The New Producer's Alliance (NPA) hosted an event as part of the Bird's Eye View Festival which was called "Pitch & Connect". I headed in there with our Mars Movie to get some advice, and had a chance to meet and chat personally with five experienced producers.
The notes are nothing radically new, good to hear from the professionals nevertheles
The first person I met was Theatrical Sales Manager at Universal and used to work for Revolver Entertainment.
I pitched the Mars story and she just listened, but smiled - she seemed to like the idea or at least my enthusiasm. Pity this was my first port of call as I think I warmed up a few more radical questions a bit later, but nevertheless she gave some good advice and was very encouraging.
"online" is a bit of a buzzword at the moment
distributors can get P&A support money from soft sources for innovative projects, so they like to have those projects
marketing is absolutely key, she was very glad that we were already thinking about that
the film itself has to work for an audience, they have to talk about it
cover the conventions of the genre but also have a USP
our movie is popcorn cinema and we should sell it as such
Revolver Pictures and Vertigo are good targets for our movie
we have to make sure that before we go in there we are absolutely ready
they will want to see nerdy stats and they will talk business, actual content is secondary
for every positive example we have, they will have a casualty example and we should be ready for that
we should research the patterns of what movies they have picked up when and when they've released them how etc