A long time ago in a village far, far away… making movies on the weekends with friends was an escape, a purely creative outlet for whatever jokes or school assignments I had on my mind at the time. Never once had I considered the possibility of making a buck off it, let alone forming a career.
That didn’t change a whole lot in college either, leastways not the motivation. Now all of a sudden I’m on the other side of the country with hardly more than a dollar to my name, but I brought an impressive little flick along with me. However, I still don’t have that special inside connection, so I’ve essentially been sitting on this thing nearly four straight months (pun unintended). Word on the street was some film folk were coming to town, so I figured it was time to go big or go home. Trailer and Key Art overhauls have kept me up pretty late this past week, but I think they’re both getting there. You’ll want to give this one a look… trust me:
So out I went on Saturday, headed for the Loews Hotel down by the beach, to see what “the industry” was all about. I expected it to be big, but hearing about it and taking part in it are two very different things. Most of my experience in the film world has been on sets or in labs, neither of which call for much formality, let alone a dress code. The market was a time to look good though, so walking into a hotel lobby of 1,000+ suits was a relatively new experience for me. I recently heard someone refer to the Entertainment biz as the West-Coast Wall Street… makes sense.
The hotel was rented out entirely for the week with exhibits in every last room for production companies, sales agents and distributors. Knocking on doors out here is nothing new to me at this point, so I basically went room to room with my pitch. I’d guess about half of them were looking to acquire new titles, but only a third of that had any interest in a comedy without name talent (a recognizable star). Granted, that still left me with well over 50 places to hand off a packet, but I could have made a killing here if we simply had Chris Kattan or someone comparable to play a small supporting role (ie: The Squirrel, regardless of how much better I was for the part). That way his face and name could go on the cover and the general audience would have someone to identify with and therefore buy the DVD. If Leslie Nielson had been alive and available for this it would have made $50 million and been titled The Naked Gun 4000.
Most people attending were probably 5-10 years older than me, so there was a lot of proverbial cheek pinching, as it was very clear to some veterans that this was my first market. But suddenly from way back in left field I’d whip out the smartphone (Droid > iPhone, obviously) and 2 seconds later they’re watching the trailer. Baby scorpion stings the hardest, if you know what I mean. The unfortunate reality is that all of these companies received dozens of DVDs each day and probably ten times that amount of business cards and one-sheets, but if they manage to not carelessly throw mine out and actually watch the first few minutes, I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Not an abundance of people there came packing a completely finished feature film, either. As a matter of fact, on my last night there one company told me The Essentials was the first action-comedy they’d received all week. I’m optimistic enough to believe, coming off all the positive feedback, that after a month of following-up with these companies… an offer will arise. Whether it’s Video-On-Demand (VOD), packaged discs on shelves, or even another big screen appearance, its sill too early to tell. Regardless, I think people will finally get the chance to see it.
This also means we’re one step closer to the next production. Six digits is possible. Contact me if you want to help make that happen. Meanwhile in West Hollywood…
More adults than kids dressed up on Halloween. A lot more. I can’t wait to see what they do with turkeys.