Its essentially a week from my upcoming trip to Montreal and the Frontières Co-Production Market. I’ll be going primarily to pitch my upcoming film Switchback, alongside the other winners of the From Our Dark Side Genre Incubator.
I’m not that nervous about the pitch itself. I’ve pitched a lot and at this point I feel like I have enough experience to know how to talk about my project in lots of different ways with different people. Pitching is sort of natural when you love talking about your stories and ideas and their potential. <insert ego here.> My philosophy on pitching is pretty simple: tell them a good story.
Nope, whats got my stomach in knots are the things I can’t control – like when my one sheet art will be delivered, will I get the meetings I want, and will producers even want to read the treatment/script of my film after I pitch it? Oh and the more neurotic things like: have I remembered to put everything on my packing list, and what if my clothes won’t all fit in the suitcase and if its really hot there what if I’m just way too hot and sweating the whole time and… so on.
My recent experience at Banff taught me that its very important to have a plan going to these kinds of sales-driven markets. You cannot just arrive willy-nilly with no meetings and no business cards and “hope you’ll run into the right people.” I mean, you will run into people… the question is whether they will be the people you need to meet and whether the context is “pitch-friendly” (ie. bathroom? = no, party where you can’t hear anything? = no, networking lunch = yes.)
At Banff, due to an unforeseeable mixup, I didn’t know that I had access to the hundreds of participants weeks beforehand to set up meetings outside of the “official pitch meetings.” My account was sent to the wrong email and I didn’t know until I arrived, which was far too late to set any up. Most delegates didn’t even check their messages during the events. I found out because friends of mine were there and this is what they had done. In fact the majority of people I talked to there were like me : people pitching their projects looking for producers, financing and distribution. While its lovely to meet peers like you, it doesn’t move your project forward.
It helps tremendously that myself and the other four Dark Side ladies are going to Frontières as official participants. Our projects have a profile and people will know who we are – that is huge and will help our chances a lot. There may in fact be people who want to meet us and not just the other way around. Its a fantastic opportunity that I continually remind myself how lucky I am to be a part of. Now, to finish the final touches on my treatment so its ready to send to producers… y’now, the ones who want to read it.