Tuesday, 13 November 2012

L.A. Blog 2

(by Rishi Thaker)

Well well well, the second month out here comes to a close and what the hell have I been doing since the last blog? Behold:

I have continued ahead with finding a foreign sales rep to take on ‘Slaughter’. There are potential options to explore here but more work to be done here before anything is certain.

American Film Market I also attended the American Film Market last week. That was a great experience. It’s rather like the market section of Cannes where you have hundreds of film production/distribution companies all trying to do business and buy the best films out there.
'Slaughter Is the Best Medicine'
I was there to raise financing for the next project (as well as ‘Slaughter’ into the foreign markets) and settled on two projects in Stickmen Pictures armoury. I then pitched these left, right and centre over the four days I was present. I spoke to well over a hundred individuals so the seed is definitely out there. Met some really interesting like-minded people here (I’d encourage you all to attend similar events that may occur in London from time to time).

However as nowadays we are living in a Buyers’ Market, it is the distributors who have the upper hand. There are so many films out there, that a Buyer can stipulate a niche request and then watch multiple producers fall over each other in a bid to supply. It’s cut throat but that’s the way the film industry world works. However with what we achieved so far there is a good foundation to try and break in. All we need now is a bit of luck.

So plenty of follow-up sessions in the coming weeks. I’m on the front foot so I will try to keep pressing.
Stickmen Pictures
I also managed to get myself a little work experience as well over the last month. I worked for a producer to learn a little bit about how it gets done in Hollywood. It certainly was an eye-opener. It’s amazing what defines ‘professional’ in different industries. I had built a picture of this with my 10 years in the corporate sector, but the rules change on a daily basis in Hollywood. It’s been interesting to observe and I can see how things come together on a larger scale. Now that I have seen it first-hand, I believe securing our first piece of investment will really enable Stickmen Pictures to play amongst all this. There is nothing to fear. If we can find someone to share our vision of providing quality entertainment then off we go! We certainly have the talent (cast & crew) to mix it with these boys and girls over here! We obviously still have much to learn but we definitely know enough to grow to be an outstanding competitor.

Another thing that leads me to feel an air of confidence is the reading I have done out here. I have read many scripts (and will continue to do so) that are currently in development (they have been backed and are going to be made) and noticed how varied they are in terms of quality. I have read really great scripts (watch out for the Elijah Wood film that opens end of 2013/early 2014) and some really awful scripts (with actors such as Gerard Butler attached to them). We have scripts in our arsenal to compete with these.

So if we can marry our imagination with what the buyers want then we could have a way in. Keeping positive!

If all this hasn’t kept me busy enough then I have been writing a couple of new scripts in conjunction with others (different genres to what I’m used to) and continuing with networking events (will be in Hollywood tonight actually! Sounds great but I believe some of you would get a greater kick out of all this than I. I’m just playing a game better appreciated by others!).

Devil's Grip
Also, well done to Dan and his team for making a short film called ‘Devils Grip’ – a good little horror flick. There’s always merit in making ‘something’ happen and that’s exactly what they did in a short space of time. I’m pleased at the desire that still exists in Derby and it supports the excitement of what Stickmen Pictures is trying to achieve. Wish Dan plus cast and crew all the best with the festival in London (the film is going to be shown in a competition for those of you who don’t know. If you fancy going with Dan and cronies to have a good night out in London give him a shout. He’ll give you the details). If you can’t go please view the film and feedback.

Finally, as the temperature finally cools a little here (similar to UK August weather but without the rain – actually nothing like UK Aug weather but what I’m trying to say is that it’s still warm – just not as warm…) and I reflect on progress so far I just want to say thanks to everyone who is supporting me through all this (even those that don’t really understand it). The pressure to do something out here is phenomenal but always offset knowing that I’ve got all of you right behind me. Thank you.