Magazine article Screen International

Financiers Talk Challenges of Streaming World at AFM Conference

Magazine article Screen International

Financiers Talk Challenges of Streaming World at AFM Conference

Article excerpt

Execs discuss working with SVoD giants on AFM panel.

“We’re seeing a challenge in the film space largely due to the streaming platforms, how do you get people to continue to go to theatres when there is so much available at home? So much of what is available at home is of such high quality,” asked Alexis Garcia of Endeavor Content at the AFM Finance Conference yesterday (Nov 3).

Alexis Garcia of Endeavor Content

Adrian Alperovich of OddLot Entertainment said that “from a producer’s standpoint the proliferation of platforms is a good thing” and that even if a platform like Netflix doesn’t believe in the theatrical experience that just means more fragmentation to come: “more content is created more specifically for specific audiences.”

John Penotti of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment agreed that streaming services work with quality content but he added, “I am wishful for some new model to make the theatrical model still relevant…I don’t know what the answer is.”

Penotti added that “With streaming platforms trying to buy worldwide rights, it’s a tricky place to be as a financier. As with any investor we want to hold some of that upside [for a potential breakout]. How do we make our content attractive enough for these global platforms and still hold some of the investment upside?”

Penotti said it’s a trap to think that platforms like Netflix “are dumping grounds… There is not just the feed-the-rack at Walmart mentality that was prevalent 10-15-20 years ago.”

Indeed, Garcia joked, “If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, ‘We’ll just sell it to Netflix’…”

Garcia said another threat to the film space is that TV series are attracting big talent, who want to explore characters over more hours of content, and are also being paid more for series than they would be for an indie film.

Penotti said the international markets were ripe for film opportunities. In recent years, SKE is doing more work in China, Korea, India, Japan, and now in Latin America. “We are consciously reducing the amount of money we put at risk here in the States. …

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