2023 Progress – Pilot SCREENPLAY ACCOLADE
BANFF ADVENTURE 2022 BANFF WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL
The view from the Banff Springs Hotel during the Banff World Media Festival 2022. There were some meetings in tents outside to enable fresher air, so I took photos.
2022 Progress – the Banff World Media Festival Adventure
I pitched LCPA at the Banff World Media Festival 2022 in June in Alberta. It was a great experience, if costly. Hotels there, even with the conference deal, are pricey and food was expensive with long lines to wait for tables. The town was open but missing a lot of summer staff. Luckily, I had my trusty assistant, Jessica to help. She shopped at the IGA during the day and we ate in the room. This allowed me to swim every night in the great hotel pool. We were at the RimRock which has indoor pools.
Fabulous food and a wonderful balcony table at the RimRock. J and I strategized every day there.
We admired the Rockies though the weather was awful and very unlike a normal Banff in June. Plus, my family holidayed in Banff often when I was a kid, so it’s not new to me. I’ve taken Jessica there before, too, when the weather was much nicer & it was gloriously beautiful.
The Banff Springs Hotel, where the conference is held each year is just a spectacular old hotel with amazing public areas and meeting spots. This one, looks very old world.
I went with seven screen & TV pitches in all. I got nibbles of interest on I think five of them. No one was too excited (sadly) but I did get requests for full scripts when they’re done. LCPA has a full script, of course, but I got a request to ‘think about it in 15 minute increments’ – if I could, the producer might be interested in seeing it. That one is hard and I haven’t cracked it yet. To do this, the story engine would have to be completely revised.
My two pitches for family fantasy “Some Thing” and SF “Deal” got better responses, but, again, I have to get those completed as scripts before I can proceed on those nibbles of interest.
Socially, the festival was great, plus I learned a lot from the presentations. Hallmark did a stand-out presentation which was very clear as to ‘what they want’. Some places, like Sci-Fi Channel were absent. Others did okay presentations, but made certain no one could easily talk to them (Netflix.)
I met two of my former TV bosses and got to hang around with my favorite showrunner boss. I made appointments ahead of time, but also took advantage of the Banff system where they allow you to schedule a pitch meeting with one of their guests.
One of the best roundtable meetings was with Canadian TV agents. After that, I have my eye on one agent I’d like! I also realized why I didn’t vibe with another one. My old agents weren’t there, which kind of says why I don’t have one now. Still, I feel like I’d need to put more output on the table before looking again. It wastes time for both of use if I don’t write a lot of screenplays. I spend a lot of time on prose, day job and general life.
I’m writing this seven months after the conference. Banff had been on my ‘bucket list’ and I’m glad I could afford to go. Results-wise? I’m not sure I made enough headway. I met a local producer whom I might show my Xmas movie to when it is done. I have the 15 minute LCPA guy. There were a couple who I knew from before who would take one or both of my fantasy/SFF movies to read.
Banff was very educational and I met or renewed acquaintance with tons of TV people – my old friend Lars, new friends doing geology shows and author shows, etc., but I’m wondering if I’ll go this year. I’d want more scripts done than I do now to justify it.
2022 Banff World Media Festival
Very enjoyable in a lot of ways. Did a great deal of meeting and greeting. Good presentations.
Buck Productions & Coverfly 2021
Got some great comments from Emma on my pitch for LCPA. It’ll help refine the 5-page version of that pitch. She also invited me to submit other shows when I have them. This is possibly the best news that one gets from a ‘cold’ pitch. So onto working up the other ideas! I must say it felt good to pitch a show that I knew inside and out. It was all ready!
LCPA continues to trot along, garnering some interest here and there. I got a meeting with Emma of Buck Productions due to the wonderful FaceBook group “InkCanada”. She heard both my pitches for series and liked LCPA the best. She’s already doing a YA / Tween or two, so GVA wasn’t something she was into now. I revised my mini-bible and sent it along. Fingers crossed! I’d love some great news on this one!
My Coverfly Pitch week interview with a prominent agent engendered a request for the script of Garden Variety Aliens. So, I’ve been writing Garden Variety Aliens (GVA) on my nights / weekends this past month.
I’m very pleased to finish the first draft and mini-bible. It’s at proofreading now. The mini-Bible will get an image-treatment by Jessica soon.
However, GVA totally derailed my schedule of doing the feature scripts “Deal” and “Some Thing” next. But that is life in TV, always counter-intuitive in my experience.
I didn’t muster the nerve yet to query my producers about LCPA until I started writing this post! It made me realize it’s time to get in touch with people who liked my ideas and let them know where the creative slate is at.
The only ones that independently replied were:
- CBC BTW, hooray for Lea Marin who does not ignore you & honestly says; “the project leans a bit too heavily into the genre space for us so it is not a project we would prioritize at this time.” I’m happy to get a no, it means that I’ll understand their priorities better next time.
- An InkTip query producer who was also very nice and hoped that I would “find the ‘right producer for this project.”
So, I’m crossing my fingers with the remaining producers and networks. Wish me luck! I’d love to find Beth and Thor a home!
