Chris Bonney is CEO of Rights at Cineflix Media Inc., an integrated production and distribution company based in Montreal.
We asked him some questions about the forthcoming Realscreen Summit in Washington DC (26-29 January 2014) and how UK producers can make the most of their time there.
What is the difference between Realscreen and NATPE?
NATPE is best described as a sales market. Quite a lot of business is for completed shows, and it’s strong for both the syndication and US secondary market, and for buying and selling shows in that context. Based in Miami, a lot of buyers travel up from Latin America to do business there, and a range of European international buyers come to the market as well.
Realscreen is much more of a summit or conference, where concepts are presented and discussed at a developmental stage. Buyers are there in good numbers and US producers are pitching directly to them, so you get that opportunity as a UK producer as well. There are also a lot of good panels that discuss trends and what’s emerging in the market for the following year.
Research the US market really well and work out in advance what you’re going to pitch.
What are your top tips for UK producers going to Realscreen for the first time?
I’d say number one is to know your market; research the US market really well and work out in advance what you’re going to pitch, and to whom, so you can get your meetings set. Make sure you’ve got good materials ready – ideally tape – that will help the US buyers push your project through their decision-making structure and convince them it’s the right show for their channel.
How can producers set up meetings at Realscreen?
If you’re a UK indie with good credentials you shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting meetings for Realscreen, but getting the timing right for requesting the meetings is key. I would suggest the best time to really be pushing for the meetings is from the beginning of January – if you go too soon before Christmas it will get lost, and you’ll probably annoy the assistants you’re trying to get the meetings fixed with.
What is your advice on networking at Realscreen?
Go to some of the smaller pitching sessions, where commissioners talk about what they are trying to get for their network. There will be a relatively small audience of around 30 people, so you’ll have to sign up to get in, but at the end there’s a chance to network and talk to the commissioners.
The follow-through after the market is one of the most important things.
Should producers have a dedicated U.S. strategy?
Attending Realscreen really should be part of a determined strategy to get into, and crack, the US market. The follow-through after the market is one of the most important things, not only specifically what you discussed during the meetings, but also continuing to build relationships with the commissioners you met.
Is it important to have tape to show at Realscreen?
I think tape is an ideal way of accelerating your progress into the market. If you have an idea you believe strongly in, it helps commissioners to sell that concept internally. It also shows your passion and commitment to that project.
Watch the interview here to hear more tips on how to make the most of your visit.