10 Things I Learned from American Film Market

By Ed Fletcher

Armed with a stack of business cards, some new pink ties and a four-day pass ($500), I recently attended American Film Market one of the world’s largest film markets to develop or sell my screenplay Pink. For more information on Pink, a sexy dramatic comedy based on Sacramento’s 1969 bottomless stripper trial, visit my blog or find us on facebook. What follows is a rundown of things I learned or reconfirmed from American Film Market for the first time and as someone new filmmaking.

  1. Hollywood is not about openness or inclusion. It’s a meritocracy based on your ability to make them money. That’s not an indictment, just real talk.
  2. In the film world there are creative types and the business side types. AFM is more about the business or film. It ain’t called a market for nothing.
  3. There is little demand for comedies, dramas, sports movies or urban movies overseas. As a result, there are is an exorbitant number of low budget thrillers, action movies and beast/zombie movies being made and marketed. 
  4. Getting on stage at the Pitch Conference and can make you interesting to all the other filmmakers in the room, but since heavy hitters where in the their temporary sales offices blocks away and didn’t hear the pitch, you’re still a nobody to them. 
  5. Just because somebody retweets you doesn’t mean you’re somebody to them. 
  6. Having a good pitch is one thing, but have it packaged (name director or talent signed on) and you’re cookin’. I wasn’t cooking.
  7. Wearing a Pink tie everyday was a great idea. Who forgets the Black guy, wearing a pink tie, and talking about a screenplay named Pink. 
  8. Cell phones are a security blanket for people are afraid to be alone. It’s hard to spark up a conversation when people are all checking their security blanket.
  9. The Producer Forums are popular. Get there early. Disregard No. 9 if you have a confirmed “producers” credit and can skip the line. 
  10. Despite the new ways to network through social media, nothing beats spending time in the lobby bar is terms of making connections.
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