Now that the L.A. Screenings have come to a close, VideoAge will give you a fresh-from-the-event report. Expect more detail in the June issue, but for now, here are some of the highlights of the last couple of weeks.
For 72 indies exhibiting at the Century Plaza Hotel, the L.A. Screenings started Tuesday, May 13 and ended on Friday, May 16, when the studios — beginning with Fox — started screening for the Latins. The Century Plaza was also the exhibit space for all the major studios (except Fox, which set up shop at the nearby InterContinental Hotel), but only to reach the Latin contingent, with the hotel suites used as hospitality suites or as negotiation offices. The only mini-major actively screening outside the hotel was eOne, which took meetings in their Beverly Hills offices and, on Monday, May 19 threw a party at president John Morayniss.
To cope with the sub-artic temperature in the screening rooms, this year NBCUniversal joined Sony Pictures in providing blankets.
Among the studios and mini-majors like Lionsgate, buyers were introduced to over 100 new shows. (For a full list of new studio series click here.)
As far as the number of acquisitions executives in attendance the count could easily have reached 1,500. Those who canceled were replaced by new buyers. The full count is distorted by the fact that some media groups registered with VideoAge fewer buyers than actually went to L.A. This, in an effort to avoid criticism from the domestic press, especially from countries that are going through economical hardship.
In terms of after-screenings entertainment, this year the indies surpassed the studios. Disney was the only studio that staged a mega-party (on Sunday), while the indies threw a total of five parties, starting on Wednesday, May 14 with the opening party by Cisneros, followed on Thursday by Caracol, then on Saturday by Telefilms, on Monday by eOne and on Wednesday by the market DiscopAfrica.
For our part, VideoAge was recognized by many buyers as the publication that, single-handedly in 1982 created the name “L.A. Screenings.” Before that it was called the generic “May Screenings.”