Screenwriting : American Film Market Scripts Success by Anthony Varon

Anthony Varon

American Film Market Scripts Success

Hello everyone!

I am a producer/screenwriter. I was thinking about attending the American Film Market with a script I am working on related to human trafficking here in the US. It's a feature and I am trying to see if anyone has attended this networking event in Santa Monica, CA in November? I am not sure if anyone has had any success or if it's worth going? Thanks!

Dan MaxXx

It's not a place to shop screenplays. It's a film market. Go for the experience. You never know who you'll meet. I went one year and met a Russian actress who invited me to dinner at her Laurel Canyon mansion. But when I showed up, there were 8 or 9 other dudes with the same invite. She made us watch her acting reel.

Imo Wimana Chadband

hahaha Dan MaxXx Well...that scenario could have been a lot worse upon arriving and seeing 8-9 other dudes, so, an acceptable twist, I guess?

Craig D Griffiths

I have never attend the AFF but it is focused on foreign sales not USA domestic. I have also heard people going with scripts and marketing collateral to get purchase intentions.

As an unknown it may be harder for you.

But it may also be a way of finding out that a script in that genre with unknown talent is only worth $x dollars. This would inform you when it comes to conversations with producers.

Doug Nelson

Anthony - show up with a film in your pocket; at least a picture lock.

Anthony Varon

Perfect! thanks everyone!! i appreciate the feedback

Kay Luke

Working the AFM is the portal that got my kids and I in the Hollywood door 12 years ago.

This year I'm going with a pass just to schmooze with the VIPs.

Dan MaxXx

Now, you can't enter the Loews Hotel without a pass

Anthony Varon

Kay Luke thanks for sharing that! What was the opening opportunity for you?

Jonathan Wolf

Sorry, a little misinformation above,.Check out https://americanfilmmarket.com/how-to-work-the-afm/

Kay Luke

Anthony -- Serendipity.

2007. We had literally just gotten to LA and were stuck out in I.E. where I had a temporary place to stay. To make a long story short, my daughter, Paige, 19, scored a gig at the AFM through Star Staffing, and made sure she stood out. (not as hard as it sounds-- most of the others were actresses). She was quickly put in service to the VIPs.

Flash forward about a week, Paige gets a call from Star Staffing. Morgan Creek Productions-- the biggest independent and only one able to finance their own 100 million pictures-- called and asked specifically for her as a temp receptionist. A minute later, she's a personal/executive assistant to the COO and I had access to the whole freakin' oyster. I had Studio Systems access, got to read scripts being shopped to Morgan Creek by the A list, learned about stuff that is kept firmly behind an NDA.

The moral of the story is that Morgan Creek does not buy films, yet they had a representative at the market-- looking for receptionist?

Hmmmmm...

So I'll see you there!

CJ Walley

I just wanted to jump in and say it's well worth keeping an eye on what AFM are doing and what Jonathan Wolf is saying because it's in line with where most screenwriters need to be trying to break in. Try to see events like this as a massive learning opportunity for screenwriters and somewhere to potentially form tight bonds with people on your wavelength. Also keep in mind Stage 32 are the official film networking and education platform this year so all the more reason to be there.

Anthony Varon

Thanks everyone for your amazing feedback! It really means a lot! I will for sure go but won’t be until next year as I just got a new job.

Timo Puolitaipale

The AFM's helped my film get a worldwide sales deal before going to production. It's only one piece of the puzzle and requires a lot of work and prep but it can be a very positive experience not only for yourself in getting connections for down the road but also to actually land a deal. For me, the deal wasn't signed until months after the AFM meet up and with the help of a producer who both the distributor and myself trusted, so keep building those connections & good luck!

PS I'll be at the AFM this year Nov 9-11 in case anyone wanted to meet up.

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