedback on your presentation.

People in general on busy and overwhelmed with day-to-day work.  One has to be assertive in following up to be heard.  Be respectful, short, and to the point.  However, showing appreciation for their knowledge and input is the key to continuing the relationship.

 

 

 

 

  May 26, 2019

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