Thursday 17 November 2011

Just Pitch It

Been a bit quiet on the blogging  front for a while - apologies, it's not been for the lack of wanting to blog but moreover that I've had not one, not two, but three pitches to deliver.  I'm not at liberty to say to whom I'm pitching to, suffice to say that they are a major film company.  I can't even say what the projects are as they technically own them until they decide whether to option them or hand the projects back to me. All I can say is none of the projects are actually Digitopia.

A while ago when I was deep into making Digitopia: Discover Me a producer told me to have other projects in a state ready to pitch.  As Digitopia may not fit in with the projects that the person I'm pitching to is looking for.  That was actually a great piece of advice.  I applied for TalentLab an initiative funded by Skillset and BBC.  As part of the process I had to write outlines for two alternative projects.  These two projects then went on to take a life of their own.  One of these is a Rom-com which I pitched a few weeks ago.

Turning up to the pitch and fighting nerves

The pitches arrived, I had to pitch three projects in three weeks, I'm sure there's an analogy with London buses that I'm supposed to make here. Really I was nervous, but I was more overtaken with trying to prepare for each pitch. I was concious of finishing preparations for the rom-com pitch which was actually my middle pitch. In a way this made the first pitch easier, I spent just under a week preparing for the first one and under a week preparing for the last one.

Top tips for preparing for a pitch

  • Accept you're going to be nervous – it's natural, trying to fight it is futile. Accept it the same way you accept the colour of the walls are (insert colour of closest wall).
  • Can these people really change your life? No! Just go pitch they will either like it or not.  If not move on – only you can change your life
  • You have something to offer them –it's not a one way street, even the biggest and best film producers need ideas. That's where you the pitcher come in. Go into the meeting with the attitude that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  Think of it as a partnership of equals.
  • Rehearse – even if it's to yourself in an empty room. Better still ask someone if you can rehearse to them. Even if you think the person has nothing to offer the idea, just by doing the process you'll initiate a discussion. It's better to have that discussion in a rehearsal than in the actual pitch.
take out the batsman out of the equation  and just  pitch

So having gone through this experience I now have a slate of five features fully developed and ready to go. It may be that I have to go though some of these lower budget ideas before I can come back to making Digitopia.

Going through these pitching process I realised that I am not too far away from making one of these lower budget productions. I've already been making lots of useful contacts on LinkedIn with potential collaborators. It's a matter of figuring out which one to pursue first. I've decided to pursue all of them simultaneously and see which one bites first.


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