Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Chronicles 44 - Juggling/Cannes 2007

I know, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've just been too darn busy. Along with preparing for Cannes 2007 I have 9 projects in various stages of development/production so this is a quick "I'm still here" post. I have no idea how some of these writers bang out such extensive blog posts on a regular basis, either they don't do much screenwriting or they must be permanently banging away at the computer.

Anyway - what's new? Well, the short's been graded (colour correction) and now the sound is being added so we should have a master DVD to replicate for Cannes where it is being promoted by our co-producer at a party with a bunch of industry heavyweights attending.

I have ca. 35 meetings confirmed so far and more penciled in. I usually aim for 40-50 meetings over 6 days. Cannes 2006 was very productive for me. It resulted in 2 paid assignments, a referral to a US casting director who came on board my rom-com project, a co-producer who propelled our short into production and a producer for our feature animation project. Cannes is a numbers campaign and serendipity rules. I tend to start early, emailing select contacts in the Cannes database and then following up with a phone call. This whole process runs over 4 weeks and usually results in a pretty full diary which is my objective. This year it's a mix of financiers (US and UK), producers (US and UK) and sales agents.

As I gather more and more elements to my projects I see that I attract a higher level of contacts and there is less effort involved i.e. I can get most of the scheduling done via email. Because it takes time before companies have a full overview of their screening schedule a number of companies wait until the last moment to commit themselves to meetings. Sales agents can be tricky to catch because they have to devote their time to selling their projects to distributors. US agents are in attendance and are always the most difficult to meet although I have met with reps from ICM and William Morris at Cannes.

Right now I'm heading into a new 'one-for-the-team' revision on the first assignment and I'm starting research on the second assignment which includes ploughing through an out-of-print 500 page 19 century novel and 3 other books on their way from Amazon.

I also have to develop a pitch document for the feature which the short will promote and write up an application for funding on the theatre project I'm developing with a professional theatre group.

The US casting director is hard at work trying to get 'names' attached to the rom-com and she's also hooking me up with investors and other producers. I also met with an exec. producer who's looking for projects for a film fund and read the rom-com script, likes it and is very interesed so we'll see how the land lies in a few months.

Ciao for now