Recently a group of Film Florida members attended the Produced By Conference in Los Angeles and this year was one of the strongest yet. As the entertainment production industry finds itself at a major turning point, wherein digital studios Netflix and Amazon are dominating the majors in series work and heading into feature work, throughout the conference there was a clear sense of the changing dynamic and its effects on those who work in and with Hollywood.

Our Florida Native Producer’s Club event was held at a new venue, which was great as a locale. Our focus is less on quantity and more on quality of attendee and we sure had that, including HBO President of Production Jay Roewe, new Netflix Tax and Finance Manager Dave DeVore, Deep City writer and producer Juan Carlos Coto (University of Miami graduate), producers Brian Cavallo (UCF graduate, Producer of Dog Years, just picked up by A24, staring Film Florida Legend Burt Reynolds) and George Kallert (Uncle Kent 2). Also present were indie producers with projects for Miami and several transplants to LA from the local industry.

During the conference, Ted Sarandos of Netflix gave a highlight panel talk, detailing the new metrics for success in the digital field, which will have impacts on everything moving forward from advertising revenue to budgets of shows to renewals to decisions to shoot with and without incentives. This was, however, disputed somewhat in panels with television veterans and networks execs, seeking to find breakout hits while maintaining cost through incentives and local opportunities, while acknowledging they are losing market share to the digital platforms daily, compelling more vertical integration in the industry.

On the feature side, independent producers declared a new strong push for mid-budget features ($5-30M) to fill the voids the studios and digital platforms are neglecting, with those clearly seeking the best incentive support. It was interesting, among those on that panel were ex-Sony Pictures head Doug Belgrad, now an independent producer who’s listed credits include Bad Boys 3, which has been priced out of Florida as a $130M film. Other panels discussed the role Virtual and Augmented Reality may play in entertainment, beyond marketing tools.

We want to thank those that participated in the conference through Film Florida. Our sales missions are vital to our overall sales and marketing messages as there is no substitute to having face to face conversations with producers, studio executives and other potential decision makers. We encourage you to take advantage of upcoming opportunities to help continue spreading the message that Florida is open for business and remains interested in recruiting film, television and digital media projects to our state.