The Elevator Pitch: Short Film and Interview
When Zak Klein, a film-making friend of mine announced he had a new short film to pitch to the world on the back of a raft of promising previous (including the topical and witty Deleting Emily) I knew it'd be worth featuring and delving deeper into his quick firing creative mind. And so what better way than straight from the barrel of the gun? I think you'll agree the film is a wonderful meta-comedy chock full of humorous details that's swept along by a snappy script. Ultimately it sticks in your head, not just as a fantastic set of visual puns, but as an understated industry satire/critique and commentary on the slog of creative fulfilment facing aspiring makers.
This film started with a random conversation about the film industry. Simon Ryninks (the director) and I were venting our frustrations about funding, and how difficult it was for young filmmakers to get the credibility they need to secure financing. We had always wanted to make a film for the Virgin Media Shorts, with the intention of winning the cash prize, but were so cynical about the process we always talked ourselves out of it.
Then I started pitching Simon the idea of an Intern stuck in a lift with a producer, pitching him his film idea. An idea that was shamelessly about himself. I thought it was funny, but knew it was crazily self-indulgent. So, even as I was pitching, I went a step further, pulling back to reveal myself in a room with another producer, showing him the very scene I just described. Simon laughed, so I pulled out even further to reveal the Virgin Media Panel. Simon said: "let's make it" - and the project kept gathering momentum from that point.
We couldn't do it ourselves, so I called Tibo Travers - a young producer I know who always makes things happen. Suddenly it was a co-production with Sweetdoh, we pulled together a talented crew, shot it over three weekends, edited it and put it online. I was worried we were cramming too much story into a tiny space of time, but people were very praising. The response on the Virgin Media Shorts website was fantastic; we were actually confident we'd get nominated.
But we didn't. It must have been too cheeky and cynical for them. Considering the original version shows the Virgin Media Panel turning down our own film, we probably shot ourselves in the foot.
But then Simon edited a new version where the judging panel is for a fictitious 'Big Break Awards', and that seemed to work just as well, if not better. Since then we've won Film of the Month on Moviescope Magazine and have been selected for the Google+ Film Festival. We even got a meeting with the head of BBC drama out of it.
Our goal is to get 100,000 views on youtube so we're really hoping people share it. Maybe some new opportunities will come from it. Perhaps not. Nothing is ever guaranteed in this industry. If you want to see it on the big screen, it's showing at the opening night of the London Short FIlm Festival at the ICA - in a block called Funny Shit.
Support the film and its young British independent makers by helping it reach the 100k view mark, sharing it with your buddies, and letting us know what you think in the comments below.