The Reeler
The Sundance Blog

The Sloss Factor

Over at the main site, Daniel Nemet-Nejat checks in with Cinetic Media boss John Sloss, who's got his 2007 vintage of Sundance titles ready for the marketplace:

Meanwhile, as Sloss seeks out potential buyers, he arms his clients with a bounty of information. Cine, a proprietary database, keeps a tally of which distributors have been to see the film and what their interest is, while Cinetic's researcher runs "comps," creating several revenue streams for each film so clients can properly evaluate possible deals. Though all Cinetic executives field offers, Sloss is always the negotiator. And his reputation is legendary -- even infamous.
"People know going into a deal with John that there's going to be some bloodshed," said (producer Christine) Vachon, with more than a hint of admiration. Sloss added that his literal grasp of the worth of each of his projects is what gives him his edge. "We have a true sense of the value of the film within negotiations," he said. "Honestly, that's something distributors aren't used to."

Look, I'm not here to kiss John Sloss's ass, because there will plenty of that after Chicago 10 kicks off the festival Thursday night and distributors come calling for any of his 16 films in this year's line-up. It's not my job. But the minute Sloss breaks out a "propietary database" and starts rattling off quantifiable market values into the snowy Park City night... I mean, seriously. Fuck it. Why bother? It's not ball-busting -- it's murder. Give him your AmEx Black number and Just run the other way, like when Mike Wallace knocks on your door for an interview or if you're facing Mariano Rivera. Without a batting helmet. Or a bat, for that matter. And there is no truth to the rumor that Sloss is distributing free copies of Little Miss Sunshine with Fox Searchlight balance sheets at the start of every negotiating session, so we need a new myth. It's a long two weeks.

Posted at January 15, 2007 10:44 AM

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