Setting: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Mood: “Why the hell does anyone wake up this early for anything?”
Smell: Less cash, more hangovers
The second day (read day 1’s recap here) of the American Film Market in Santa Monica. For some reason, we were up at 5:45am so that we’d be ready for our 7am ride to be at the Loews at 8am. Yes, traffic is dreadful in Los Angeles, no matter what time of the day/night it is. When it comes to vehicular congestion, allow me to paraphrase The Lego Movie: ♪”Everything is awful!”♪
That being said, once you’re in the hotel and you don’t have to worry about being in a car, everything is, well…just as stressful. However, it’s a different kind of stress, so you get to enjoy all the diverse experiences! To be completely honest, if I leave here without a significant portion of my hair turning white, it’ll be a goddamn miracle.
Let’s get into the day’s events, alright? It all started with me checking emails and writing stories before the hubbub commenced. There’s precious little downtime at AFM, so those rare moments where you’ve got a few minutes to yourself must be utilized in the best ways possible. For me, that’s writing up a few stories for the day, such as the one about Jason Voorhees is actually a Deadite. Talk about a fun way to look at the franchise!
After doing some writing, I spent some time with Brittney-Jade Colangelo, our Director of Sales and recent Twitter viral sensation. We have been working pretty steadily together when approaching distributors, creators, and other folk who may be interested in our services, so we like to start our days here planning things out, getting pumped for the day, and doing some strategizing. We’re here as professionals and, by golly, we’re gonna act like ones!
Our methods are pretty simple: we walk room-by-room, ask if they have anything to do with horror, give them our pitches, talk a bit about Dread Central Presents, and then, almost every time, get contact information for people who aren’t on-site but can help coordinate everything we need. It’s a bit cumbersome but you don’t go to a pizza shop expecting their marketing department to be lurking in the storeroom, right? Right.
By doing this, we meet with tons of companies, see loads of promos that are specifically meant for AFM and will most likely never be released publicly, and meet people from around the world. Honestly, while quite exhausting (my FitBit is LOVING all these steps), it’s also pretty incredible. Plus, I got to see myself quoted on a poster for Vampire Clay, which was pretty awesome.
At one point during the day, I was whisked away to sit down and chat with Rhett and Zeus of Thriller Films, who launched a new sales division on top of their production arm. Expect to see more about their titles on the site.
At the same time, I ran into Evan Cecil, the director of the upcoming horror film Lasso, which stars Sean Patrick Flannery (Saw 3D, The Boondock Saints, The Evil Within, “The Dead Zone”) and Lindsey Morgan (Detention, Beyond Skyline). I can’t say too much about it but I have a feeling that people who enjoyed Wrong Turn are gonna get a kick out of this one.
Then, a little bit later on, I somehow found myself sitting and chatting with Troma Entertainment’s Lloyd Kaufman and his wife Pat. We shot the shit about Troma films, what it’s like going around doing constant convention appearances, and I offered to show them both Detroit the next time they visit and how it’s been getting better over recent years, something Pat seemed especially excited about. Oh, and Lloyd gave us some exclusives about Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV and a new Troma film that relevantly comes 20 years after Tromeo and Juliet. Not too shabby, eh?
While all this was going on, our fearless leader Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton got some great stills and information about Dan Farrands’ The Amityville Haunting, which will reunite Amityville II: The Possession‘s Diane Franklin and Burt Young!
A few more hours of walking/introducing/schmoozing* later, it was time to mingle at the bar for even more schmoozing, only now we could do it with drinks in hand! WOO! Y’boy is a fan of The Godfather when it comes to cocktails although a glass of whiskey on a single ice cube will easily suffice when push comes to shove.
Overall, another successful day of AFM. Day 3 won’t have as much going on because I have several things to do outside of the market, but there’ll still be some good stories, I promise! As always, let me know if there’s something you hear about that you want me to check out!
*Someone should come up with a single word to describe this. If you can figure it out, leave it in the comments and I’ll be forever grateful!
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