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    PCR #330  (Vol. 7, No. 28)  This edition is for the week of July 17--23, 2006.

On The Set of "The End is Blossoming", a Guzzo Bros Production  by Nolan B. Canova
The Tampa Film Review for July  by Nolan B. Canova
"Clerks 2"  by Mike Smith
VSDA  by Mark Terry
I Meant To Mention This Last Week....Anne Francis Stars In....Love Those Wings....My Favorite Films, Part 29: "The Godfather"  by Mike Smith
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My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours


Last Tuesday and Wednesday I went to the VSDA convention in Vegas. You might be thinking to yourself:

What is VSDA?
Why does it matter to me as a filmmaker? Can I find money for my movie there? Mark, did you hook up with any hookers out there?

Well, the answer to the last question is no. I went out there with my mom and sister who flew in from Florida. Thanks, you two, for coming out. I had a really great time.

VSDA was originally for the Video Software Dealers of America which at first meant mom and pop rental chains or other buyers of the home video maket. Video stores would venture into booths for different distribution companies and buy films out of their catalogues for their stores. It was also a gathering place to hear about new ideas and products for the home video market. Over the years the majors have taken over like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, so now the convention has changed. Today the market includes an Indie Fest and a more generalized approach to pull in an larger audience to the convention.

This convention matters to me as a filmmaker because I like to learn the trends of the video distribution market. It's also a great way to get all the distribution companies in one hotel for 200 bucks. How many times have you sent screeners to distribution companies to never hear anything back? Even after several follow-up calls. This convention starts a face to face relationship. However, it's not with an acquisitions person. The people from the distribution companies who attend are the sales reps. Some of these smaller straight-to-video companies work very closely with each other so it was cool to meet the reps who might one day be selling my movie.

At VSDA you really can't find money. Anything is possible but it's not that type of convention. When I got back, a buddy of mine said he heard a rumor that I found an investor for a 100K. Not likely unless I buddied up to someone who was winning a lot of money at the craps table.

My questions were answered in this convention. What is all this hype about VSDA for and is it better for me as a filmmaker than the American Film Market (AFM)? Like I said before, VSDA was a great way just to meet people and learn how the sales reps are pushing their current content.

I had a list of people I wanted to see which I feel are in the realistic realm of my films production value:

  • Think Films/Velocity (A buddy of mine has a film with them and so does Andre the Butcher. Bob Saget was in their booth.)
  • Image (Another friend has a film with them although I didn't get to meet them.)
  • Maverick (Very cool people and actually recognized me from B-Movie 4 years ago!)
  • MTI (Based out of Miami and our DP shot a few films for them. Rumor is they are very honest.)
  • York Entertainment (Said hello to them. They are sponsoring a film festival that "Hooligan's Valley" got accepted to.)
  • First Look Pictures
  • RnD (I accidentally wondered into their suite and they were the coolest over all)
  • Monarch Home Video

    There were a few others that I can't remember off the top of my head. All I had with me was the opening 6 minutes of our movie. The convention is set up in floors. Imagine a huge hotel and going up to say, floor 28. On that floor you need a pass to walk in the hotel hallway to the suites. The suite doors are open and you walk into a suite run by Think Films, Baker and Taylor, or even Paramount. When you walk in you sit down with the sales reps, take screeners, or learn about their current content.

    On a side note, at this point I didn't really feel it necessary to walk into any of the majors. When the film is completed I would have a rep take it to a bigger company.

    I was asked the question, "If I only had one chance to go to one of these film markets which one should I go to as a film maker?" If your goal focused on domestic distribution I would say the American Film Market over VSDA. AFM has more filmmaker seminars and is geared more to selling films. Also take note that AFM is located in Santa Monica and a lot of people just show up 'cause it's a cool place to be. However, AFM is a little bit more pricey.

    Like I said before, VSDA is cool to learn how movies are sold and to learn trends. Also, I got some tips from the different sales reps on how their acquisitions people like to be solicited.

    Usually, us indie filmmakers only have X amount of dollars to make a film. Typically, X isn't very much money either. We have to maximize our spending with the little money we have, but still let people we know exist. I heard over and over again at VSDA that it's a buyers market. If I am not willing to make the deal then the distribution company has 9 other films just like it. By starting personal relationships, which leads to a comfort level for the buyer, I think ups my chances.

    Some Quick Notes:
    I saw a couple teasers for the new Rocky Balboa trailer. I am super bias but it looks bad ass. I am really excited to see that. Probably more so than any movie I can think of in years.

    Last Friday I heard I was on two TV shows. MTV's Yo Mamma and Court TV's LA Forensics. I actually got a chance to work on the MTV show 5 different days. It was some quick, cheap cash! The other show, LA Forensics, I worked on two days as a cop. The episode I was in, called "Super Print", will re-air again on Wednesday the 19th at 10:30pm. I had some speaking lines in it but they were cut down due to the voice-over nature of the show.

    "My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2006 by Mark Terry.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.