The Watch List – Spring 2017. With Sundance, Berlinale and the Oscars behind us, which directors and stars are rising to the top of packaging list for 2017? Who’s bankable for financiers and gets distributors interest?

I tease out the trends from Q1 and track the people and projects to follow for the year.

I tease out the trends from Q1 and track the people and projects to follow for the year.

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Horror is the perfect genre for independent filmmakers. Horror films can be executed on a low budget, with a small cast and crew and limited locations. It’s a fantastic entry point into the industry.

Peter Jackson began his career with Bad Taste. Sam Raimi got started with Evil Dead. First time director George Romero broke through with a little low budget movie called Night of The Living Dead and gave us the zombie film.

Horror gives you a great platform to sink your teeth in, establish yourself as a storyteller, demonstrate your visual style, and get seen.

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What kind of films should you make? There’s no magic formula, but you can stack the distribution odds in your favour by making films with pre-awareness by basing your film on a book or story in the public domain. They give you a fantastic marketing hook and allows you to tap into an audience of established fans. These are stories that have stood the test of time across all genres. They give you a hell of a screenwriting credit from some of the best writers in history. They’ve done the hard work for you. Forget the corsets and crinoline, modernise them and put your own spin on them.

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