AFM: Download THR's Day 2 Daily
Hollywood agencies' expansive moves, 'Monster Hunt' franchise plans, and a chat with 'Woman Walks Ahead' producer Erika Olde.
The Hollywood Reporter has released its second daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off in Santa Monica on Wednesday. The issue features an analysis of Hollywood agencies' expansive moves, a look at the plans to turn Monster Hunt into a franchise, and a chat with upstart indie producer Erika Olde.
Agencies' Indie Expansions
THR takes a look at how agencies are increasingly becoming directly involved in the financing and sale of indie films, particularly the big ticket items that drive the buzz and business at AFM. The move, in part, has been one of necessity: As the studios have shifted toward making fewer, bigger tentpoles, it has become harder to get mainstream indie films made — and for the agencies to sell their packages. But others see an inherent conflict of interest in this model, since the agencies, with their insider access to talent, would be in a position as buyers to pick up the best new projects at below-market value.
Making More Monster Hunt
The Chinese fantasy film Monster Hunt was a record-breaking hit in 2015, and director Raman Hui and producer Bill Kong aim to follow that success with franchise plans: a four-film series, a potential animated spinoff, merchandising deals and theme park attractions. The two industry veterans tell THR of making the sequel, coping with big expectations, the surprising upsides of piracy and the value of creative partnerships that are built for the long term.
Black Bicycle's Business Model
In 2014, Erika Olde launched Black Bicycle Entertainment, whose first four films — the Reese Witherspoon starrer Home Again, the Jessica Chastain feature Woman Walks Ahead, Whitney Cummings’ The Female Brain and the upcoming November Criminals, starring Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz — have a decidedly feminine feel. It was not intentional, she says, but Black Bicycle offers a welcome tonic at the male-centric multiplex. Olde tells THR of her company’s sweet spot, first-time directors and how she hopes the Harvey Weinstein scandal will serve as a “deterrent” in the sometimes-sketchy indie film scene.