6:00 AM PST 11/7/2019
Courtesy of AGC Studios
Nick Jonas stars in Roland Emmerich’s ‘Halfway.’
Stuart Ford urges theatrical distributors to work with streaming providers for one of the best likelihood to thrive: “We imagine we are able to do enterprise with all people.”
Consumers from all over the world, from studios to indies and from theatrical to streamers, packed the principle theater on the ArcLight Cinema in Santa Monica on Wednesday for what was arguably the most popular ticket at this 12 months’s American Film Market: the presentation of the upcoming slate of options, documentaries and TV collection from new(ish) manufacturing and gross sales group AGC Studios.
Since Stuart Ford launched AGC simply 18 months in the past, the group has made a number of noise on the indie scene, producing, co-producing, financing or distributing 12 function movies and boarding practically 80 movies and TV tasks at numerous levels of growth. As the corporate’s greatest title — Roland Emmerich’s World Conflict II epic Halfway — rolls out throughout a lot of the world this week, Ford offered AGC’s lineup and unveiled his imaginative and prescient for an indie business that mixes the normal in addition to the disruptive.
The presentation included trailers of Tate Taylor’s darkish comedy Breaking Information in Yuba County, starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Juliette Lewis and Awkwafina; Neil Burger’s sci-fi thriller Voyagers — a Lord of the Flies in house story that includes Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan and Lily-Rose Depp; and The Secrets and techniques We Maintain, a revenge thriller starring Noomi Rapace as a Holocaust survivor and Joel Kinnaman as a person she believes to be her former tormentor.
AGC additionally confirmed a brief teaser trailer for Emmerich’s Moonfall. The $150 million sci-fi epic — the most important indie undertaking seen for years — lately secured key financing from China and can start manufacturing subsequent 12 months for a deliberate supply in 2021.
Earlier than the presentation, Ford addressed the elephant within the room: the widespread concern amongst indie distributors which can be being sidelined by the massive manufacturing and gross sales outfits, lots of whom want to promote their greatest and most industrial titles on to a significant studio or a significant streamer.
“We don’t see platforms like AFM as a staging submit, as a thinly veiled excuse to public sale films off to the studios,” he mentioned. “We don’t see this as a Plan B different to promoting to streamers. We imagine we are able to do enterprise with all people.”
The growing dominance of studio tentpoles and the web explosion of streaming providers has undermined the normal monetary mannequin for impartial cinema. The 1000’s of worldwide executives at AFM this 12 months are scrambling to seek out different fashions that may enable them to outlive, and prosper, within the new world order.
“The impartial sector is getting increasingly more ghettoized and squeezed by the digital streaming ecosystem and the studio tentpole ecosystem,” Ford advised THR. “All people must embrace change in the way in which we do offers, in the way in which we finance, produce and distribute films.”
With deep-pocketed streamers together with Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock getting into the market, Ford mentioned demand for premium content material has by no means been increased as are the potential rewards for impartial producers and distributors. Nevertheless, he says the indie movie business has to interrupt freed from its inflexible enterprise fashions.
“Individuals within the worldwide market have to start out getting extra versatile about windowing, they must grow to be much less reliant on the U.S. theatrical launch being a validation in itself,” he mentioned. “Individuals have to start out investing in tasks earlier as an alternative of simply displaying up and ready for somebody to current a whole package deal to you. … The indie business needs to be artistic and break new floor on our deal constructions and our enterprise fashions if we’re to outlive, and thrive.”
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s Nov. 7 day by day challenge on the American Film Market.