Pitch Dating: 8 min to attract!
Testing for some, exciting for others, Pitch Dating is the new activity proposed by the ATPA (Tahitian Association for Audiovisual Professionals) at FIFO. You have 8 minutes to defend your project, to seduce and convince a producer, a buyer, a broadcaster, etc. Starting now…!
‘You have 4 minutes left!’ The minutes, then the seconds tick away on a digital stopwatch on two television screens. Inside the marquee, at the heart of the FIFO village, there is nothing to stop the hustle and bustle. On Wednesday 4th February audiovisual professionals gathered for a Pitch Dating session. This is a new event for FIFO replacing the usual Oceania Pitch. As in previous years, project bearers must convince and attract producers, broadcasters and purchasers. But this year, there is no preparation and the meetings take place individually for eight minutes. A face-to-face encounter that can be bewildering, there is no time to lose. Armed with his number, Gilles Parzy has come to meet producers and broadcasters. ‘I already have a distributor. I also have a co-producer, but it is still insufficient to make ends meet. The filming hasn’t begun but the crew is ready. We still require funding, that is why I am here.’ He is proposing a series of 5 x 26 minutes about his favourite theme: agronomy. ‘Agronomy is addressed through Polynesian landscapes, the pleasure of discovery.’ This type of exercise is new to Gilles Parzy who recognises that despite the project within him, it is sometimes complicated to find the right words when directly opposite the people concerned. ‘The exercise is difficult, but I am optimistic. The professionals are looking for a product that is different. In any case this is the place for opportunities.’
A bell is already ringing. Like in a boxing match, a new round and a new project to defend. Anouk Ride, producer of the film The Test, Chronicle of an Initiation in competition this year, is looking for English speaking distributors. ‘We already have the French version, my goal, is to be able to broadcast The Test on English speaking television channels and also in the Pacific.’ She experienced the pitch in 2013 and won the Oceania Pitch prize, now she is curious to test this new formula. ‘Today’s exercise is very different from Oceania Pitch. At the time it was very intense over the course of several days. We could fine-tune the pitch to the maximum and make various modifications before a presentation in front of thirty or so people. It was very testing, but at the same time it was fruitful, as the film would undoubtedly not be in competition at FIFO without Oceania Pitch,’ assures the producer before adding, ‘this time, it’s less formal, more relaxed, you discuss with one single person, you grab all their attention.’ At the end of the day, Anouk Ride is delighted. She met distributors and made contacts. ‘I love FIFO, you cannot meet so many people in an afternoon anywhere else.’
Interview by Eliane Koller, a member of the ATPA and Pitch Dating coordinator
‘It’s a bit like two friends telling each other a story’
Due to our budget, Oceania Pitch has not taken place this year, but we are offering another formula.
Yes that is correct, we are having a break from it for a year, but we are already preparing the 2016 version. We have had the pitch dating idea for a long time, but we were thinking of teaming it up with the workshop. Perhaps that is what we will do next year.
Eight minutes, two professionals, one meeting: is that the idea of pitch dating?
The idea is to convince a producer, a programme officer, or/and a broadcaster, according to the needs of the project. All of that in eight minutes! The person opposite has the time and opportunity to ask questions.
You participated in pitch dating as a producer. Do you have any comments?
I saw people who were presenting projects to me, but they forgot to give me important information, for example their role in the project. The excitement, the loss of means can make you forget these things, but as we all are in a conversation, in a discussion it happens. It’s a bit like two friends telling each other a story.
Who takes part in this activity?
There are all sorts. Well-known producers who have films in competition this year, but also young people from Tahiti who have taken this opportunity to present themselves, talk about themselves and their project. I really enjoyed it.
Do you manage to make contacts in eight minutes?
It’s like speed dating, you don’t get married in eight minutes, but you can make contact with professionals, exchange details, meet up at FIFO in a few days. If people are really interested in the projects on offer, there is some continuity.