Monday, July 23, 2007

"If we can (bump bump) make it there..."

New York, here we come! We just got the official announcement from the IFP (Independent Feature Project) Market in New York that we've been accepted to attend!

What is the IFP Market, you ask? It's a little like what the music festival South by Southwest in Austin is like for bands (or, more accurately, what it used to be like before being overrun by major labels): a place where unsigned bands can go and showcase their stuff for buyers, promoters, labels, publishers, agents, booking reps, etc. It's the same for an "unsigned" film. We are considered a "work in progress," which we are, because we are still finishing up our film and because we still need money to do the unglamorous stuff like rights clearances, color correction, high-definition up-rezzing, sound designing, legal stuff, and a publicity campaign.

And, most importantly, we need distribution.

That's where the IFP Market comes in. It's a week-long event --- well, I'll just let them say it:

The IFP Market is a week-long showcase, held each autumn in New York, for new features, works-in-progress, shorts, and scripts. For independent filmmakers, it is the only market in the U.S. where one can present new film and television work-in-development directly to the film industry in a selective and professional atmosphere. For the film industry, it is a vital exhibition and discovery forum for new talent and a place to discover new films before they hit the festival circuit.

What does the IFP Market Do?
The IFP Market is the only US film market where independent screenwriters, filmmakers, and producers with projects present their work directly to industry executives and accomplish in 5 days what would otherwise take months and miles of travel. From the many submissions received each spring, we invite 200 select projects. Once done, we turn our attention to the industry. We invite distributors, TV and home video acquisitions execs, domestic and international buyers, agents, development execs, and festival programmers from the U.S. and abroad for 5-days of screenings, 1,800 targeted meetings, dozens of special networking events, and 5-days of seminars. Since we limit the number of participants, business is always relaxed and personal. And because we facilitate the introductions, you'll be free to explore partnerships and innovative solutions just like thousands of filmmakers who have already done so in our 29-year history.

Needless to say, we're pretty excited. In the middle of September, we'll be headed to the Big Apple, with our movie in our back pocket. "'s up to you (bump) New York, New Yoooorrrk!"


Andrew said...

Rights clearances, legal issues - unglamorous?

/turns off light, walks out, closes door

Clayton said...

Ooops --- I should check with my producer Andrew before I say his work is "unglamorous".... OK, unglamorous, yes, but how about quiet, dark, and mysterious...? Shrewd and complex? Silent yet noble? Thunder in the clouds?

Andrew said...

Thunder in the are good.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps an obvious question here but one I must know the answer to: When you take the film to NY, what format is it on/in? Is it inside someone's laptop? On a CD-ROM? Some other format?

I'm just curious, since, you know in the old days it was actually just film they lugged around. Imagine!

Clayton said...

It's a good question --- and in fact, many people will still be lugging around a film print. When I was there just four years ago with a fiction film, three out of the five short films in competition were film. One girl (the filmmaker who won) had several film festivals, so she had to be really aggressive with FedEx to ship the print all around the country.

With a documentary like ours that has over 120 hours of source footage, though, it's all on video, of course. One of the things we hope (knock on wood) to find is a distributor who shares our vision that this film should be seen in theatres, and this company would pony up the considerable cost (considerable for us, not for them) to get a film print made. Then someone (presumably not us) would be lugging it around. In the meantime, though, we will be screening our movie on BetaSP, which is a fairly standard projection format. It has decent resolution, very little compression (unlike dvds or laptop projection), and you don't have to worry about a computer screwup or digital errors. Just good old tape in a tape deck. Strange that in some instances that is still the most dependable. I predict that in 5 years, though, everyone will be in high-definition (BetaSP is standard definition) and the BetaSP will go the way of the VHS. That standard is still debated.

Incidentally, though, we will have dvds with us. Our contact at the Discovery channel told us we should "hand them out like candy."