As November approaches the international film industry steadfastly prepares for the American Film Market in Los Angeles.
Industry executives, producers, directors look to the AFM for a good jump on global sales of their film productions.
Foreign Sales company’s slates are evaluated and perfected. Every film budget is prepared, evaluated and revised to meet the cost structure of the current landscape for independent film.
Marketing materials are being created, edited and finalized in preparation for presentation to the global business.
What: American Film Market (AFM)
When: October 31 – November 7, 2012
Where: Santa Monica, California
Each year the hordes of movie executives descend on the the seaside town of Santa Monica California to make international distribution deals for their film and video productions. Buyers from around the globe likewise are in full force looking for that next hot product but also the standard fare the makes up their day to day schedule of releases.
Distributors look to the AFM to increase their reach in worldwide penetration of markets and deals for their product to be licensed in every territory of the world. Taking over the many hotels that line the beach, the companies take residence in hotel rooms and suites, fill them with staff, posters, one sheets and televisions to play dvds and hard drive trailers for prospective buyers. It is truly a selling market, much as any industry sector would provide.
Conferences as well are a stable of the American Film Market with industry leaders, movers and shakers presenting panels and discussions on all aspects of the film business. Topics include production, distribution, movie budget levels, new media, digital platforms and film tax credits and incentives programs. Likewise co-production treaties are often explained and detailed by the attending experts.
Film Finance is always a central theme to the AFM and the Conference Series delivers top finance professionals discussing the current state of film finance, marketing, pitching, film festivals, VOD and streaming of film product.
Central to the AFM on the trade floors at the Loews Hotel are likewise film commissions presence in booths with staffers explaining the various territories film tax incentives regimin. Locations executives laud their country or state for its natural or urban beauty, film tax credits or film friendly attitude. As competition has grown for production dollars these events are seen as a critical attendance for these entities to tout their place in the production pipeline.
Altogether the AFM represents the fabric of the film finance and distribution world for the independent film community. International productions are launched bought and sold here.
As the motion picture industry has evolved in the face of the global financial meltdown the importance of AFM has actually grown. Producers must lower their film budget to meet the challenges of the marketplace and distributors must provide product for their buyers at the right price.
As Studio production has ebbed in this new world, the access to high end talent by indie film producers has increased, leading to a new crop of independent films hitting the screens of the market.