Saturday, February 26, 2011

Selling a Short Film in Foreign Markets

We all know that Short Films are a very  hard sell. So when I heard that David Gould had sold the Italian Pay TV rights to his short film 'Awaken', I had to find out more.

The deal was truly an international affair - it was brokered by Premium Films in Paris who was contacted by a buyer from Italy who had seen his film at the 'Short Film Corner' at Cannes. The Pay TV deal also covered Monte Carlo, Malta, Switzerland ... and even part of Slovenia!

This gives the first clue - I suspect that the first key to selling the international rights to a film involves not sitting around at home. So this led to the first question - how his exposure in Cannes helped him:

Getting funds to finance a short film

Crowdfunding has been successful for raising finances for some short film projects.

In one recent success story, Megan Huitema recently raised completion funding for her short film 'Toot Toot' using an Australian crowdsourcing website here.

So I thought I could find out what she did right - so hopefully the rest of us can learn a little.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Are you a screenwriter outside of Hollywood ?

I've often been told how it's almost impossible for screenwriters outside of Hollywood to get the major agencies interested. So I thought I'd chat with Joe Nienalt - a guy who not only signed up with UTA - he's also picked up a six-figure deal to write a movie to be filmed in Russian. And no - he doesn't speak a word of the language!

And despite what the naysayers would claim - he achieved all this from Tacoma .. which might as well be Dubbo as far as Hollywood is concerned. So how did he achieve all of this? I figured I should talk to him to find out.

The myth of Greenlighting screenplays

I was chatting recently with the screenwriter for one of the great horror films - 'Thirteen Ghosts'

His screenplay was analysed in a curious paper which attempted to determine which screenplays were worth greenlighting - and I wanted to hear his feedback on the paper.

Here's his response:

The basic premise -- that studios greenlight scripts -- is wrong.

They don't.

I have never, in my experience, ever heard of any movie being greenlit based upon the screenplay. 

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