Fever Pitch

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Event:

Lacrosse Quest 24


  • Start: 7.00pm Friday May 4th

  • Finish: 7.00pm Saturday May 5th

  • Location: South Fish Creek Recreational Centre

  • RTP Fund raising target: $50,000

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the new Taylor family Digital Library, at the University of Calgary. The building is all glass and steel and very impressive.

I was there for the Alberta Write Stuff Workshop. It was billed as a "coming together of Calgary / Southern Alberta television, film and digital platform with writers and publishers." My friend, Lyn Cadence, had informed me of the workshop and I had been accepted to make a pitch for "Marathon Quest" which will be published in September 2012. In total, four pitches had been selected and we each had 3 minutes to "put our best foot forward". The pitch section was at the end of the workshop so I would have two hours to sweat it out.

The first hour was fascinating. Film maker / author Joel Bakan talked about the development of his book entitled "The Corporation" and the film of the same name, which was one of the successful documentaries of all time. He was joined by Gary Burns who's most recent film is "Radiant City". Gary and Joel are working on a film adaptation of Joel's latest book "Children under Siege". Gary talked about the writer / producer collaboration and some of the challenges inherent in the process.

The second hour of the workshop dealt with "Following the Money". The panellists were Jeff Brinton, Alberta Film; John Galway, Harold Greenberg Fund and Val Creighton, Canada Media Fund. The group talked about accessing funds provided by the Government of Alberta. They stressed that it takes some persistence but there is money available to get your film made.

Finally it was time for us to make our pitch in front of a panel of film producers. They were Randy Bradshaw, Certain Films; Shirley Vercruysse, Harrow Films; Michael Jorgensen, Myth Merchant Films and Joe Novak, Bow River Productions.

The first person to make their pitch had a book published in late 2011 called "500 Dead Ducks", a novel about lust and revolution in the oilsands. Next was a University of Calgary student who talked about a TV series that soundsed like a cross between "The Office" and "Ground Hog Day". The third contestant pitched a science fiction story that was a mix of "Caprica" and "Solaris". The time flew by as the producers gave their constructive criticism.

I had made some mental notes from the comments the producers had given and they definitely helped me in my 3 minute presentation. A key one was to sell the idea in 30 seconds and build a relationship with the panel in 3 minutes. I did my best and fortunately it went down well. I had some very positive feedback and plan to follow up with the producers.

Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day

""We travel on the road to adventure on a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun. Like lovers and heroes, and the restless part of everyone, ee're only at home when we're on the run, on the run."

Neil Peart, the legendary drummer and lyricist for RUSH

The Four Producers giving feedback at the Alberta Write Stuff Workshop

Fever Pitch


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