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AFM, what a rush!!!


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:09 PM

I have just returned from the promised land, a land of milk and honey where all people are beautiful and the world lives in total harmony with all those who reside in it. I am of course talking about Santa Monica, California. B)

I was not sure what to expect when I winged Westward to this Shangri La with it's own Farris Wheel but MAN what an eye opening experience. For a man that loves film and film making, if was the single best vacation of my life. I blew all my dough but in a word, WORTH every single penny I laid out!!

I sprung for the complete conference series including the Finance one and gained a wealth of knowledge I would have never had the chance to acquire. I had several people come up after the conferences each ended and complement me of my questions which actually was kind of a surprise. ONE thing I found during the pitch conference was how so many people were pitching these small, personal films. It went on so long that one of the panelists finally blurted out "Doesn't anyone write commercial movies?" OF COURSE, a bunch of hands shot up into the air like a nuclear first strike and they picked more people to pitch commercial films that nearly all turned out NOT to be. :rolleyes: which in turn led me to ask myself, do these folks understand what the term "commercial movies" means ??!!!

They were impressed by a few folks who I can only assume were asked for the script. III, unfortunately, didn't have my name drawn so I wasn't picked to pitch in front of everyone, BUT I had ample opportunity to more than make up for that as I honed my skills on the floors of the Leow's Santa Monica Beach Hotel. I met so many people it was mind blowing,in ALL aspects of the business from key grip to MEGA-producer.

The first day I spent watching to get a feel of what was going on. I was a little quiet and cool as I always am until I get the lay of the land so to speak, then I met a real cool Canadian producer. We hit it off right away and observing him, I was able to see how things worked there. He took me out to dinner and pitched me a script idea he had had for a while and long story, short, I found the concept very intriguing, he said I was the only one who ever immediately "got it" and I'm now writing a script based on it while he's searching to find the money to get it made. He also has another idea which he wants me to start on once we've got this one in the can.

I now have several requests for my scripts and an NDA, most for Blood Moon Rising, I also have a new manager, an experienced director who wants to do a co-production acting as producer with me directing, and several people out looking for money to get B.M.R. made.

Another producer, after hearing the logline for B.M.R. and my pitch called the idea "high concept" and wants to set up pitch meetings with more upper echelon producers/investors once he's read the script. We also have an offer on the DYI video I directed and produced a few months ago and another who said he was very interested and would have an offer on the same video in about 6 weeks and both want a series of them.

I've gotta say, I've never felt more at home in my life then being there. It was like manna from Heaven to a starving man. The ONLY thing I would chance next year is I'll be staying in a hotel on the beach, NOT that mine was bad, but a block from the Loews and right on the beach for a few bucks more, how ya gonna beat that!! :D
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:45 PM

Glad you had a good time!

I find that AFM is really a waste of time, 99% of the people are blow hards with .02 in the bank. Few if any of the companies there that want to acquire product can produce a bankable contract, and since they won't advance cash (because they don't have any) I figure what's the point?

R,
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:27 AM

Well, there WAS plenty of that as well as plenty of 30% equity deals available BUT those guys are pretty easy to spot and avoid. Most of the people I went on to deal with asked nothing, just said they'd look for money. I won't put up anything so for me, there's nothing to loose, they find money, they get a finder's fee, they don't, they get nothing. I don't invest any emotion into the equation. I follow up that's all.

Look, I got to dress well, eat some fantastic dinners, hang around with beautiful, really smart, well-dressed women, talk film and make deals. I made a deal on our DYI video so the If NOTHING else comes of it, it was worth going and a real a blast to attend. Worst case scenario, I spent a little cash, had a LOT of fun. Best case scenario, one of these guys DOES have a little juice and I get my film funded, somewhere in the middle, I make some contacts and have some opportunities I can work to exploit. There is no down side other than I spent a little over a grand. but like I said, well worth it for me.

