DNA Test for Movies

Today, we did another practice pitch of my Director’s Presentation of SLOPPY FIRSTS for an industry fella that was willing to give us his perspective. The presentation is a 15-minute video which I “narrate” live. Acting shoes are on, laced, and tied tight, folks. I do get performance notes and remember why I didn’t go into acting.

I and the video (which is masterfully edited by Sarah B.) grabs you by the scruff of your teen-movie-loving neck and takes you on a delighful ride through my interpretation of SF’s genre, characters, and themes. Spoiler alert: actual voiceovers from the script are performed by Danielle Hartnett over appropriate scenes from your favorite movies AND IT WORKS!

Then, we segue into the main course — my director’s approach. Elliot Erwitt pictures and ten dollar terms like “subjective camera” and “emotionally-charged visuals” are used. The screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s are referenced. A clip from FERRIS BUELLER of Cameron kicking the shit out of his dad’s car plays well in the “serious underpinnings” section.

The whole thing was music supervised by Mo, which means I’m obsessed with the “soundtrack” to my pitch. This is probably pretentious, but I don’t care. I wouldn’t know about Oh Land otherwise. It is problematic, though, when my ipod shuffles into a song from the presentation, and I launch into the corresponding portion of the pitch. Easter brunchers were forced to hear all kinds of snippets because of this Pavlovian conditioning.

We’ve been working on this presentation since the day we declared the outline for Untitled Earthquake Movie done. So February 4th. It’s an intriguing process because it’s like a mom figuring out how to convince someone her kid belongs to her, and “Because I’m her mom!” doesn’t cut it. Nope, this mom needs to be entertaining, articulate and persuasive. If only there was DNA tests for movies.

We got good feedback today and I’m doing some tweaks but the finish line is in sight!

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