Today was the big panic day of the LSF. There are only so many pitch slots and a lot of people after them.
Most of us have spent weeks researching the pitching victims, aka Executives. What have they made, what are they making, what are they planning to make, are they human beings, will they rip me to pieces with an evil villain cackle...?
We have been putting info in spreadsheets, most based on the brilliant Dee Chilton's annual effort. Scoring the Execs from 1-4 and which sessions have the highest total score.
Is it better to have this session with the most 1 scorers or that one which has the most 1 and 2 scorers? But then there is the other session with the one person who is actually perfect. They can't fail to declare your brilliance and pay you huge sums for your spec script. Oscars lie ahead.
The computer or phone is set up. You have the clock ticking, the pitch booking page open ready to refresh, the LSFConnect chatroom going with everyone passing frantic notes. The count down is on.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. It hits high noon and you refresh your page. You pick your session. Noooo. Others were faster and it is full in seconds. Dive for your second or third choice. Done. Slump in your seat and let your heart calm down.
Then reality kicks in. Have I actually got something to pitch? Do I have an idea or a treatment that they might want to see developed? Will I do something stupid and convince them I am a psycho they never want to see again.
Just a note on that one. Each year I have done one really cringingly embarrassing thing. Something that makes my stomach want to leap up and rip out my tongue. We all do it. Just store it in that dark corner of your psyche and carry on.
So back to the pitching. In previous years I have gone in with a plan of what project I pitch to which person. Some got the same project. Doesn't matter.
This year most of my stuff is early draft or treatment stage. So instead I am just going to chat about my projects, what they are doing and what they hope to see. If I can make them laugh then all the better.
If you are going to be pitching at the festival and didn't get your perfect slot, don't despair. Perfection is a relative concept and full of illusion.
Best tip I can give that has served me well.
If you see a seat free then sit on it. Let them know it your project wasn't what they said they were looking for but seeing as you are both free would you like to hear it? Always got a yes and often followed by "I am looking for more than on the details you got." At the worst it is a practice run.
I will be heading there on Thursday. If you see me feel free to say hello. I love to chat.
Welcome to my thoughts. If my work makes you feel something I'll be happy.