Film Pre Sales
This commitment provides filmmakers with a crucial revenue stream before the film is even made, which helps finance the production and reduces financial risk.
Pre-sales also offer distributors the advantage of securing rights to potentially promising films, allowing them to capitalize on market trends and secure sought-after titles early.
How Pre Sales Work
- Film Packaging and Presentation: Filmmakers must package their film attractively to entice distributors. This involves creating a well-prepared film package that includes the script, a synopsis, director’s vision, cast and crew information, and any key marketing materials. The goal is to present the film as an appealing and marketable product.
- Sales Agents and Market Presence: Filmmakers often engage sales agents who specialize in marketing and selling film rights to distributors. These agents have established networks and industry knowledge to maximize pre-sales potential. Having a sales agent with a strong market presence can significantly impact the film’s distribution prospects.
- Sales Projections and Market Research: Distributors consider sales projections and market research when evaluating pre-sale opportunities. Filmmakers should conduct thorough research to estimate the film’s commercial viability and revenue potential in different territories and formats.
- Budget and Production Timeline: Distributors require a clear production budget and timeline to assess the film’s feasibility and its delivery schedule. A realistic timeline instills confidence in distributors that the film will be completed on time.
- Market Demand and Genre: Understanding market demand and the film’s genre is critical. Filmmakers should identify their target audience and tailor the film’s presentation to appeal to distributors catering to those markets.
- Proof of Concept: Filmmakers may provide proof of concept materials, such as a teaser trailer, to demonstrate the film’s potential to distributors.
- Legal and Ownership Documentation: Clear documentation of the film’s rights and ownership is essential. Filmmakers must have the legal right to sell the distribution rights they are offering in pre-sales.
Eligibility for Pre Sales
To be eligible for pre-sales, filmmakers need to consider several factors, including:
- Market Appeal: The film must have commercial potential and appeal to distributors in the target territories.
- Quality of Talent and Team: A strong cast and crew can enhance the film’s marketability and attract distributors.
- Story and Concept: A compelling and unique story concept can set the film apart from competitors.
- Production Plan: A detailed and feasible production plan assures distributors that the film will be completed as promised.
- Sales Agent Representation: Working with an experienced sales agent can enhance the film’s chances of securing pre-sales.
- Track Record: Filmmakers with a successful track record or industry recognition are more likely to be considered for pre-sales.
Having well-known and renowned actors, directors, or other key personnel involved in the project can boost the likelihood of securing pre-sales for the film.
Where to find Distributors to Pre Sell a Film
Finding the right distributor for your film involves networking and research. Here are some places where you can find film distributors:
- Film Markets: These are industry events where filmmakers and distributors meet to buy and sell films. Major film markets include the Cannes Marché du Film, the American Film Market (AFM), the European Film Market (EFM), and the Hong Kong Filmart.
- Film Festivals: Festivals like Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), or South by Southwest (SXSW) often have marketplaces or industry sections where distributors are present. Your film doesn’t necessarily have to be selected for the festival for you to attend and network.
- Industry Directories and Databases: Websites like IMDbPro offer databases where you can find distributors. There are also print resources, like The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Film Distributors Guide.
- Online Platforms: Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others are also considered distributors. However, it’s often challenging to approach these platforms directly unless you or your agent has an existing relationship.
- Sales Agents: A good sales agent has an established network of contacts among distributors. They can help you find the right fit for your film.
- Industry Events and Networking: Film industry conferences, seminars, and networking events often attract distributors.
- Production Companies: Some production companies also handle distribution or have partnerships with distribution companies.
Remember to do your research and ensure that the distributors you approach are a good fit for your film in terms of genre, target audience, and release scale (local, regional, national, international). Be prepared to present a strong pitch and convincing materials when you approach potential distributors.