Unfortunately, we are starting this blog about a year and half late. Oh I’m sure there is a stack of ridiculous experiences ahead of us that will be great fun to read, but there are plenty that I wish we’d have catalogued before now. But since we have to start somewhere, I will begin by retelling the story where I got the first inkling that we should be recording all this down somewhere:
<blockquote>Back in March of 2009, when we were just beginning the epic journey of learning how to get a film financed, we had a pitch trip to Silicon Valley for our feature <strong>A Touch of Magic. </strong>This is a comedy/fantasy film for families whose main characters are a Magician who doesn’t believe in magic, and a 10-year old girl with real magical powers.
The first scheduled pitch meeting was at the home of the soon-to-be-ex-wife of a billionaire (who would be a billionaire herself after the divorce). She is a big movie fan, is heavily involved in Cinequest, and definitely has an apetite for getting involved in the film industry. And most importantly, she has an 11 year-old daughter who loves fantasy movies. Perfect fit, right? No-brainer right?
All decked out in our pitch clothes that say “we’re creative but we’re know business,” we knocked on her door at the exact minute scheduled… 15 minutes later, nobody had answered the door. 5 minutes later, with our car engine running and my foot an inch away from the gas pedal which would get us the hell out of this demeaning experience, a black mercedes SUV pulled into the driveway. She piled out with her 11-year old, and looked at us as if we were robbers casing the place.
So… we got out, introduced ourselves, and discovered fairly quickly that she had completely forgotten about us (which tells you how interested she actually was). She loves movies, especially family-oriented fantasy movies. What a coincidence! That’s what we had!
“Is it a 3D movie? That’s what everyone wants to see now, you know!”
… uh, this is a $2.5M film… “That’s true, but we also think people are really more interested in seeing good movies with a lot of fantasy and imagination.”
“My daughter can’t get enough of that stuff.” – this is where her daughter, who was very outspoken about her opinions of fantasy, intervened and began to tell me the story of the latest book she was reading, which she can’t wait to see as a movie. I made the mistake of saying “Oh man, I think you’d love our story!”
“Can she read the script? She loves Harry Potter and Twilight. And she’s a really good judge.”
….uh.. she’s eleven… and it’s a script, not a book… or even a movie… “Why sure she can! We’d love to hear what she thinks!”
5 minutes later, we were back in the car. We had just pitched a billionaire while standing on the street in front of her house, who had forgotten she agreed to meet with us, who had absolutely no knowledge about the movie business, and who, it now appeared, would judge the film based on whether her 11 year old liked the script.</blockquote>
It was on the drive back to the hotel, after a few hours of laughter and consolation between each other, that I said, “We should be documenting this. Seriously, damnit! We should get a camera and make a documentary about our experiences learning how to get a film financed!” You can see how well we followed up on that idea.
By the way, apparently the day after we met them they left on a vacation to Cabo for… a month. We didn’t try to make contact.