Path To Production: Market Feedback & What To Do With It
+ How to switch up your packaging and financing strategy on the fly
So after taking the temp in the market like we discussed in my last installment of our Path To Production series, maybe there’s changes that need to take place…. changes to the script to accommodate a new suggested budget…. changes to the talent package…. changes to the finance plan, etc.
This is why I emphasized how critical this intermediary step is - it’s sort of like checking in with the market during the process of putting your project together and saying ‘am I on the right track’? Yes? OK keep going! Or No? Hang on let’s pivot.
So that’s what I want to address today and give you guys some ideas on what to do during this taking the temp phase.
But first - real quick - I received several inquiries about my Submissions Service after the last dispatch but didn’t have a formal page and application up yet, but now we do! So if you’re interested in help getting past the gate keepers with your project to take the temp and get on the right track with things…. and heck, even gain some momentum and traction with your project, check out the new service here and fill out the application if you want to get a head start on EFM next week….
→ Click here to learn more about Submissions Service
Development Isn’t Linear
I think it’s a good time to bring up what’s probably obvious at this point and that is development isn’t a linear process.
It’s two steps forward and one step back. Or one step forward and two steps back. It’s up and it’s down and back again. You dizzy yet? lol… yeah, that’s development.
Once you start getting market feedback you’ll hear things like: the talent you have attached won’t justify the budget you’re envisioning.
Solution - ask them what names you should focus on for the remaining lead roles so you can hopefully ad some value to the package and keep the budget where it is. Another solution - figure out how to lower your budget and keep the cast level you have.
I realize lowering the budget isn’t always an option but I’m working with a few filmmakers on that right now and we’re doing things like swapping into cheaper shooting locations, doing more practical shooting and getting rid of VFX, figuring out how to make due with a couple less shooting days, etc.
One area where I’ll say you probably won’t have much luck lowering is in talent fees. In fact, those will likely go up so I wouldn’t delude yourself into thinking you’ll get actors to work for scale if they have any sort of profile whatsoever.
Another possibility during the taking the temp phase is you could get resounding feedback that not only are you on the right track but sales agents are eager to commit to the project now and come on board as your financing partner. Hooray! Honestly this didn’t use to matter much but these days, possible equity financiers and certainly debt partners will want to see a sales agent on board the production which essentially ‘vouches’ for its marketability.
Even if they can’t generate a of pre-sales, sales agents still have other levers to pull with moving your project forward. One of them being giving legitimacy to your project and attracting other financing partners to the table. It’s sort of the holy grail for indie films right now and why I encourage you to try and get yourself to a film market or festival this year and start making these relationships!
What else? Maybe I’ll stop here and take questions…. got questions or comments on our Path To Production process so far? Hit me up in the comments below.
We’ll pick this up next week live from the Berlin Film Market (EFM) where I look forward to bringing back my live market dispatches like the old days :) Anyone remember those?
Have a wonderful day everyone and speak soon!
To your success,
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I'm looking forward to a market dispatch! Safe travels to you!