One Big Reason Why First Films Fail in Cannes

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Plan to go to the next Cannes Film Festival or Market, especially if you don’t have a film yet.

The number one mistake I see in Cannes year after year is film makers who have NEVER been to Cannes who rock up with their completed movie – they then spend the whole experience just trying to find their feet, and by the time they have it figured out, everyone is packing up and going home.

Worse, because they never attended a film market before, they had no idea how incredibly competitive it is. And so their sales materials are a little ‘soft’. Even their story concept could have been rethought and refined (at script stage) if only they had attended the market BEFORE making their film. In simple terms, it’s like turning up to a location for a shoot, having never done a recce – it usually ends in compromise, rushed decisions and disappointing results. And we are not talking about a scene in your film here, we are talking about risking your entire investment. All your time, your investor’s money and your dreams of success are on the line!

In an ideal world, every film maker should visit the Cannes film market at least once, and BEFORE they make their film. As the guys who made ‘Dead Wood’ said (and we are holding an event with them on March 15th), ‘when you go to Cannes, you realise you need to know – how will my film poster will stand out from the other thousand films there?’

CannesAnd while I know you will get this as a concept, you may even be confident that you have a great answer for it, I also know that when you actually see it and experience it, your perspective will shift. Like so much of film making, this is something that can’t be taught, it needs to be experienced and learnt. And you can only do it ‘hands on’.

Remember, this is the real market place where your film could live or die.

Our workshop is starting to fill up too – so if you are sitting on the fence, now is the time to commit one way or another. In the words of Yoda, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’

More info on the workshop on yesterdays post.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author


One Response to One Big Reason Why First Films Fail in Cannes

  1. Robin TJ Kershaw February 24, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Excellent. In the words of Seth Godin “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department”.

    This video explains how your marketing must be BUILT IN TO your content

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