By Editor-In-Chief: SCOTT A. CAPESTANY
Each year in Santa Monica, one of the worlds most epic and high profile film markets arrives along the shores of Santa Monica beach in full force.
WHO YOU WILL MEET! Each year over 8000 industry professionals from 80+ countries around the globe converge at the beautiful SANTA MONICA LOEWS HOTEL at 1700 Ocean Avenue to interface with international buyers, distributors, financiers and top decision makers in Hollywood and around the world.
Aside from the amazing event itself and the many years I have attended, I’ve always been impressed with how both the AFM and the SANTA MONICA LOEWS hotel staff treats everyone with dignity, class and professional demeanor throughout the entire event. They respect that we are all there to bring our “A game” in a very fast pace and intense week long odyssey of movie making negotiations and Hollywood deal making.
Even the Executive Director of AFM – Jonathan Wolf – had a few moments to answer our questions over the years. An extremely well educated industry insider + professional.
GET YOUR PITCH ON! I had the honor of being selected a handful of years ago to “pitch” one my own feature film projects to a massive ball room full of international press and over 1000 industry folks. Around 15 or so were selected from around the world representing around 7-8 countries as I recall. One of the industry’s leading experts in the “Art of the Pitch” STEPHANIE PALMER from GOOD IN ROOM hosted the pitch conference. She was exceptionally insightful, engaging and most of all a kind PRO there to help producers present their masterpieces to the world.
We each were given 3 minutes to pitch our project and get feedback from some of the panelists. Just moments after, I was approached by a number of financiers and buyers on the floor surrounding me interested in helping guide my endeavor. Ironically, since that time, family films are becoming more in demand content and a solid commodity for buyers and distributors. For me, I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time and those 3 minutes forever changed the my filmmaking career. That same week I meet whom now has become one of my closest and trusting producing partners and consultants on most all of my projects.
I strongly encourage filmmakers from around the world to attend this awesome event to connect, engage, pitch, network and interface with folks that can literally change your career and life course!
Strategy + Cost This event is well worth the registration fees and highly recommend to to go ALL IN for the best All-Access badge you can afford.
There are a number of strategies to make your AFM experience effective and help make it an overall better experience for all, however these INSIDER TIPS could really help you move your career needle in the right direction.
- HELP OTHERS FIRST – Make yourself available to help others first by bringing immediate and better yet, long term value to their companies or projects. Whether you are a writer, producer, actor, musician, etc., set aside your own personal agenda and ask others “How can I help your project?” Watch their reaction? 9 out of 10 times this will lead them to naturally helping you.
- NAME DROPPING – The pros do not name drop. Let me say that again, the pros never (rarely) name drop. They may slide in a name now and them to validate whatever story you are telling them or pitching. Name dropping in this business instantly spotlights you as an industry amateur.
- DRESS TO IMPRESS – First impressions are lasting impressions. I just read somewhere that it often times only takes a few seconds for people to size you up and form an opinion of you. Pressed, dry cleaned and well manicured appearance + wardrobe goes a very long way in this business.
- YOUR RESUME – If you have an updated IMDP pro page, then minutes (more like seconds) after you arrive + leave (or sometimes during) your meetings, people have already likely vetted you and read everything there is to know about you. Humility and kindness are your best cards to play. Offer others seats in a meeting first. “Let’s grab a seat over here”. TAKE THE LEAD. It puts you in control and establishes you as a professional that is there to talk business.
- RESEARCH – When you arrive at AFM, be current and up to speed on what’s trending in the industry feeds, news and channels. When laying out your master plan for AFM, you will want to do your do diligence with every person + company you plan on meeting. Arrive well informed with digital VOD distribution trends (it’s 90% of what’s being talked about) and sharpen up on the plethora of other industry insider intel available online. Follow us on TWITTER at this years AFM for our 2017 LIVE tweets on who’s moving and shaking this year.
- SOCIAL MEDIA – Who you follow, are followed by, post and engage with defines much of who you are as a professional and often times as a person. Update your LINKED IN profile to reflect your current projects and recommendations from other industry colleagues.
Follow them on Twitter –@AFMOfficial
Stay tuned for the 2017 Line-up of guests via our TWITTER! @MediaIncMag