We’re going to NYC!
Our new film, The Believers, just got accepted to the Independent Media Week in New York in September! This is great news for us, because this event is not a film festival, but rather a market. This means that the public generally doesn’t come, but industry professionals do. HBO, PBS, Focus Features, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, etc. etc. etc. all come to potentially buy films to distribute in theatres, on TV, cable, overseas, and on and on. It’s a very important place for a filmmaker with a film in his/her back pocket to be.
Readers of my older blog will recall that we were invited to attend this event in the fall of 2007 with The Atom Smashers and it resulted in a deal that got our film on Independent Lens, as well as Netflix, itunes, Hulu, and several other places. I wrote about it here and even made a blog entry for every day that we attended. It was incredibly fun, a ton of work, completely exhausting, but very rewarding.
There are a lot of things we have to do to get ready… not the least of which is to prepare a great “elevator pitch.” What’s that? This American Life just did a show about the dreaded elevator pitch, which is when you find unexpectedly find yourself face-to-face with someone hugely important in your field in the elevator. For example, let’s say I’m going up to the 30th floor at the IFP Market in New York, and in the lobby Harvey Weinstein walks into the elevator. I’ve got a big, clunky badge on that says “Filmmaker.” Weinstein notices, glances sideways at me and says “Filmmaker, eh? What’s your film about?”
Elevator doors close. Start the clock. You’ve got 30 seconds to make your film sound like the most incredible thing Harvey Weinstein has ever heard about. It will make him a lot of money and change the world, one stunned viewer at a time. At the end of the 30 seconds, the doors open and Weinstein pauses. He reaches for his coat pocket and hands you a business card. “Call my assistant,” he says, then walks out. Open mouthed, everyone else in the elevator looks at you, amazed at what they have just witnessed.
That’s an elevator pitch.