Sales panel pushes pix stakes

Ownership has its benefits, agents say

The theatrical market is still paramount, but owning a slice of the production pie is also key to surviving today’s tough film market, agreed members of Saturday’s EFM panel on the role of the sales agent.

Panelists made it clear that today’s sales agent would do well to be allied to an inhouse source of production and financing, enabling comprehensive follow-through on their own projects or to attract outside productions.

Panelists included Glen Basner of FilmNation, Irina Ignatiew of Telepool, Paul Brett of Prescience, Alex Walton of Exclusive Film, and Ben Roberts of Protagonist Pictures, with Variety’s London-based reporter Diana Lodderhose moderating.

With competition stiff for quality films, panelists agreed that being able to gain entry into a project at the financing stage was an important leg up in the competition for good product, affording input on financial planning, casting or even gaining attractive locations.

Opinions varied as to what stage was best to jump in, but each panelist stressed that a sales company can help structure

a production by offering input on markets, as well as distribution, at an early stage to make it easier for expectations to be met. The upside is that the profits can be greater, but the investment must be protected.

Roberts observed that as an agent getting a fee, you don’t have any rights. “As soon as you are investing, you can have more legitimate involvement in the development and can take on a larger fee,” he said.

There was consensus that theatrical still holds the key to a pic’s overall sales success.

Brett said “theatrical is the locomotive that pulls the passengers of the ancillary markets,” adding that “as long as puberty exists, people are going to want to go to a dark warm place to get away from their parents.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading