What’s the Point?

American Film Market Is Coming

Fall is officially here.

Halloween is right around the corner, the Ice rink is being built downtown as I write this, and there are Christmas decorations for sale in the stores already.

However, there’s another big event coming to town that we need to remember and prepare for – the American Film Market is starting on November 1 and runs through November the 8th.

This year it will again be taking over the major hotels and movie theaters to screen the hundreds of movies that will be sold this year.

I’ll be covering the Market again this year, so if there is an interesting story angle that you’d like to know more about, feel free to drop me a line and maybe you’ll read about it in the paper.

The AFM is always an intriguing experience for me.

There are hundreds of individuals from across the globe who come to buy and sell entertainment. As the Loews hotel is turned into offices, it becomes the central hub of business.

Throughout the Market there will be superheroes in costumes promoting their movies, and occasionally there is a zombie walking around to draw attention to a new project.

Controlled chaos is a great way to describe what happens as each day dawns and the latest editions of the various industry magazines are delivered.

It’s all quite exciting until about 7:30 p.m. when most things die down and the hotel becomes a ghost town.

There’s usually a couple of salesmen in one corner of the pool deck making a deal with someone from another part of the world late at night, smoking where they’re not supposed to.

For the city, this is a great boon to our economy. The hotels become sold out for the week, the AirBnBs are “Surge Priced” and I’m sure that the Uber and Lyft drivers will do well this year.

Restaurants in the downtown district love the pre-holiday boomlet of business.

Plus the amount of publicity and goodwill that is created helps carry us throughout the year, after all most of the attendees of the AFM are salespeople who are talkers, to everyone about anything!

It will be interesting to see what the tone of this year’s AFM is with the fallout from the Weinstein harassment scandal.

I imagine that there will be an increased awareness and lots of discussions and more than a little crowing of “I always knew…” as people scramble to find moral cover.

Entertainment is a confusing business these days.

On the one hand there is a deep and profound awareness of how pervasive sexual harassment is and that it will no longer be tolerated, on the other it’s an industry that both creates and feeds our hunger for scantily clad individuals doing sexy things.

The dilemma for all of us I think is that the lines are blurry between what people want to see, and what they will tolerate in their personal lives.

We all love to see the bad guy get his comeuppance, especially if it’s from a sexy superhero.

Most of us don’t however want to experience the violence and destruction that usually accompanies those events.

There’s a freedom in seeing it happen on a screen, knowing that it is was all acted and fake. But in the real world we want people to act appropriately – the problem is that the definition of appropriate is changing quickly, across industries, and relationships.

Hitchcock famously said, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” The movie industry is life concentrated, and that is perhaps why the scandals seem worse and more unusual – but they’re not.

They just get more publicity. Which is a good thing, if we learn from them, and change for the better.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments.

He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra