CAA Media Finance co-leaders Roger Soderland and Benjamin Kramer are working and talking to the agency-led virtual market in Cannes. Diversity About the possibility of independent film scenes.
CAA Media Finance’s projects on the market include the “release” of Antoine Foucault, played by Will Smith; Dan Gilray’s “Faster, Better, Cheaper”; Rick Roman Waugh’s “Kandahar” starring Gerard Butler; “Rebels” led by Adil L. Arabi and Bilal Falla; And Michael Mannan’s “Ferrari.”
What was the thought behind having a uniform, connected market rather than each company doing its own thing?
Disease Sutherland: At a time when everything seemed somewhat decentralized and complicated, it was important to bring agencies and foreign sales agents together to present the product in a coherent manner and not drag the buyer in 15 different directions.
The best part of what has happened is that you have seen buyers and agencies come together to create a system that allows foreign distributors to participate in an organized manner without toeing each other.
Were buyers or producers reluctant to take the market forward now or did any of them want to wait until the autumn to see if the situation had changed?
Disease Sutherland: No, no one wanted to wait until autumn. It’s so important that we stay connected. And it’s easier for people in the United States to do that; It is very easy for local businesses to stay connected. It claims to be able to connect with other parts of the world.
We felt that sooner rather than later, each of us would have to find a way to talk and talk to them about what they want and what the future holds for their territories; What they will look for over the next few years.
We had to do something this summer, because the next real market would be AFM, and we would try to do something in Toronto and Toronto would be as innovative about it as anyone else.
We are all working in the same hospital and trying to work together to grow and prosper the business.
The good news is that there has never been a need for content. Costs have gone up. In terms of money to be able to finance the film and the distributors want to acquire the film, it was a seller market to us, which is great.
There have been two issues Engamas: distribution one and the other insurance. Insurance has been complicated and on a film-by-film basis. We need to figure out how this will work together. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, the federal government will return an insurance bill to address the situation.
Production is starting. We have movies that are going to be shot in Australia, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany.
Travel continues to be a challenge so we continue to find ways to keep the distinct film industry connected through Toronto and possibly AFM. There is a constant in all of this – listeners around the world have an endless hunger for content.
Benjamin Kramer: The industry is exploring ways to create content and a system that theatrical may still exist, but may not rely entirely on at the box office. Creating Sony’s “Greyhound” and selling it to Apple for profit is a win-win for the innovative thinking industry.
Is there going to be more change towards streaming on a long-term basis?
Disease Sutherland: People communicate and the moment they feel safe coming out again, people are going to group them. I mean, so is human nature.
I saw a comparison with the 1920s when people wanted to go out and party a lot. So, it doesn’t have to be a negative story …
Disease Sutherland: In a world where people need to be entertained, they want to be entertained more. And we humans, we determine the ways we adapt and how we can improve and secure things. And we’ll find out. We see a lot of people being creative. Artists continue to create and we will continue to support their work. As we have seen over the last few weeks, there has never been a greater hunger to buy a film.
The filmmakers are going out in the desert and they are going to go to a house to shoot a movie or they are going for a movie where they can go and throw a car. They are going to create content. By looking at the businesses you can see how many movies are being sold. There has never been a greater appetite to buy film.
Has there been a sudden change in the type of popular content? I mean, whether it’s a joke or not.
Disease Sutherland: No, there is no change from the coronavirus ift I mean, no one really wants to see a movie with a cat that is gone. That hasn’t changed. Is there any appeal in the streaming world for commercial or romantic jokes or something that encourages movies that people need in dark moments? Yes. I think it plays better. But there is no radical change.
Benjamin Kramer: Over the past several weeks, we’ve been expecting an unwavering interest in heroes in overcoming stories and long reactions to justice in all its forms.
We strive to be innovative and use our position in the industry to help build our clients and help connect and entertain audiences around the world.
Are you looking to invest in more distribution companies in terms of CAA business?
Disease Sutherland: We have long focused on the international market and gained extensive experience in architectural financing and distribution companies. [e.g., Elysian Film Group Distribution in the U.K., RT TV in Brazil, etc.] As part of an overall effort to support creators around the world.