Being the very first time ever at a film market, it is actually bewildering. How do you go about selling your film?
Eng Tiong and I had a discussion before we set foot in Korea. Our film isn't complete yet, so we definitely don't want to show it to anyone at this point.
From an article found on the internet, the advice is to NEVER show a work-in-progress to any buyer or distributor. NEVER. The thing is - a person, no matter how convincingly they say they are professionals & thus will understand, will never be able to remain free from judgement. That is only human. So the first impression of your work - a work-in-progress - will be forever etched in their minds. And it isn't a good thing.
I only wished that I have come upon this article earlier so we wouldn't be so hard on ourselves. We showed our work-in-progress to people. Most can't imagine, they can't envision how the final movie will be like. Even the music, the sounds - as temporary substitutes - they take it as it is.
The one thing that kept us going is that we truly believe that Truth Be Told is good. It may not be the greatest film ever but it is definitely our best work yet. So there comes a time, after taking all the blows, that we turned our backs on what others have to say. It isn't a case of being stubborn or being deluded. I guess it's a fine line between that and believing in ourselves.
I digressed... Coming back to the point about our plans at Pusan, we decided that we're there to meet more people, especially distributors in the Asian region. We are not going there to specifically sell our movie. We're there to raise awareness that this movie exists, and that it is still a work-in-progress, and that we will keep them updated on our film's progress and inform them once it's completed. We are going there to meet up with distributors to find out what they are looking for and how they work, and to establish relationships.
I think we've pretty much achieved our goals. But to remain focused on our objectives in the sea of busy buyers and sellers closing deals left and right was rather difficult. I had to constantly remind myself why we're there so I won't fall into depression, being the pessimist that I've increasingly become.
So yes, we had a good time meeting up with distributors and sales agents from Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the USA. We also happened upon Aaron Kwok and Charlie Yeung promoting their film onstage while strolling along the beach. Some of the guys saw Maggie Q and Andy Lau. Eng Tiong shook hands with Ann Hui and Fruit Chan. We've also visited the cineplexes where the film festival screenings took place. (Note: One of Eng Tiong's idiosyncrasies is cinema-spotting. So we'll always visit cineplexes when we're at new places.) Only wished that we had more time to catch more movies at the Pusan International Film Festival.
Sales offices at the Asian Film Market. The Singapore Film Office is on the right.
Our movie on the Singapore Film Office banner.
Pre-prep work: Our flyer.
Pre-prep work: Eng Tiong adjusting parameters on the plasma TV for the right aspect ratio for showing our trailer.
View of the Pusan beach from the Singapore Film Office at Grand Hotel. The building on the right is the Westin Hotel.
With Taiwanese officials at the Taiwanese Networking Party.
The Pusan International Film Festival office by the beach. It's housed in containers but done up real hip & happening!
Side dishes of an authentic Korean BBQ meal.