Film Acquisition & How to Get Film Industry Executives to Buy Your Film
How to Get Acquisition for Your Film
Do not show too much
Even if executives want a preliminary edit, do not show your film until it is done. They may claim to be
pros who wish to visualize the picture, but do not believe them. Your incomplete film would be regarded
and judged as unprofessional. This is a bad idea since first impressions last.
The only reason to exhibit your film before it is finished is if you are starving for funding to complete it.
Under these conditions, the terms you may receive are generally less favorable than those offered
upon completion. If you must display a work in progress, do so on a flatbed editing table rather than in
Do a screening
Instead of giving executives a videocassette, invite them to a viewing. This is due to the fact that busy
executives have little time to view them.
You want to bring the executive into a dark room, away from distractions, to watch your video in front
of a live audience, ideally one that will respond favorably. Rent a screening room, invite as many
acquisition executives as you can, and fill the rest of the theater with your friends and relatives.
Ignite the fires of competition
All distributors should be shown the film at the same time. Some executives may want to gain an
early peek because that is their job, but they will remain interested until the project is finished.
They may be irritated to see their opponents when they come to the screening, but this will get their
competitive juices going. They will realize that if they want to obtain the film, they must make a good
Get an advisor
Engage the services of an experienced producer's representative or entertainment attorney to negotiate
your contract. Filmmakers understand film, and distributors understand distribution. Don't fool yourself
into thinking you can win in their arena. There are several stumbling blocks to avoid. Hire a
knowledgeable guide to defend your interests. Any competent negotiator may increase a distributor's
offer sufficiently to offset the expense of his services.
Carry out background checks
Always investigate each acquisitor’s track record and experience. The astute filmmaker will thoroughly
research possible acquisitors by contacting filmmakers who have previously worked with them. This
would prevent stories that touch further down the line.
In conclusion, be sure you get the best deal for your film. Before choosing the executive to buy your
film, you should examine other factors such as funds being offered, acquisitor’s track record and health,
the acquisitor’s influence in the film industry, plans of involvement, other films being handled by the
acquisitor, market strategy, and even chemistry between you and the executive.