Welcome to the 150th consecutive weekly edition of ”Going Bionic.” That’s right, we turn 150 today, and I truly can’t believe we are here. To be published this many times is something I am truly thankful for, so thank you kindly, Mark Bell.
I’ve been counting down the weeks since we hit #125, so I’m very excited about this glorious day. Okay, that’s a lie. While I am excited, I didn’t even realize today’s article was #150, until I discovered that last week’s article was #149. I was on an overcrowded bus, coming down a picturesque mountainside after visiting Tian Tan Buddha just outside of Hong Kong, (which is an incredible experience). I chose to pass my time by counting these “Going Bionic” articles, as the bus wound its way down the narrow mountainous road. By the time I reached the bottom of the mountain, I realized where we were with our count. So, here we are. But, before we get to the “main feature,” let me do a very quick wrap-up of FILMART 2013, as I promised I would last week.
I was surprised to see how active FILMART was this year, because when I first started attending the Hong Kong based market in 2006, the event seemed like much more of a vacation than a business trip. However, all of that has changed, and FILMART has now positioned itself as a valuable market that will soon be a “can’t-miss” market. In fact, a handful of my colleagues that were in attendance are already saying they’ll be back next year, while others claim next year, they may choose FILMART over Berlin/EFM if they can only attend one. The other reason that FILMART’s stock is on the rise is because Hollywood has already committed billions of investment dollars to China. Thus, this is not a fad; it’s the future.
The Not So Good
Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of negatives here. One is that China still pays peanuts for American films. The market is growing, but the ability (or desire) for China to reach inside its deep pockets for the acquisition of completed films made abroad, has not materialized as of yet. The other “negative” about is the film piracy situation in China. While they are now trying to rectify the situation, uncontrollable piracy is one main reason why the value of films in China is so low. Simply put, why pay full price for something that you can get for free?
FILMART is on it’s way to becoming a force in the world of film markets. Because of that, this year’s trip was the first time I can honestly say attending consisted of more work than play.
Going Bionic Turns 150!
Okay filmmakers, now for feature presentation. In an attempt to review what we’ve explored since “Going Bionic 100,” below are some key articles that you may enjoy:
#102 – “WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (A SALE)”
Among other things, this edition details an anatomy of how films get sold internationally. It was published on April 24, 2012.
#103 – “OBLITERATING YOUR CAREER ROADBLOCKS!”
This edition focuses on clearing your self-imposed roadblocks during your career path. It was published on May 1, 2012.
#109 – “FILMMAKERS VS. DISTRIBUTORS, PART 1.”
This edition starts a two-week series on what filmmakers and distributors think of each other, and how those perceptions effect their relations. It was published on June 12, 2012.
#110 – “FILMMAKERS VS. DISTRIBUTORS, ROUND 2!”
This article gives more insight into the never-ending war between filmmakers and distributors. It was published on June 19, 2012.
#111 – “ SURVIVING THE HURRY UP AND WAIT SYNDROME.”
This article gives tips on how to reduce your response time, once you submit your project to a company. It was published on June 26, 2012.
#119 – “DISTRIBUTING WITHOUT DISTRIBUTORS.”
Welcome to the “do-it-yourself” edition, published on August 21, 2012.
#120 – “DISTRIBUTING WITHOUT DISTRIBUTORS, PART 2.”
Do-it-yourself, part 2, was published on August 28, 2012.
#122 – “THE SEPTEMBER 11 SPECIAL EDITION.”
Clearly my favorite article I’ve written this year, and probably my favorite ever, this edition recounts a special film project I wrote, directed and produced for the one-year anniversary of 9/11. It was published on September 11, 2012.
#123 – “OMG! THEY SAID “YES.” NOW WHAT?”
This edition details what to do when you get a “yes.” It was published on September 18, 2012.
#124 – “VIDEO GAMES!”
This article details the rapidly expanding world of video games. It was published on September 24, 2012.
#128 – “BRANDING YOURSELF.”
This edition details how to strategically brand yourself as a sought after collaborator and creative force. It was published on October 23, 2012.
#129 – “BRANDING YOUR FILM.”
This article offers strategic ways in which to increase your film’s value. It was published on October 30, 2013.
#137 – “2012 “YEAR-END” REVIEW + CHRISTMAS BONUS!”
This article looks back at 2012, and analyzes some of the most beloved Christmas films of all time. It was published on December 25, 2012.
#139 – “(ALMOST) CRIMINAL CONTRACT CLAUSES, PART 1.”
If this article were a film genre, it’d be a horror, because it details some of the most horrific contract clauses that corrupt distributors try to get filmmakers to sign. It was published on January 8, 2013.
#140 – “(ALMOST) CRIMINAL CONTRACT CLAUSES, PART 2.”
More bad contract clauses. This was published on January 15, 2013.
#142 – “SUNDANCE “FEATURES” HEALTHY SALES.”
This article details the upward trend of feature sales at Sundance, 2013. It was published on January 29, 2013.
#148 – “READER Q&A: INDIE FILM PRE-SALES AND MORE.”
This article answers some questions that you, the filmmakers had. It was published on March 12, 2013.
Wow. I still can’t believe we’re here at 150! Writing this column has been one hell of a fun ride for me, and I can’t wait to see where the next 50 editions take us. So, let’s all raise a glass (an ice cold Dr. Pepper in my case), and toast to charging toward 200!
Should you be wondering what’s in store for #151, next week we’re going to explore the Michelangelo Screenwriting Program; an ultra-cool, two-week workshop nestled in Orvieto, Italy. Until then, I thank each and every one of you for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.
Side Note: Let me publicly thank Dan from the Final Draft technical support, who saved my a*s while I was in Hong Kong. Thank you, Dan!