Now of course if you want to give me those companies that want to acquire product, can produce a bankable contract, and WILL advance cash, PM me with their information and I'll be happy to cut you in on any deal I make. One thing that might give me an edge other than with, all due modesty, I DO write well, is that until I make my feature film directorial debut, I do write almost exclusively action/adventure-horror, straight up action/adventure or Sci/fi action adventure, so it is very commercial genre stuff, women, guns, explosions and chases, the kind of stuff I like to watch and producers love to make.

I have other genre scripts but don't pimp them unless the opportunity just happens to arise which happened with a "Family Friendly" production company I met at AFM looking for projects. Again, after the pitch, they asked to read the script with a NDA. I actually dusted off an old script called Mothers and Daughters I directed and produced on stage. All I have to do is change the third act to a less specific impact ending and add some location scenes to make it work for them.

The screenplay I'm working on now is a slapstick comedy with sublime pathos and heart. I'm having a lot of fun just writing it. not QUITE as commercial as action but the guy I'm working with has a plan to get it funded so we'll see. Again, worst case scenario, I write a script that makes me laugh and tear up, best It sells and I make a classic. I actually can write most anything if I put my mind to it....although I've never written a mystery or teen movie but would love to give it a shot at some point. :lol:
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#4 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:58 AM

I have this soon to be attempted dream of making a short film budget of next to nothing nothing look like a lot of money, but I wonder even if I could pull it off, I probably still wouldn't make a great career out of it. This industry seems like it's full of empty promises. At least if I can't turn any heads, I can always go back to the world of cameras.

But it did indeed sound like a good trip though, what is this DYI project?

Edited by Marcus Joseph, 13 November 2011 - 02:59 AM.

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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:25 PM

Now of course if you want to give me those companies that want to acquire product, can produce a bankable contract, and WILL advance cash, PM me with their information and I'll be happy to cut you in on any deal I make.


Sure, those companies are called SONY, FOX, Paramount, Warner Bros, & Universal.

Good luck with them, they are the only ones that can do what you are asking.

If you start now, you should have a deal by 2078. :)

R,
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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:09 PM

I have this soon to be attempted dream of making a short film budget of next to nothing nothing look like a lot of money, but I wonder even if I could pull it off, I probably still wouldn't make a great career out of it. This industry seems like it's full of empty promises. At least if I can't turn any heads, I can always go back to the world of cameras.

But it did indeed sound like a good trip though, what is this DYI project?


It is how to repair the Ford M5A1 & A2 manual transmission using basic hand tools anyone might find in a reasonably equipped household garage, an hour and a half long and very detailed. We're actually coming out with a series of these repair videos for various transmissions.

As for your comments, I don't think the industry is so much full of empty promises, but instead, offers no guarantees. Even William Goldman once said "No one knows anything" so the only thing you really have to count on is your own abilities.

After listening this last week, I'd recommend you DON"T make a short but instead write a very commercial script, polish it to a razor's edge and instead make a sizzle real for it. It'll cost the same as a short but will perhaps have the added benefit of proving you can direct and your idea has merit thereby getting someone interested in your project. Look, the cream rises, so if you ARE good, here's the way to prove it.

Producers are easier to approach than big companies who almost exclusively will not accept unsolicited scripts BUT a producer, manager, agent can all submit your script to these companies. Find one of those guys to represent you. If you are actually cream and not just milk, you will rise. If not,the camera world is not a bad second choice. B)
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:18 PM

Sure, those companies are called SONY, FOX, Paramount, Warner Bros, & Universal.

Good luck with them, they are the only ones that can do what you are asking.

If you start now, you should have a deal by 2078. :)

R,

YOOHOO, thanks buddy. :D I don't know though 2078 seems like a long time from now and I don't know if I'm really studio material. I mean I'd only make a picture for them if they asked me. ;)
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:24 PM

Uh I am being serious on both the time frame and who can provide a bankable contract. ;)

There isn't a single non studio company attending AFM that can provide a bankable contract.

Now, there are private lenders in the business of taking higher risk paper, that is true.

