11/09/17 Working with Sales Agents AFM Panel Quotes

Clay Epstein, President - Film Mode Entertainment

“Film models are not built on exceptions but rather built on norms and standards. The reason you’re reading about Netflix and multi-million dollar sales out of a festival is because it’s news, it’s not the norm.”

“Sales agents have changed their responsibility. They have become producing partners, co-financiers and their role has become so much more than just selling a movie.”

“Talent are going to do a film for three reasons: money, awards, or a connection with the director or producer.”

Lisa Wilson, Partner - The Solution Entertainment Group

“You want sales projections to be real. You need to agree on the value of your movie upfront.”

“I will not give estimates that I don’t believe in. It’s hard enough to give estimates of films that are only in pre-production stages where so much is still subject to change.”

“It’s a small world and everyone is chasing the same talent. If you want to save time with estimates assume you have a D or E level actor attached because often that is where it falls.”

“Pre-sales are changing. With the death of the DVD market and increase in new SVOD platforms, buyers are looking at less revenue sources and it’s become more and more difficult for pre-sales.”

“Nic Cage movies still sell, and truly there is no female equivalent.”

Martin Katz, Founder & President - Prospero Pictures

“A movie needs a home, you need to make a movie for someone.”

“Different sales agents are attracted to different material because they have the ability and connections to sell specific things. It’s not a bad thing to bring different projects to different agents.”

“Find the sales agent who is the most enthusiastic about your project.”

“The first question from lenders is often ‘who is selling this project’?”

“Every script that comes to me I ask ‘why is this not a series’ why does it need to be theatrical.”

“A great script attracts a great director and a great director attracts a great actor.”

Dana Lustig, Principal - Dana Lusting Productions

“Unless you have a private equity investor, you can’t make a movie without a sales agent.”

“One crucial element you should think about beyond cast is additional equity. You can then help give offers directly and get the cast you want.”

“Having one A list actor will help sell your film more, compared to five smaller names.”

“Pay or play deals are important - it shows agents that you are serious and you are confident to stand behind your offer.”

“Sometimes without a VOD sale, you can’t finance a production.”

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