August and September 2021
So excited! LCPA and my profile have combined to get me onto the Coverfly Pitch Week 2021! It’s part of the fantastic services of the Coverfly team. They strive to get the lone screenwriter some notice and I appreciate this!
I’ve got meetings set up now for next week, and I’m really excited.
For more information on Coverfly Pitch week click here.
July and August 2021
LCPA has been revised into a Pilot script plus a series bible. After pitching at Banff in June and July, I realized that producers and broadcasters wanted a bible and a proper one-hour pilot script. The ‘feature-length as pilot’ model is no longer popular. So with the help of my intern for the summer, Jessica, we did this.
It was a great feeling to have a proofreader and dedicated script consultant! She’s a Film student at UBC, so she could give me some perspective gleaned from her classes in screenwriting and production. Also, she was able to add images to the bible, which was a nice touch. We worked on the bible using Google docs which was a terrific way to edit together. For the script, we used Final Draft. I finally upgraded to FD12, too.
The script required a whole new mystery within it and I moved the ‘mystery’ from the feature into Episode 2. I also created a bunch of episode ideas to flesh out the bible.
The LCPA package has now been sent off to six places – producers and broadcasters. Banff gave us the contacts and context to do this right, so we’re really hoping it gets some traction and a real sale.
As an exercise it was valuable and useful to both of us. Banff itself was long- due to it being virtual they offered about a month of varied meetings after the intense week. I hope they have a virtual track next year, too. It kept everything business-like and focused.
Here’s hoping we sell Beth and Thorvald’s story!
May and June
We refreshed the pitch materials for LCPA for Banff World Media Festival 2021.
LCPA has had a wonderful ride with the From Our Dark Side win and I’m working on another draft for Banff Media Festival #Banff2021!
For information on all the #FromOurDarkSide winners 2020 and previous, see the webpage on www.womeninfilm.ca
Women in Film have put up our images from the #From Our Dark Side projects on their website.
UPDATED: December 2020
Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action! is my Women In Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) From the DarkSide competition winning pitch. In March, 2020, I attended the week-long festival and workshop here in Vancouver. In July I pitched it at the Frontieres Film market. Then, I wrote the script and sent it to the producers and development people who had indicated interest during my meetings with them at the festival pitching.
In Autumn 2020, I uploaded the script to the industry site, The Blacklist. It’s one of the few sites that are industry-connected and offer reasonably priced script evaluations. See the following piece from the evaluation of Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action!
“The script has wonderful moments of levity, mixed into themes of aspirations and identity. While Beth is an introvert in an existential crisis, when Thor magically appears, with his big personality and his own ontological dilemma, they are a well-curated “odd couple”. Their pairing is a nice yin to each other’s yang, which creates some laugh out loud moments. The love-interest plot, culled with the comedic adventure exploration is a fresh take on the genre, while creating enough “world-building” moments for Thorvald to be the conduit to the “consciousness awakening”.“
Click below to inquire about reading “LCPA”:
More info–> I believe you have to register to see the evaluation, but it is free unless you are hosting a script. WGC and WGA members get discounts, too!
Background–> In 2020, while working at my day job, I wrote the script.
Lights, Camera, Paranormal Action! is now a full-length movie script of 100 pages (from a high of 105 pages at one point). Commentary from Nikki Saltz, the story editor provided to me by the competition helped my writing. I also received comments on my pitch from Jan Miller, my co-winners and the WIFT reps which were helpful in the rewrite. I’m looking forward to doing another rewrite based on the notes from the Blacklist evaluation (which contained great suggestions for this script.)
Current stage of development: Shopping to producers.
In August 2020, I sent the script out to the interested producers and I await word. I was very pleased that one of them got back to me within six hours over night to tell me they’d read it! Later I got two encouraging rejections and I await more responses.
The festival gave us great resources in that we got an email listing so we could double-check our rough notes. The only email I had wrong was one where the participant wasn’t on the official list but was, I assume, taking her boss’s place.
My logline: A failed actress and a Viking ghost solve paranormal mysteries on Vancouver film sets. It’s a full length comic paranormal movie.
I’ve presented the pitch at the WIFT-Vancouver Film Festival in March to several local producers. Then, I redid it ,and wrote the script in order to present this pitch at the Frontieres Film market July 2020. The market was fully online which meant we didn’t (sadly) get to visit Montreal this year. But the online nature of it didn’t hinder meetings which was great. I had a lot of meetings and garnered quite a bit of interest in the script!
I worked on my social media plus checked out the list of attendees. I needed to figure out who would be a ‘good fit’ for the project and request a meeting with them. The festival used a MarComm system so it’s all online.
I’m happy enough with this but it would have been terrific to see Montreal again! Also, my assistant producer is Jessica who although fully bilingual has never visited Quebec and we were hoping for that to happen. Maybe we’ll attend another year when travel is possible.
We’re also working on a graphic for the presentation, which I will unveil just before Frontieres here online. It takes some time to develop a really interesting image that encompasses the story. I’m not worried though because I have the tremendous and generous talents of Kelman Design and Glen Schroeder working on the “movie poster” (but sized for Zoom) graphic. I’m really excited about it! Once it’s done, I’ll be ordering all sorts of swag with the image on them!
See About Cat Girczyc to learn more about my screenwriting background.