Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund
Community Outreach History and Overview
In mid-2004, the entertainment industry had finally recovered from the dot com implosion as independent films continued to become mainstream and gain world-wide acceptance. DVD sales were still climbing with many independent “non-studio” films doing huge retail sales. The Fund realized the need to become more involved with the independent “non-studio” community of filmmakers. Theorizing that film festivals and film markets provided immediate and direct access to emerging filmmakers, the Fund began to explore the logistics of participating in some of the more widely recognized of these events. To satisfy this goal, the Fund formed the Community Relations department in November 2004 and consequently was invited to attend the November 2004 American Film Market in Santa Monica. The Fund’s official participation in the 2004 American Film Market was the first time for such participation in the Fund’s 32 year history. At the American Film Market, the Fund had a small exhibitor space among the more than 400 entertainment companies present… including every major studio, distributors, producers, directors and press from around the world. Activity at the Fund’s exhibitor space was brisk throughout the 8 day event with the Fund having handed out more than 300 information brochures about film scoring. Also at the American Film Market the Fund programmed and participated in a sold out panel discussion on the nuts and bolts of film scoring.
Since that first November 2004 American Film Market participation, and due to the Fund’s unique access to high level contacts at these various events, the Fund has quickly and effectively gained almost unprecedented access to many of the most prestigious and influential film festivals and film markets in the world. In that capacity, the Fund continues to work at bringing education, information and clarity to individuals within the film and music industry.
Following is a partial list of the events and activities that the Fund has been involved in since formally launching the community outreach initiative:
Entertainment Based Events and Initiatives
The Fund also immediately recognized the opportunity and the need to simultaneously connect with the educational community and aggressively launched, in 2004, an initiative to participate with various colleges, film schools and emerging filmmaker programs, striving to reach, connect with and inform tomorrow’s filmmakers.
Education Based Events and Initiatives
Additional organizations the Fund is involved with/participates in:
Event: Sundance Film Festival / Slamdance Film Festival
Date(s): January, 2005 January, 2006 January, 2007 (2007 is listed here and below for each event where the Fund has existing plans, in place to attend / participate)
Location: Park City, Utah
Brief Event Synopsis: The Sundance Film Festival / Slamdance Film Festival host a vast number of both studio and independent film directors and producers, not to mention the obligatory studio executives. More than 10,000 people from all walks of life in the world of film jam this otherwise small town each January when this event, unarguably the most prestigious in the entire US, selects the newest crop of films and filmmakers.
Fund’s Participation: The Fund regularly attends screenings, film premieres and receptions as well as panel discussions held by various entertainment related companies and organizations…past attendance for the Fund has included invitation only events hosted by the New York State Film Commissioner, Lions Gate Films, Pittsburgh Film Office and the Association of Film Commissioners International to name only a few. In addition, the Fund’s Administrator has been invited to speak on a panel regarding the ever changing state of independent film (2005, 2006, 2007). This panel offers the Fund a rare opportunity to offer information and guidance regarding all things music in film, directly to independent and first time filmmakers.
Event: Tribeca Film Festival
Date(s): April, 2006 April, 2007
Brief Event Synopsis: The Tribeca Film Festival, founded by Robert De Niro after 9/11, has quickly become a marquee festival. Based partially on the fact that the event is in New York, Tribeca annually attracts not only A-list talent but also A-list films. A vibrant local music scene bleeds over into the film world as Tribeca heartily embraces both mediums offering the Fund an opportunity to network inside a close-knit community of filmmakers and studio talent.
Fund’s Participation: Through a unique partnership formed years ago in Cannes, the Fund last year (2006) joined forces with ASCAP hosting a wildly successful and highly sought after invitation-only “Film Directors meet Film Composers” dinner reception. The event is planned again for ’07 with a larger venue needed to accommodate the expanding list of wanna-be attendees.
Event: Cannes Film Festival (and Cannes Film Market)
Date(s): May, 2005 May, 2006 May, 2007
Location: Cannes, France
Brief Event Synopsis: Widely recognized as the most important and influential film event in the world, Cannes has shown double-digit growth for the past several years with no end in sight. This is THE event that most companies, studios, producers, directors and distributors can’t afford to miss. 2007 is the 60th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, with specific plans for film music to be a featured and prominent part of the overall event. Worth noting is that, unique to all other film festivals, the Cannes Film Festival boasts a world class film market that runs parallel to the film festival. It is Hollywood meets Wall Street as vast distribution deals are inked for hundreds of films in various states of pre-production, production and post production…all under the watchful eye of thousands of members of the press from all corners of the globe. Mix in a who’s who of A-list celebrities (actors, directors, composers etc.) vying for the constant attention of anyone and everyone and you start to get a glimpse of this unprecedented annual event.
