Film-Com has come and gone and let’s just say. IT. WAS. AWESOME. From the panels with industry professionals to the expo where I really shined to the pitch where my anxiety got the best of me. It was all incredible. Except for the really shitty Nashville traffic. But even then the drivers were accommodating.
Unfortunately Missy couldn’t make the trip with me but Pam as usual was a great partner in crime who managed to work a little magic herself, for herself as well. And let’s not down play the adventures we had on the roadways through Garmin.
The panels were fantastic. Meeting Joel Eisenberg in person at 6:40 in the morning was fanfreakingtastic. The man had a low bullshit threshold and it was wonderful. He took the packet. Which included the documentary Letters to Daniel, a data disc with books, scripts, and treatments on it. A one sheet with the synopsis of each book. And two one sheets for Pam’s work and data disc with her work on it. He also took the memoir on which the documentary is based.
He was frank, fresh, and open and wanted to know about us. He let us talk as long as we wanted which honestly was nice because after coffee in the morning I can get a little chatty. Which led to the conversation about Bella Morte and he wanted me to talk to his editor at the time. Which was really awesome. And after I have some time to digest just what this last week really means to my career I’ll get on emailing all the people who gave me their business card. Which was A LOT.
Documentary distributors en masse it seemed came to my booth at expo and took a packet after pitched them Letters… Even people standing close by would somehow take a packet. TV people took my packet. I won’t name drop because well, it’s tacky. People liked my story of coming back from bipolar disorder and abuse. At the booth I was totally in my element.
Going up to Gary Badderley after the panel was intimidating but I knew I had to do it. My nerves were horrible. But then standing in front of someone who can get your message out in a much bigger way than you can be intimidating for anyone. Most everyone who said they were going to come by the table came by the table.
The actual ‘pitch’ was a disaster. CRICKETS. With the exception of one person asking questions. And asking if I had a booth. I know if she came it was after lunch break and after they went back in to hear pitches again.
I had to leave and breakdown at 2:30PM. Because honestly. I had worked it out with my psychiatrist that I pushed all of meds forward so that I would stay awake during the day. So I could do basically Wed 5-4 Thursday 6-4 Friday 9-2 and I pushed it out until 2:30. I still had 4 packets left. I took a gamble took the banners down, made sure the number 47 was still up. Left business cards and the packets.
I really wanted to stay, but the all out panic attack I had standing on the stage in front of the queen and king makers made the pitch total crap. The guy in charge I think pitied me and shook my hand and said, ‘it was a very nice pitch’. Who knows. Joel came in and said some very nice things about me. Which I really appreciated. But I felt like I had just blown my big chance. I mean everyone else was coming out saying we rocked it. We kicked ass. I wish I could say the same about the official pitch.
BUT. In just meeting people and encouraging them to come to my booth that’s where my real comfort zone was and that was where I really shined. I felt like I was on top of the world there. Of course that could be the bipolar talking but, when the one executive who had responded in the pitch session to me had not come by 2:30 I had to go I could really feel the effects of my meds being pushed forward for that length of time. Erica Wester, wherever you are, thank you so much for taking on our table and looking for the executive with the hat and sundress on.
The anxiety was really strong and what I hope comes of this visit to FILM-COM are lots of things. Distribution first and foremost because it makes my second point all the more salient, I want people to get help. To not be afraid of the psychiatric community. To educate them and erase the stigma for those of us who have bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. And let those like me out there know that there is indeed hope, that you don’t have to live in darkness. And that help is indeed out there and joy and happiness can be had.