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Packaging Directors & Producers
How to build value in your project without financing in place. PLUS what happened at Sundance.
Because of the timing of Sundance right at the top of the year, people always look to it to foreshadow what the next several markets will look like, and already things are looking up for EFM next month. Their registrations are back to pre-pandemic levels which is exciting especially since all the buyers will be back in force and with new budgets to spend. EFM is going to be a booming market so don’t sleep on it if you have a project that could be presented there whether complete or in the packaging stages.
Also this is last call for my Film Market Consulting and I’ve only got two slots left on my EFM slate. So get in touch asap if you want to get in on all the fun and get your project in front of sales agents, buyers, and potential partners and financiers.
And now for the main event!
In the past two installments of my Path To Production series we’ve tackled Packaging - first in a Prelude To Attaching Talent (aka R&D) and next in Attaching Talent (aka actor outreach) but we’re not done with Packaging yet. It’s a long and complex phase of the path to production and gone are the days when you could just slap a few actors together and there’s your package. NOPE. Now you need the WHOLE package…. as in the right director and producing team are equally as important as the actors.
I continually hear from from filmmakers doing actor outreach that they can’t get past the gatekeepers and one of the biggest reasons for that is because if you’re an unknown director or producer, with an unfunded project to boot, the incentive is very low for the talent reps to pay any attention to you. You have to go the extra step of luring them in with a director they can get excited about - even if it’s a new director - is there an award winning short you can show them? Other accolades? I do this all the time with my first time feature directors to get the talent reps on board with presenting a project to their clients. Selling the reps (and financiers) on a director is a significant hurdle that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Which leads me to Producing team…. while this didn’t used to be as much of a factor in evaluating a film’s package it certainly is now. It’s often the first question I get after who is directing. Turns out, who is Producing is just as important to not only the reps but the actors themselves. They want to be in business with people who have track records and bodies of work they admire and would like to be a part of. So if you’re a solo filmmaker without a body of work yet, one of the best first hires or attachments you can make is in a Producer or EP to increase the value of your offering while also leaning on their their expertise and profile to help propel things forward.
Incidentally we spend a lot of time discussing building producing teams in my private coaching group FS Pro to ensure every project that goes out to market has been thoughtfully packaged with the right elements needed for the type of project and budget level and therefore avoid half baked projects being presented and passed on early. One of the worst things you can do is present a project too early before there’s enough perceived value baked in to get the best responses.
So I think that tees things up nicely for where we’re headed next after Packaging, and in my next installment move on to taking the temp in the market. Can’t wait! This next step can either be a dream killer (lol) or embolden you to keep going… or in the best case, button things up and get you toward a green light.
So let me know before we wrap out of Packaging…. any other lingering questions about the process I can answer for you? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.
If you made it this far, thank you! I hope you hear from you in the comments and have a great rest of your day…
To your success,
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