Sound Bite: Sally Knight, Cannes Coordinator
We basically start our Cannes organization each year after we finish Cannes. We finish one and get started on the next one immediately. It starts with obviously reserving the hotel rooms, the printing, suppliers, staff and suppliers and then we work through it all the way through the winter until things actually get a little tense in January where we confirm different on site suppliers and until they actually start to arrive a couple of weeks before the film festival we start to set up our satellite offices.
We are talking about a grand staff of about 50 people during the film festival, so that’s spread between journalists, critics, advertising reps, distributors, printers, the stand stuff, interns that come and help us from various organizations like American Pavillion. Who else (laughing)
Well obviously the biggest challenge is just to get the news and the exclusives and to circulate the magazine effectively in a very short time frame. So we’re talking about closing editorial around 8PM in the evening for distribution that starts at 6AM in the morning so It’s printing through the night. It’s obviously paginating and doing all the proofreading, everything else. But the toughest thing is getting the stories throughout the day so you have the hottest news and the most information for the people in the industry that are attending the festival.
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Sound Bite: Sally Knight, Cannes Coordinator- On Distribution
We have 2 stands, a production office, we have distribution to over 100 hotels. So it’s basically, we like to cover the market as much as possible to have the highest presence here to provide the attendees and the participants with the news that they are looking for, the screening guides, the reviews, the hot news that has just come in about whatever film company has just made a deal of is signing an actor or actress for a particular production.
Basically the Hollywood Reporter is a business to business news source for the whole entertainment industry so through our dailies at these markets and festivals, through for example, the online daily and the special Cannes edition, it’s to keep people informed of the news as it happens, even though they are away from the home offices so they can still get the news wherever they are and at a timely fashion.
Being the 60th festival it made the logistics more complicated because there are a lot more people attending Cannes. The press badges, the passes, the access to different events and also just actually getting around Cannes in a timely manner (laughs) to get to interviews and meeting has been a lot more difficult this year.
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Cannes Film Festival 2007
B-Roll: Inside the Hollywood Reporter Cannes Field Office
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Cannes Film Festival 2007
B-Roll: Congratulations 60th Cannes sign pan to tents
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Cannes Film Festival 2007
Sound Bite: Jerome Bliah, President of IFDC
We’ve been in business for 16 years and we represent foreign companies in the US for their film investments and we also raise financing for prolific producers in the US, you know for major productions. So over the years we have raised close to 75 million dollars for Mike Medevoy Phoneix Pictures. We have represented major corporations such as Pioneer from Japan and Dawoo from Korea and some other companies in Europe. We specialize in analyzing and evaluating upcoming feature films. (talks)
What we are is like we get all the information. We have a network of information from all over the world and we are informed about projects on a regular basis. We analyze films in depth and evaluate. We start with a good script because every good movie starts with a great script and there are a lot of bad scripts here. There are very few good scripts, you can count them on one hand in the whole festival and you see thousands of people. It’s kind of unreal. First we analyze the scripts and then we analyze the elements in connection to the scripts. The we analyze the budget in connection to the talent and the script to see if the numbers make sense because as we know, all the licensing prices all over the world are based on the budgets so very often if the budget doesn’t make sense with the key elements in terms of key elements in terms of distribution and potential and box office results in measured territories. (talks)
The top titles are “Burn After Reading” it’s a film that Focus Pictures is licensing with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Another film is called Defiance starring Daniel Graig. It’s based on a true story. It’s going to be directed by Ed Zwik who is on the top A Director in Hollywood. It’s his first independent film so it is kind of like a rare jewel that’s available outside the studios. And it’s got a terrific script. It’s one of the best scripts that we have analyzed here at Cannes.
And there is another film also by a French director called Betwa dovanie and the called In The Electric Mist with Domine Jones. That’s also a very very good script that is as good chance to be in Cannes next year. And also there are two new projects. One is the new Woody Allen film with Scarlet Johanson, Penelope Cruise. It’s a film where, even though there are no script available, it’s a film that one can take a chance based on the subject, based on the cast, based on the director. It is a film that will definitely mean business around the world. And there is another film that I believe next year is going to create lots of buzz. It’s called Coco before Chanel. It is a film about the life of Coco Chanel from the time she was twelve until she opened her first Chanel store in Paris. It’s going to star Ojue Tutu who is the most famous French actress outside of France and that is going to be, in my opinion quite a success next year. (Talks)
I think here in Cannes everyone has high expectations. When you come to Cannes you expect to find those high profile films that sometimes at AFM American Film Market in February in Los Angeles that your people might say “Are you waiting, are you holding for Cannes?” So there is always an expectation for film buyers around the world to find those big event films. This year at Cannes it doesn’t seem… there are some good films but there doesn’t seem to be a huge film that could be equivalent to a major studio film. There are some good films here and there are very good scripts but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of main stream major release in the US at this festival. So I think some buyers are disappointed but at the same time there are a few good films and I’ve named a few earlier. There is a bidding war. I’ve been involved in some of this bidding war with some of our clients because what happens around the world, the DVD business has been going down 50%. The rental on DVD is almost you know... doesn’t represent much in terms of revenues. So then you have sale through, which is you know, DVD sales, retail. And then you have theatrical. So now it seems buyers are really going after films that they can release theatrically. And what we call a theatrical film is a film that is released theatrically in the US. Because if a film is not going to able to touch a screen in the US then it is not a theatrical film. Unless it’s a European Hot House which, that’s a different category. But if it is an American movie, a sign is a US theatrical release. So in that terms it’s how to find those. That is why I think you see the development of European productions and a lot of European films because people cannot count on only the US for their distribution outlets. Thy need you know, some European films, some Asian films if they have an international appeal. So I think it’s interesting that all the World has the has the chance to bring film to the global market. (talks)
The weak dollar is good for Europeans because of the 30% drop vs. if it was one dollar to one Euro. However it hasn’t had to much great effect because like I said the DVD business and rental has been going down, the theatrical is not an easy game because remember in every country around the world there are a certain number of screens, and then when you take all the big studio movies than the total of all the screens that are available in each country, there are not that many screens left for all the independent films so it’s a tough competition, releasing time and then you know the exhibitors around the world, if a film does not perform they kick it out and then you know, next. Meanwhile you know independent distributors have made and investment of money in PNN and so forth. So I would say that the currency exchange does not have much effect for this reason but also, usually US companies have asking prices for licensing fee for their films that are so high and most of the time so unrealistic that you know, at the end of the day, has not had that much effect. It’s not like it was a certain product that was made, it’s the same product and it was that price and then the exchange rates changed. Then you’d say now I’m going to pay that product less. Every film is different, different budget, different permits, and if a budget is very hard then you know, people are going to over pay. Which I’ve seen that here people are going to end up over paying because they are hungry and they need a movie for their releases. So the exchange rate I don’t think has much effect like you would have in any other business, definitely the Euro and the Dollar would have an effect but film is the only exception where there is no difference. (talks)
We own the night is a movie that has been introduced to film buyers around the world quite a while ago so it’s been licensed in most of the world and here was just showcasing the film but that film is done. Because in this business the good films are licensed about a year before it’s even shown and these are the good films. The films that don’t look good on paper, people are going to wait to see them. Films that have stronger amounts in the areas; a good script, a budget that makes sense, a good cast, a good director. These films will get licensed bay before they are made which helps put all the production together for production.
There was a bidding war for domestic rights but the sales company that was handling the international licensing for a year now.
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Cannes Film Festival 2007
Hollywood Reporter Magazines
Description: Cannes Film Festival 2007
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