Bobby Reports on Cannes 2008

May 22, 2008

Bobby Galinsky’s report on The Cannes Film Festival 2008. Enjoy! :

Well it’s 7am here in Cannes and an overcast morning. The normally endless sunlight that bakes Cannes from the promotional brochures is not shining. The weather has been a bit dodgy but overall a pleasant 20° and pretty sunny for part of each day and a tiny splattering of rain.

And that would pretty much symbolize the mood here at Cannes. Relatively steady but unimpressive sales for most people but some real bursts of success and promise. After that ham-handed segue that I’ll attribute to the 3 bottles of Cristal and 750ml of scotch on the yacht with some other film makers late last night, let’s really break this down into the Big Fours, including our own film PREY, and projects we’re developing :

a: business
b: celeb sightings
c: new trends in film and media
d: oh, yeah.. the films

It’s my first Cannes. (Technically my second…my parents brought me here in 1967 after my Bar Mitzvah for what was ostensibly a surprise poorly disguised as a holiday for them because they had gone through every baby sitter in the State but were nervous about leaving me alone in the house. They weren’t worried about me…they were worried about their new house.)

The business end of the scale for most films has been slow. Nobody is paying big bucks for art house films and most genre films aren’t finding the gold mine that was Cannes and the other markets but sales are steady as there is so much output potential for DVD and (legal) electronic media. From a personal experience, we’ve been absolutely blessed. PREY (starring Natalie Bassinghtwaighte, uber-hunk Christian Clark, and Yank phenom Jesse (yes my Dad is Don) Johnson is on the radar and getting a bit of heat because it’s not ‘low budget’ it’s not ‘horror’ (supernatural fantasy) and it’s going for PG13 rating or equivalent worldwide for a much wider market. We’ve guessed correctly that the trends are for sexy and groovy and original and that people are moving away from heavy hitting horror and the numbers are showing we guessed right and were spot-on for what our targets are for this coming financial year. We will open in Australia in October. Our Sales Agents DAMAGE FILMS are new here but will be wunderkinds to watch. I could rant for another month on why we’re achieving success and other Aussie films aren’t but that’s not what this is about. The other big business reality is that the cyclone in Burma last month blew about a billion Indians here to Cannes on it’s way. The Indian market is huge, and Westernizing. Not that Bollywood rubbish that makes you think you’ve sat through two hours on the Telstra support line but big US and UK development deals with Indian money and Indian studios. We’ll see how that pans out in about two years when either production prices level off or fall, or just don’t happen.

Celebs are everywhere without question. At a lunch yesterday our Sales Agent’s table was a matzoh ball’s throw away from Harvey Weinstein, Clint Eastwood, Harrison “no I don’t use botox” Ford and Calista Flockhart, and Morgan Freeman. I went to Monaco for a dinner with one of our key investors at his pre-Grand Prix launch. Dita von Teese stood next to use at a traffic crossing and smiled. I don’t know if she was smiling at us or just using my sunglasses to see how damn good she looked in them but I’d like to think the former. Lets face it, it’s about hot shiksas and successful yidden businessmen here and you don’t mess with a winning formula. Director Stephan Elliot (PRISCILLA) is staying on the yacht generously lent to our sales agent for the festival spruiking his new film and we couldn’t be in a better position (photos send separately). He’s also been the ticket to the hottest parties on La Croisette including the unbelievable Bujois blowout Sunday night that finished with this writer staggering out at 6:20am to walk about 30 minutes uphill in the drizzle from the beach as there were zero taxis avail. I don’t remember the walk but I remember channeling Moses’ frustration about having to stroll for 40 years after his last big party.. Of course JIMMY’z is still the old school killer night club. Drinks are a 2nd mortgage in Toorak or Vaucluse but the scenery is worth it. I don’t really care about global warming or 30 second showers to preserve water in Victoria when I can sit at a table full of supermodels and head back to a yacht to make phone calls about my film. Hell, I spent 30 minutes waiting to get into Embassy once in Double Bay and once I was inside it was being in the middle of the Palestinian peace talks. And look where it got Rene Rivkin?

NEW TRENDS The big package is back. Like the 80’s. Matching a star or director with a packaging firm that can bring the money to the project and then attract the missing pieces (director, other star) Our big budget dream project DUST & GLORY (set during the REDEX races/trials of the 50’s in Australia) has attracted Eric Bana’s management to discussions (as legendary Aussie larrikan Gelignite Jack Murray) and we’re trying to match a director (pref Aussie) with the money we’ve raised and get a US star to fit, and we’ve found two North American firms hot2trot with us so it’s been like the opportunity to compress 6 months to a years’s work in just six days here. That part is unbelievable! This IS where the films get made, so to speak, in many ways. And of course everything on the planet for viral marketing and digital media is here. Day / Date releasing has begun and will be more prevalent this next year with theatrical and DVD release almost simultaneous.

THE FILMS. Haven’t had time to see even one yet. Too busy. We’re going to some premieres/screenings tonight and tomorrow and Friday…now that business is slowing down a bit and the festival will gradually think out…but not much. Crowds at INDIAN JONES were like a mosh pit at Big Day Out… You could NOT move an inch and cars were driving through the crush and it was insane. Clint Eastwood’s THE CHANGELING is astonishing according to a friend who saw it. I don’t want to see all the art house blickitiwick which will end up at the Nova or Kino Dendy for a week later on, and I won’t want to see them then either. And short films…forget it. I personally hate them. Can’t be bothered. (NB: other than the one the French supermodel gave me in the banquette after 30 champagnes and made me promise I would watch before having coffee with her in Paris on the weekend. I can’t break a promise to another film maker.. 🙂

OTHER BITS: The people are all wonderful here if you’re wonderful. The French are lovely, the scenery is lovely, the food is great, and if you are polite and patient and smile then everyone else is polite and quick and will smile. But that’s true everywhere. The only people who complain, complain everywhere they go. The chaotic restaurant service (or lack, thereof), the trains that don’t go to the final destination, the post office that closes because of a one day strike, etc, are all classically French and May is a big month here, historically, for Labor disputes. I think if we brought Chris Corrigan here to straighten things out like he did on the wharves back home it would be an interesting scenario.. 😉

Well, time to head out for a cafe au lait and get the day started. Meetings on the yacht at noon, and all day, and friends and investors in from Melbourne and Sydney for dinner in the evening.

It may be a Labor government back where you are, but here we’re working!

Shalom and au revoir…

Bobby Galinsky

Another similiar report exists here.

Photo below of Bobby stalking Malcom director David Parker on the Cannes Croisette.

One Response to “Bobby Reports on Cannes 2008”

  1. […] Dita von Teese stood next to use at a traffic crossing and smiled…. Source: Bobby Reports on Cannes 2008 […]

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