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Mastery Journal: Look at Me Pitching

Everything that I have been working for in my film class culminated into one major moment – I pitched my film to a script buyer! Yes, I was nervous, but I was excited. This is a picture of me right after.

Forgive the grainy photo, I had turned my ring light off. Right before I snapped the photo I had wiped my tears to muster a smile. I did it! This look is the look of pride and relief! That was a moment where I felt like I was really, really walking in my dreams.

Reflecting back on that Saturday, I recognize that there are a few things I could have done differently. One of the major things I would have done differently, I started crying telling him about why the film was so important to me and what my father had contributed to it. I want to make my Daddy proud.

· I needed to slow down and take my time telling the story

· I needed to breathe

· I need to let the evaluator lead the conversation

· I needed to tell him sooner that I was emotional because my father had died.

I don’t kick myself about the mistakes that I made, but I will continue working toward improving my pitches. While pitching my film I got excited and jumped ahead of my notes. In his reflections, the evaluator told me to practice my pitch more and record myself, I will take that advice. Saving a copy of my notes here so that in a few years when I am on the red carpet I can remember my humble beginnings.

A couple hours before my appointment, I received an email that they wanted to move my pitch up two hours. I was working on my Look Book and reviewing my material when I received the email. Moving the appointment up actually helped me calm down. I had to get centered quickly so I stepped away from my computer and gave myself permission to relax. After about an hour of resting, I tested my Skype and stared at my Look book making sure I had everything ready. That is my first piece of advice to other students preparing to pitch, be ready so that you don’t have to get ready.

When my Skype started ringing I didn’t let it ring too long. I greeted the other person quickly, but I used the wrong name. I thought he was the buyer’s assistant who had been emailing me all day, but it was the evaluator. I apologized and introduced myself. His first question was, “What are we talking about today?” I exclaimed, “Paul Laurence Dunbar!” I was happy that he knew who my protagonist was. My second piece of advice, be excited about your project, but be natural with your reactions. I might have scared him because I was so excited.

When he told me that we only had an 8 minute time slot I put myself into overdrive and spoke so fast that my mouth got dry! I recognize that it is important to maintain control of my time instead of allowing time to control me. Now that's a piece of advice right there! Although I had eight minutes, it was enough time for me to tell him my pitch and answer several questions. My evaluator was graceful and gave me more time.

When I received the evaluator’s feedback, I read the comments without any expectations so that I wouldn’t take his feedback personally. I read each line and took time to digest it. Although he is not interested in my film, he told me that I did a good job and that is all that matters to me. I will find the right buyer, investor and producer, this story has universal themes that need to be discussed. With time, I will get better and my goal is to see my film in production.

When my pitch was over, immediately called my sister and my friend and cried tears of joy. I wanted to share that moment with somebody. Pitching my film proved to me that I belong in the room! It was one of the moments that I will never forget. It was a moment that brought my dreams full circle. I am driven to make sure that I give my all to my dreams from this point on - my daddy would have it no other way.

Let's get to the red carpet. I may not be better dressed than Billy Porter, but I will be stunning!

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