'Festival' to most filmmakers means Cannes...
... and with just three weeks to go many of you will be scrambling to get your projects market ready.
I've now been 23 consecutive times, so I know what works and what doesn't. This week I inked a deal with a man who produced six $50m movies this decade. Three weeks ago I signed a writing deal with an established UK-based producer. An Australian producer is flying in to Cannes to meet with me about a sci-fi we're developing together, director and finance are waiting patiently for the script.
Four-page documents are extremely powerful. For those patient enough to read them they present the story in sufficient detail to understand character, motives, and tone. For writers and producers they contain just enough granularity to maintain momentum throughout the development process; not too onerous to write or to read for fast-turnaround changes to complex story beats.
Story comes first
I advocate for a one-page introduction, a two-page outline, and a four-page treatment. I'm also a huge fan of the logline, which should convey the Four Necessities in fewer than thirty words if possible.
If you can go to festivals and markets with all of those presented nicely — professional poster artwork and a director's look book certainly help — then you're way ahead of the rest of the pack.
So let me know if I can help you with any of the above.
To your success!