• Lindsay Spiller

How to sell your film in 2022 - An interview with film sales agent, Devin Carter

Updated: Nov 7

Entertainment lawyer, Lindsay Spiller, interviewed Premier Entertainment's Senior Vice President of Sales and Internatinal Distribution, Devin Carter. Interview took place at MIPCOM 2022 in Cannes, France.


Devin Carter is the Senior Vice President for International Sales & Distribution at Premiere Entertainment Group (email: dcarter@premiereent.com; tel: (213) 534-3139).


TRANSCRIPTION:


Lindsay:

Go ahead and introduce yourself.


Devin:

My name is Devin Carter. I'm here at MIPCOM in 2022. I've been coming to MIPCOM since 1997. I work in the content business. I met Lindsay several years ago and this is my second interview with Lindsay. So here we are post-pandemic back in France, happy to be here, and happy to be distributing content again. You know content is king. You hear that all the time but it really is. We have a lot of buyers that are looking for specific content that works for them. We're producing a lot of action thriller films because that's what we need to supply to our buyers. We are pre-selling action thrillers mainly from script. We attach the cast and we're pre-selling North America from script and then we're here doing the international sales on those titles. There are still a lot of opportunities in the industry but as I said before cast really is important. If you don't put cast in the film it's going to be really hard to sell and in most cases we're passing on those kind of films. The ultra low budget films just don't have a marketing like they did in the DVD days.


Lindsay:

Somebody who is a writer and has a script --- are there still any possibilities for them?


Devin:

The problem is that everybody has a script. There's a possibility if you have a script if it's really good. I don't want to patronize writers and I'm not going to judge every writer's script. There's just there's too many scripts and not enough opportunities, so if you're going to write a script. write a commercial script and then you're going to increase your abilities to get something done with it. Lindsay: When should filmmakers approach you? Devin: The best time to approach us is if you actually have about 50% of your budget raised. If you have 50% of the budget raised in cash, we'll come in we'll do the Gap financing, and we'll get it produced and we'll do the international sales. If all you have is a script it's too early to come to us because we already have at any one time 20 different scripts that we're developing. So if you can raise money that's a good place to start.

Lindsay:

What about genre?


Devin:

Again for us action thriller is our bread and butter. I mean we acquire films that are psychological thrillers, rom-coms, family films. We'll look at any film genre. As long as we think it's commercial we will acquire it. But the genre that's our bread and butter is action thriller.


Lindsay:

What about the issue of television versus film. For example right now we're at MIPCOM and that's known as a television market. How does this compare to Cannes, the market for film?


Devin:

You know it all mixes. So most of our films are not in 3000 screens across the United States. They are direct to VOD or they might have a limited theatrical release on 50 screens, 100 screens. But most of our buyers either attend MIPCOM or they attend Cannes. They attend AFM. We'll see different buyers at each market but a lot of the buyers go to all the same markets. So for me it's just another market. Our company attends 12 markets a year so it's just another place to meet our buyers.


Lindsay:

How would you rank the markets in terms of importance?


Devin:

Cannes is our biggest market in May. AFM is our number two and Berlin is our number three. MIPCOM probably falls down around number six or seven at this point.


Lindsay:

Do you see the business growing or morphing?


Devin:

The business is always changing. In fact, the only constant in this business is constant change. So does it morph?Absolutely. The only way to stay in business is to keep changing with the business .


Lindsay: Go ahead and tell everybody who you're with right now and how they could contact you.


Devin: I'm with Premiere Entertainment. I'm very easily found on Cinando or Premiereent.com.


 

Spiller Law is a San Francisco business and entertainment law firm. Feel free to arrange a free consultation by resorting to the Schedule Appointment link on our website. For other questions, feel free to call our offices at 415-991-7298.

 

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers are advised to consult with their own legal counsel for specific advice.


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