I’m checking in right now from the Loews hotel in Santa Monica, headquarters of the 25th Annual American Film Market. The way these email centers are set up, I’m typing this as I overlook the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Beach. Nice. Though the shuttles they have running between AFI and AFM take about 30 minutes… it’s worth it for scenery like this.
The market is busy, bustling, and big. It’s a great chance for me to check in with production companies and film sales groups from around the world. Particularly, those in New Zealand and Australia, since SXSW has created a sidebar of Australian programming.
The hotel suite set-up is always fun, especially when you try and determine how different companies have tried to decorate their different rooms. Perhaps the award for Friendliest Suite so far goes to Variety. Dana and Henry and the gang are in a great mood, despite all the pressures of late afternoon deadlines. The award for Most Chill Suite goes to New Zealand Film. They are laid back, let me tell you. Some of the suites aren’t as, um, sweet… but what can you expect? With hundreds and hundres of exhibitors, there’s bound to be a few film folks with an aversion to smiling. Maybe if I give them a SXSW party invitation, that’ll cheer them up. That, or a hug.