Fund’s Participation: The Fund enjoys a string of success stories on the hallowed sidewalks of Cannes. Both the Fund’s Administrator and the Director, Community Relations have a long history of attending the film festival and film market. In 2005 and 2006, the Fund’s Administrator taught master classes to The American Pavilion Student Filmmaker class (approx. 120 college film students from around the country invited to participate in Cannes). Additionally, the Fund’s Administrator hosted a lively panel discussion with the students from The Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Program, a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship program offered only to Master Degree film students who have already been awarded a student Academy Award. In 2006, the Fund forged a solid relationship with several international film music organizations including the Federation of Film & Audiovisual Composers of Europe (FFACE) and the Union of Composers for Music Film (UCMF). Our alliance with these organizations has allowed the Fund unprecedented access at The Cannes Film Festival as the Fund positions itself to offer international leadership and guidance to all festival and market attendees.
Event: Comic Con International
Date(s): July, 2006 July, 2007
Location: San Diego, Ca
Brief Event Synopsis: The largest comic book convention in the world, featuring over 1,000,000 (one million) square feet of exhibitor space and more than 100,000 attendees…but don’t let the name of this event fool you. Comic Con history is based in film and plays host to EVERY movie studio and video game manufacture featuring aggressive, big budget displays teasing various upcoming animation projects of the flagship animation brands…feature films like Spiderman, Superman, The Hulk, X-men, etc. The Comic Con event also features a fiercely independent film festival with young first time filmmakers canvassing the event to learn anything and everything about filmmaking.
Fund’s Participation: In 2006, the Fund hosted a panel discussion on music clearances and music rights for the Comic Con Film Festival. Due to the success of our 2006 panel, the Fund has already been invited back in 2007 with plans to expand to a bigger panel featuring in-person appearances with renowned composers from upcoming features films.
Event: Toronto Film Festival
Date(s): September, 2005 September, 2006 September, 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Brief Event Synopsis: Long considered the “next most important” event behind Cannes, The Toronto Film Festival enjoys a well deserved reputation as a well run, highly attended and very tuned-in-to-the-next-batch of-big-films kind of event…of every budget size, both big and small. Particularly worth noting is the Toronto Film Festival’s ambitious and highly acclaimed “midnight madness” screening for films considered low budget, independent and/or outside the normal “standards” of typical world class festival fare. This event is stocked full of every “type” of filmmaker…from A-list studio directors to truly unknown first-timers who are on the verge of becoming the next big director. Considered a “must attend” by even the most scrutinizing studio and independent filmmakers.
Fund’s Participation: 2005 featured the Fund’s Administrator hosting a one-on-one panel “interview” with Toronto Film Festival programming personnel on Music in Movies, everything from licensing to clearances to publishing. The panel featured a vibrant Q and
A session showcasing the intelligence of the typical attendee, to wit: very specific and solid questions from a well read and well prepared audience.
Event: American Film Market / AFI Fest
Date(s): November, 2004 November, 2005 November, 2006 November, 2007
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
Brief Event Synopsis: In 2004, after more than 20 years of very successful events, The American Film Market joined forces with the American Film Institutes Film Festival (AFI Fest) to create the American equivalent of The Cannes Film Festival/ Cannes Film Market. And what a success! This event rivals the Cannes Festival/Market for heavy, must attend status. The American Film Market is a no-holds-barred buying and selling frenzy that every movie executive from every major down to the most minor player must attend.
Fund’s Participation: As mentioned, since 2004, the Fund has been fortunate enough to be invited to host a dedicated exhibitor space during this event (no small task considering none of the “Tri-Guilds” have ever done so). In 2005, the Fund hosted a sold-out panel discussion featuring panelist comprised of a who’s who of studio and music executives. Hosting a panel is a highly acclaimed and sought-after privilege that only about a dozen companies enjoy. The Fund also regularly attends various panels and events throughout the “film market” and continues to make valuable in-roads with dozens of otherwise hard-to-reach companies, directors, producers and distributors.
It should be noted that the Fund has managed to offset much of the expense for attending some of these events and activities in innovative ways, such as partnering with related organizations, sponsoring environmental “recycling efforts,” and being invited to host a panel. The Fund is in the unique position of selling nothing but providing much.