Discover more from Film Specific presents≫ The ReFrame
Production Planning During Strikes
What can you be doing if you can’t officially be casting SAG actors? PLUS here comes TIFF and looking ahead to AFM
I left off last week’s newsletter talking about TIFF and AFM and how they’re coming up right around the corner. Well TIFF kicks off tomorrow and I’ll be heading there to check out the scene for you guys. Not sure if I’ll have enough to report daily on the ground like I did with EFM but expect some take-aways on the other side of it sometime next week.
AFM Submissions Service
Guaranteed many of my conversations with distributors and sales agents at TIFF will revolve around their launch slate for AFM since TIFF is really a ‘teaser’ for that. So I wanted to give a head start to anyone who wishes to take advantage of AFM with a completed or almost-completed film (by Nov), or a genre project/package that you’d like hand submitted to reputable sales, financing, and distribution partners.
As per usual, I like to offer early birds a special offer on my Submissions Service as it makes all our lives easier not to be scrambling at the last minute! Plus, these companies will lock their AFM slates weeks ahead of time so you’ll miss out on opportunities by waiting till the last minute.
Get in touch for more details on my AFM Submissions Service and please include details of your project and any relevant links to trailers, websites, IMDB, etc. Email me at email@example.com. Thank you!
How To Production Plan During The Strikes
Another big topic at TIFF is going to revolve around how to production plan while waiting for a SAG interim agreement (IA) to go through. Every day I have conversations with filmmakers and producers who are waiting on this thing to move the ball forward with their projects. But what can you be doing in the mean time if you can’t officially be casting SAG actors?
I know a couple filmmakers who are focused on raising financing and have gone the extra step to hire a casting director and include vetted lists of actors they plan to approach once their IA goes through. There’s CD’s out there who have gotten real good at knowing who is going to be available once the strike is over as well as who will be most approachable, so don’t discount the intel you can glean from a good casting partner early on in the process before you can even start casting. In fact, I’ll go so far to say CD’s are going to be worth their weight in gold once the strike is over since there’s going to be a serious logjam once everyone is given the ‘go’ to cast and attach talent, and it’ll really help to get a head start on all that.
I know another production team who is literally doing everything else besides casting that they can possibly do right now….. from interviewing HOD’s, to location scouting, to setting up payroll, and submitting tax paperwork to the state where they plan to shoot, to getting production legal in place and signing deal memos with production services partners…. literally everything else. Since they are already fully financed they can act as if, and push ahead like they are indeed going into production next month. The only catch here is that until the IA goes through, you can’t be certain of an exact start date so while you can’t lock locations, you can definitely narrow down your choices and start having a first AD schedule around them.
On one of the projects I’m involved in we’ve hired a CD to start making us viable cast lists and a first AD to do a first pass at a schedule, before we go down the road of commissioning a budget. On this particular project because we’re targeting a certain budget amount, we need to really hone in on how to create a viable 21 or less days schedule before hiring a line producer for a budget and doing financier outreach. I’m a firm believer in ‘a budget is just an expression of a schedule’ so we’re taking the time now to work through all those kinks with our first AD and get a handle on our days. I’m also setting up meetings at TIFF with possible production services partners in different regions and countries to find the best place to set up shop and get the film budgeted for.
So there’s some ideas for you if you’re sitting around wondering what you can be doing besides waiting for the strikes to end. Are these ideas helpful? If so, I can include more in future newsletters as I come across them.
And if you have any ideas yourself or questions you want to ask, you know you can hit me up in the comments.
On that note, I’ll wrap things up for today. I hope you have a wonderful day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon!
To your success,