So my latest attempt at the pitch Video on the 11th of Feb, could not have been more different from the first.
I met with Jake Bench Who is producing Low Season, and we headed down to the Lido with full kit, to redo the interviews with me and try and get some B roll and a little segment of Jake speaking to camera too.
It had occurred to me that the whole theme of this campaign and film has been about community, and that If my collaborators were willing (with a little gentle persuasion)! That the video necessitated there involvement in front of the camera as well as behind, I have watched tons of pitch videos on Indiegogo and Kickstarter for film projects and the best ones always seem to those that involve the cast and crew popping up to add there presence and ideas.
Of this top ten the two I spent more time studying were the veronica mars project, which I had heard of but never seen and I believe at the time in 2013 was the most successful campaigns to date, it made $5,702,153 from 91,585 Which still sits it hight in the all time list for campaigns. O f course she used her existing cast from the old show and I was aware that this familiarity and an already rabidly keen fan base were what appealed, but it was this use of of a team that made it strong overall…Use what you’ve got I guess!
They made the film in question which launched to mediocre reviews and not a particularly big box office, but it did prove that if you are persistent and passionate about a project there are other ways to circumnavigate the studio systems conservative opinions. The amount they raised was enough to convince the money men in the studios to stumps up the rest. More mediocrity on our screens! Yay!
The second was the Zac Braff, Kickstarter campaign for his film ‘Wish I was here’ This is far and away the best pitch I have seen to date, perhaps I’m biased as I really liked scrubs, but it works on several levels, it has cast casually walking in and out, plays like a mini sit com/pitch, and Braff is able to clearly get away with blatantly asking for money!
It is however, at over 4 minutes way too long! They get away with it because it is well made and funny, and people will of course be wanting to see more of their favourite stars! I on the other hand need to keep mine down and preferably within a maximum of 2 minutes.
And most importantly he is clear why he needs it, his reasons for wanting final cut and creative control of the project, were very interesting, and the fact that he is open about how the commissioning process works in Hollywood is also a strong element, this is when my mind started to whirr! I knew for myself that Of course I lack this kind of established branding or past work, but I was also aware that being as transparent and crystal clear on your resins for the project and your goals are tantamount.
My big sticking point remains what these tow have and I will always lack on this campaign and that is the irreverent and jokey content, tone and and theme.
Elsewhere in smaller campaigns that have been successful an example is this student campaign in Bristol:
It is this comedic delivery that seems to win out every time. I may sound a little prim and proper, but I can hardly go for this style with my form of project and film.
And this film called the body
In this campaign I started to develop ideas for writing and organising pitch and page layout and started to see potential ideas for film based reward criteria.
A more serious approach and thematically more in line with my own project would be this 2012 documentary campaign, it is showcased through this Guardian article which also discusses the properties and abilities of film for promotion of positive change
Below is a lengthy Q&A discussion come workshop about the same piece.
So it was not a wholly cynical I cant do this on my own strategy but one in which I thought I really need to show that we are already a team to encourage in the potential backers/new team members.
Of course this does take some of the pressure off me also, as my attempt at The Teignmouth shoot proved I am no TV presenter! Nor do I wish to be!
Well the first big difference for this shoot was that I was better prepared, I had lovingly crafted cue boards from old cardboard boxes with a3 parcel taped to them with the whole pitch text, in big letters for my old man eyes. and Jake who spends his working days shooting footage and interviews for Plymouth Uni brought good kit. We kept things simple this time, and it was a lot easier with just one person there. Despite the tide rolling in (mid take on the foreshore) we got good footage, he nailed his piece to camera pretty quickly, and we were both able to shoot some brill in the lovely crumbling ruins of the Plymouth lido. It was nice to get behind the camera and shoot footage myself again, and I could feel the film stating to direct ideas and decisions.
This Saturday I Caroline’s Turn! I have managed to trick cajole and generally pester my crew into involvement and This weekend We can get another segment done with My First AD and Sgt Major on set Caroline Morley.
Having several different goes has given me a chance to see what works a bit more and what doesn’t, we can then direct ourselves to redoing with the crew the weakest elements of my delivery. and maybe redo (yet again a few other bits)
It has been a learning curve, I still don’t feel comfortable and I will save my critique of the video for another blog suffice to say, the difficulty has been in the seriousness of the delivery and the subject involved.
Additional sources and links: