This past week was another milestone for Justice Is Mind – film sales agents wanted to know more about the film. These sales agents represent and sell films into foreign markets and are constantly inundated with pitches from producers. As these agents are preparing to leave for Cannes next week, I was even more pleased as they took time out of their schedules to respond to my inquiry. In fact, it was a bit humbling.
Although I plan to attend AFM in the fall, I wasn’t planning to attend Cannes for a variety of reasons. First, my focus has to be on the completion of Justice Is Mind. As we are in the final stages of post-production, it’s imperative that I stay in communication with the team. This is my first feature film and it just needs to be done right without distraction. The palm pressing, networking and parties will come after the film is complete. That being said, you also have to keep the fires lit and stay top of mind to those that are interested. Thankfully, I soon learned that someone I have worked with for years will be attending Cannes. Thus, Justice Is Mind will have representation and meetings can be scheduled.
What’s interesting about the three sales agents is the diversity of the projects they represent. From Oscar winners, to vertical integration to genre specific, they all work with filmmakers from theatrical, to foreign sales, to broadcast, DVD and digital platforms. And these are just the three that I’m in direct communication with. As our representative will be meeting with additional distributors and agents with their other clients, other possibilities could present themselves.
Of course, at some point a decision will need to be made on who to sign with. There are so many factors that come into play with decisions like this. What rights do you sign off? How long is the contract for? What deliverables are needed? The questions are endless. But once you sign and transfer the rights of your film, it’s done. This is why it’s so important to have people in your network that understand the ins and outs of contracts specific to this industry. Thankfully I have an entertainment attorney that I’ve worked with for years who is not only an expert in the industry, but a good friend whom I trust 100%.
As producer it’s my job to make sure that we secure the best deal possible for Justice. But as director I also have to make sure that the artistic vision is complete to make such a deal possible. Just this weekend, I was transmitting additional pictures for some VFX shots, addressing some processing matters regarding the build out of other shots and listening to the completed score and various sound effects. Again, welcome to the world of independent filmmaking – the wearing of many hats!
What’s also important during this process is to convey to agents that you aren’t a one picture producer. For them, it’s about building relationships for the long term and working with filmmakers not only on the present project but the next project (one of them is also reviewing First World) and the next. But through all the activity this week, there was one development that most certainly brought a smile to my face.
The Hollywood Reporter listed Justice Is Mind.