Friday, November 7, 2014

American Film Market

This is the week of the American Film Market, which is a huge event held in Santa Monica at a huge hotel, Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel wherein buyers and sellers meet to buy and sell movies. But there's one difference between the product.

For the most part, the big studio movies don't really come here, they use film festivals for that, places like Toronto, Sundance and of course, Cannes.

For the most part, AFM is about movies you've never heard of, most with actors that you've forgotten. Eric Roberts, Tom Sizemore and others. And also a lot of foreign movies from Southeast Asia as well as a lot of movies filmed in eastern Europe.

In other words, the meat and potatoes movies.

I usually take a walk through the lobby of the hotel where anyone can walk in and look

around at the buyers and sellers, both of whom pay a lot of money for a hotel room where they put up posters. A lot of these movies go to places like Netflix and other similar buyers but a lot of them never get sold.

In fact, the market is getting more expensive and fewer movies are being bought. I know of two distributors who don't rent out a hotel room because it's too damn expensive. 

The lobby is where people can meet and not have to pay, although apparently the pool area now is only for those who pay to go to the pool area. Up until this year, the pool area was open for anyone too make deals or to hang around.

But there's still pretty girls and muscle guys walking around the lobby.

But basically, it's a pretty unlikeable market where you really see what the business part is and it's much the same as a meat market. It's pretty sleezy, actually, at least for those of us who make the movies.

And, like the meat market, it's going through a rough time basically because these second rate movies are really bad. And you have to wonder how long AFM is going to continue. I was at an early AFM way back in 1981 with my little horror film Ghostkeeper. It was a lot of fun then, much smaller and less expensive. 

But now it's just a bunch of foreign distributors who are trying to sell films with actors like the above who, like most of us, take any job we can get.

I'll have a little more Monday.

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