What a difference a day makes --- ! After practicing our pitch in long form in a few meetings, we had it down pretty well. I delivered the first presentation, then Monica and I fielded the questions and the comments. We exchanged some good information and several people indicated they would watch the film in the library.
So imagine how surprised and pleased we were when we walked in to our first meeting today and met someone who had not only watched the trailer and was familiar with the project, but who had watched the entire film in the library. He was glowing about it. His company's roster was really impressive, with more than one oscar under their belt and many more oscar nominations. He was very interested in working with us. As I mentioned before, deals don't happen here, but rather the beginnings of deals can. These things are so complicated that lawyers have to get involved and complicated contracts drawn up with many different sets of rights negotiated (festival rights, theatrical rights, TV rights, international rights, internet rights, video rights, distribution rights, etc. etc.) But his level of enthusiasm and his ideas for what he envisioned (a festival run, theatrical distrubution, then international and cable/TV and finally video distrubution) sounded wonderful.
Then his partner arrived with a very different perspective. He said "this is not a theatrical film. TV maybe." He was sober, pessimistic, and watching guy #1 wink and nod at us and interject the occasional "we'll argue about this. I'll change his mind" was pretty amusing. Afterwards Andrew said "I think we were just good cop-bad copped" and I likened it to having a Paula Abdul / Simon Cowell experience. But guy #1 seemed to want to make something happen.
Naturally, we were cautious, but certainly happy. We were most happy to have two complete strangers tell us they loved our film and that we had a wonderful project (even guy #2 looked hard at us and said "it IS a wonderful film. Don't get me wrong) was the best part of the week so far. Obviously we're not green enough to assume that something wonderful is going to come out of a 30-minute conversation, but we were feeling bouyed. And in case your red flags are waving, it is comforting to remember that IFP doesn't allow hucksters here. There's a very careful vetting process and only established, legitimate companies are let in.
Anyway, we went to get some coffee and I thought I'd snap a picture of the three of us basking in the glow of some positive reaction to our years of hard work.
Tomorrow is our screening, at 2:30. we'll be showing 20 minutes to a crowd of ...? So far most screenings we've been to have had anywhere from 5 to 25 people in the audience. As I may have mentioned before, it seems as though most of the audience at the screenings is other filmmakers, as the industry folks go check things out in private in the library on their own time. But it will be interesting to see if our postcards and our listing in the booklet will generate some interest.
I'll let you know...