VIFF – Storyville

23 09 2010

I’ve booked myself in for a day of story pitches at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

14 pitches.

4 hours.

More than 1 palpitating heart, to be sure.

I’m excited to see and hear how seasoned directors and producers present their ideas. What works and what flops. Who will toast themselves with champagne after and who will drown in whiskey. Who will walk out with a deal and who goes home to walk the dog with a sinking, deadened feeling in their gut.

They must be nervous – I mean, who wouldn’t be? You’re standing in front of people who can give you the money you need to make your dream film happen. Or not. One day I’ll be up there. Strangely though, then I think of the possibility of one day standing in front of a panel of commissioning editors and broadcasters, preparing to pitch my heart out, I actually don’t feel like vomiting. I feel… calm.

Because once I have my heart set on something, I know I can convince almost anyone to see my vision. They don’t stand a chance of resisting my charm. You just need to have that devil-may-care attitude that says “I’m going to make this film whether you get on board or not – I’m just giving you a chance to jump in now because you need it. You need my story. I don’t need you.” They’ll eat me up, I have no qualms about that.

So, only two things have stopped me from totally conquering the world of broadcasting to date.

1. I don’t know how to pitch. Rather, I don’t know how they expect you to pitch. Know the rules and then you can break them, right?

2. Need to firm up the story I’m pursuing. The battle over resources in the North – land vs. gas, water vs. oil, unspoiled wilderness vs. skyrocketing shares – is a big one and I don’t yet have the angle I need. I know we’re going to pursue this story. I know it will be huge. I know it’s important to the rest of Canada, even to the world.

What I don’t know is my “in”, that unique perspective that will let this story unfold naturally and seamlessly. Until I have my own angle I won’t have that deadly confidence I’ll need to pitch it and get a contract.

So for now I’ll kick back and watch the others sweat, and probably lose my premature and entirely unwarranted arrogance somewhere along the way.

I think I’ll sneak in some whiskey.

UPDATE: Also going to the FREE Melting Silos meet&greet reception on Wednesday: http://meltingsilos.eventbrite.com/

Digital media producers + film producers/directors = key to success “Join the Melting Silos team for a drink at a “non-virtual-real-3D-interactive” event to meet in-person! Graciously held during the VIFF Trade Forum, it will take place after a digital media discussion. Geared for filmmakers and digital media companies, we’ll do some quick roundtable-type discussions and you will meet a bunch of new people. We’ll also announce the call for the 2010 Melting Silos applications. Melting Silos is a transmedia development project supported by Telefilm, NFB, Praxis, BC Film and Agentic Communications, Inc. http://meltingsilos.com”

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One response

23 09 2010
barry lazar

I look forward to a reading a continuing stream of your thoughts and speculations as you enter the lions’ den. Bonne chance – Barry

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