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Facing my fear - one Pitch at a time

Pitching makes me freeze up. In fact, the very thought of it makes me wanna run away. 

For a screenwriter that's simply bad news. Because no matter what, if you want to get your stories out of your computer and hit the big screens, then you need to get comfortable with selling your story to potential producers and studios. And the first step in that journey is pitching. 

My fear of pitching has prodded me to find different ways of overcoming the hurdle. So, for a few years I tried to work with agents in the hope that they would read my book and be able to handle the job of pitching. But soon I realized that agents were not into reading. So, I was just another name in their long list of clients. How that helps them grow their business is a different story, and one that I will perhaps share at a later point when I get around to solving that mystery!

But the turning point (life does imitate screenplays!) came when I was called to pitch my book to a prominent OTT channel. This was an opportunity that I couldn't miss out on. And besides, the production company that had initiated this move assured me that they would handle the pitch and I just needed to be present since I was the author of the book. So, lulled into believing that I was going to only respond to any queries that the OTT executive would have, I went for the meeting. 

I was excited and the thrill of being part of a pitch made me nervous but I wasn't yet run-for-your-life scared. Until...  I was asked to pitch the story. 

Holy Mother of God! I looked around the room and all I got were encouraging smiles from the team that had assured me that they would handle the pitch. 

I had just been pushed off the top of a cliff without a parachute. And so, I did my best. Unprepared as I was. As I soldiered on, trying to narrate my story, I realized I was headed for a crash. Luckily, one of the team persons stepped in and prevented it from becoming a total splat-on-the-face kind of disaster.

The pitch session was over - the channel executive asked for materials to read - and I learnt my biggest lessons. One, fear would kill my career. Two, I needed to practise pitching like my life depended on it. 

Taglab script market

The goal for 2024 is to pitch whenever I have the opportunity and thanks to a pitchfest organized by TAGLAB I attended my very first pitchfest in Mumbai in February where I had two online and two face to face meeting sessions. Facing my fear one pitch at a time is the path that I have decided to go. And it's turning out to be a liberating experience.

For more such writing-related adventures, stay tuned... :) 

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