R,
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:05 PM

Exactly, a studio's not going to look at me right now so I'll try and make the most of what I have available. I can get depressed about it or I can keep on truckin' I choose to do the latter that's all. Some of these people seem pretty genuine and after all the sales experience I've had, I have a decent sense of what IS real and what isn't. I'm also serious, I'm an indy guy. I don't like interference so private investors and investment is where I need to be. They show me the money, we're in business, they don't we're not. I like simple.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:13 PM

I have no understanding of this at all.

What us it about? A bunch of people, none of whom own anything of value or have any authority over anything that matters, pretending to be businessmen? That's what it sounds like. Sounds like my absolute worst nightmare, to be honest. I work on what I can actually do, what tasks I know how to perform - not how good I can make a script that doesn't exist sound to someone who doesn't have the money to make it.

I presume that obtaining scripts is the least of a modern producer's problems. Same with directors and actors, and to a lesser extent crew. Making the damn thing is easy.

Selling it is the trick. And tiny, independent movies don't get sold.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:07 AM

What us it about? A bunch of people, none of whom own anything of value or have any authority over anything that matters, pretending to be businessmen? That's what it sounds like.


Gee you just summarized the entire film industry :D

R,
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:09 AM

And tiny, independent movies don't get sold.


Unless the movie is Paranormal Activity with a budget of $13, 000.00 :)

R,
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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

I have no understanding of this at all.

What us it about? A bunch of people, none of whom own anything of value or have any authority over anything that matters, pretending to be businessmen? That's what it sounds like. Sounds like my absolute worst nightmare, to be honest. I work on what I can actually do, what tasks I know how to perform - not how good I can make a script that doesn't exist sound to someone who doesn't have the money to make it.

I presume that obtaining scripts is the least of a modern producer's problems. Same with directors and actors, and to a lesser extent crew. Making the damn thing is easy.

Selling it is the trick. And tiny, independent movies don't get sold.

Orson Welles once said I spend 5% of my time making movies and 95% of my time hustling. I have met people with the authority and the money who want to read my very much DOES exist scripts. I'll be getting those out this next week. I was just offered a $1000 bonus for getting the first draft of the script I am currently writing done in 6 weeks (I'll have it in 4)from the Canadian producer I'm working with now. He's working on my contract and will have it this week as well. I HAVE the contract for my DYI video already and this same guy is one of the people who wants to read my script because he has money contacts that can fund a mid-range feature and wants to be involved (IE produce). There is ANOTHER Canadian Executive Producer/Distributor who wants the script. Now maybe NONE of this is real, but so far everything seem to check out when I did the research on these guys so, I guess, you're suggesting I DON'T follow up on this because it's probably all bull$hit, huh. :rolleyes:
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:33 AM

I guess, you're suggesting I DON'T follow up on this because it's probably all bull$hit, huh. :rolleyes:


Definitely follow up, something might shake loose from the tree.

R,
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:31 PM

And on that day, Satan will be riding to work on a snowplough.
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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:39 PM

Sure, those companies are called SONY, FOX, Paramount, Warner Bros, & Universal.

Good luck with them, they are the only ones that can do what you are asking.

If you start now, you should have a deal by 2078. :)

R,


What about companies like image entertainment?
Where do they fit into it all?

love

Freya
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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:00 PM

What about companies like image entertainment?
Where do they fit into it all?

love

Freya


Hmmm, I know exactly where they fit in, considering I've sold them two movies :D

Great company! But can't give out info on here. :)

R,
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:43 PM

I think the information he's not giving out is that his daughter's boyfriend's cousin is the vice president in charge of acquisitions, or something of that sort...
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 07:38 PM

Hmmm, I know exactly where they fit in, considering I've sold them two movies :D

Great company! But can't give out info on here. :)

R,

Well Hell, if they took YOUR movies, I need to send them an email right now!!! :D
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#20 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 07:42 PM

And on that day, Satan will be riding to work on a snowplough.

Well, he's not riding it yet but he's pulled it out of the garage. :rolleyes:
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