Why I used the Market Analysis
As a scriptwriter, what moves me to deal with new projects is the almost primitive necessity to tell stories; universalizing experiences or specific feelings is not a small fear. But I couldn’t imagine when I started this profession that being a scriptwriter goes beyond the romantic idea of writing all night long in the mournful solitude of my bedroom. Ok, yeah, that’s also true. But then what? In contrast to what happens in other creative professions, a script is not a finished artwork; it is not a complete creation because a script is a guide for a collective project that, even if it is built by words, it’s much more than that.
Something that seems obvious but hides a harsh reality: the scriptwriter is not only the tortured artist; they also have to deal with the reality of the audiovisual market and sell their ideas. Because we do sell ideas, we sell promises others will keep. I like to imagine our characters waiting impatiently; the villain lights a cigarette, and the co-stars look at their watch, kind of disappointed because their dizzy creator is trying to be heard or read without having a clue.
My conclusion is: Talent is not everything. Let me explain to you what do I say that. I’m going to reformulate my affirmation: Talent is everything. But what is talent? Talent is the intelligence or aptitude needed to execute a specific activity. Consequently, talent in a screenwriter covers several fields: it is as important to write a good story as to have a solid and effective sales strategy. And how can we do that? Well, obviously, there is no single answer. So here, around this imaginary bonfire, while we eat sugar clouds and aim flashlights at our eyes, I want to tell you my experience: The fact is that once I finished my most presentable version of the script, a very well prepared sales dossier and a refined pitch after hours of bothering my friends, and even having made random elevator pitches to neighbors who came up to the fifth floor with shopping bags. One day I get a video call from a German friend, and at the slightest opportunity, and throw the first stone who hasn’t done this, I started, of course, to pitch my excellent idea another elevator pitch. Perfect. But this time, I realized that my friend did not gesticulate, at least not as I expected; she did not get excited at the right moment, she did not laugh at my witticisms. Was it a language problem? Do Germans express emotion like that? Not at all.
This dramatic incident made me ask myself for the first time questions such as: where would my series be seen? Why do some series touch the hearts of a whole generation worldwide, and my German soulmate, who knows me, who loves me, cannot understand what I want to convey? Sometimes we become so self-involved in our own stories that we are incapable of analyzing the potential of our project with the necessary objectivity.
That’s why, and excuse the eternal introduction; it was so enlightening for me to use Filmarket Hub’s market analysis. A market analysis studies in-depth the real sales opportunities of your project and its place in the audiovisual market. I used this service offered by Filmarket to understand why my German friend did not move any muscle in her face at my emotional presentation. How does this service work? I sent my pilot episode through the form on the Filmarket website. I was also asked for additional information such as a brief synopsis, tagline, number of series episodes, etc. In less than a week, I received a report indicating ten comparable series that most closely resembled my script and other percentages with variables such as genre, main themes, character themes, and moods. From those ten proposed series, they ask you to choose the five that you consider the closest to your script, and with that information, they focus the market analysis to make the insights even more precise and detailed.
In my case, artificial intelligence hit the genre, theme, and character profile; indeed, of those ten series, I had used three of them as examples in my pitches. What I liked the most was that the recommendations ranged from mainstream series to small, independent series with which I saw my work reflected in terms of script and production possibilities. It benefits me in terms of negotiation because now I can show the potential of my own story with numbers and finished products.
What’s more, the report also shows the area of Europe where the series would be most watched. This is possible thanks to the analysis made by the French series recommendation platform BetaSeries TV, a European leader, with more than five million users, that record tastes and consumption dynamics, which are segmented by gender, age, and other factors that determine the type of series that are in demand and, therefore, that have a place in the market.
This new perspective of my script helped me improve the project itself and my speech in every sales opportunity; by knowing the real possibilities of my story in the market, the options of being heard and read increased considerably. As a result, today, a series that I thought would die in the drawer is being considered by several ScriptLabs and producers. Sometimes, all we need is a new perspective to take a distance and gather all the necessary information to redirect projects and enhance them.