Skip to content

Raindance – In at the deep end!

For the shy and retiring among us the thought of pitching a screenplay to a panel of movie experts and a live audience would be horrifying. But that’s exactly what this humble narrator did in London recently, and this is a brief account of what happened ….

Armed with my carefully constructed wording, I made my way to the The Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue to present the outline of my screenplay, Heart of a Murderer, to the Raindance Festival panel of film executives. This organisation has been offering advice and support to independent filmmakers since 1992.

Feeling reasonably chipper, I made my way up three flights of stairs to the evening’s venue, a plush seating area with rows of vacant seats facing a small stage.

The nice lady on reception asked if I would like to go first, an invitation I politely declined. I chose number 14 instead, and armed with my Raindance introductory pack, made my way into the auditorium.

Seated, reading through some notes, was a studious-looking gent wearing glasses and an intense expression. Presuming him to be a fellow entrant I asked if he was pitching later. He looked up and with perfect understatement said, ‘No, I’m judging.’

Thus began my initiation into the world of pitching at Raindance Live! Ammunition!

Let’s face it, some folk are better suited to this level of pressure than others. And when your number is called, and you take the long and lonely walk up to the front, you need to be well-rehearsed, focused and confident.

And so it came to my turn.

Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance, asked me to introduce myself on the mic, then said the following words, ‘Right. You have 2-minutes starting from now!’

And that, basically, signalled the beginning and the end of my pitch. I simply froze under the lights, a particularly incapacitating form of stage fright that can affect anyone – even seasoned pros.

What a disaster, you might think. All that work. All those mumbled practice runs on the Tube and in front of the mirror, ending in failure.

But all was not lost. I was at least able to read my pitch from the notes I’d made on a sheet of A4. After the performance, I exchanged business cards with one of the judges, who’d given me some positive feedback. We emailed, and he asked to read my screenplay – a result, if I say so myself.

If a similar opportunity comes my way again, I’ll have to think about it. I could always get someone to do the pitch for me, I suppose. That way I could stay at home where I belong, rattling the keys of a laptop and drinking gallons of coffee.


Published inBlog

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply