Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap - "A one day event to introduce media employers to future talent who might aspire to work in TV, Radio, Print and Web."

I'd known about this uni event for a while but had not yet signed up to any of the events until yesterday afternoon. I suppose one part of me thought that meeting potential employers seemed a little pointless at a time when I can't go to work for anyone and another part of me was just intimidated. Massively intimidated.

Anyway, I hurriedly signed up for the session entitled "Working For Yourself" and ambled in to the lecture theatre around 2.20 in time for 2.30 start. This was when my relaxed day was turned upside down by Mark Handscomb, who whisked me away into a completely different session: "Pitching ideas for web and TV."

"Do I actually have to pitch something?"
"Yes"

Arrgrh!

Suddenly, with 10 minutes to spare I was racking my brains for an idea, debating whether to pitch the film I've been working on in uni or try something completely new. I decided to go for the pitch I knew inside out, even though I hadn't practised it in months (though I have been developing the script)

Ben, who was hosting and seemed as surprised to see me there as I was to be there, ushered me into the room and I found myself sat facing 3 men and a woman, all looking very interested and serious, as if they were actually expecting me to say something good. One of them was John Paul Chapple, who I later realised was a producer for Endemol. There was also a bell on the table which seemed very suspicious. I never found out what that was for. I launched into the pitch and to my surprise, realised I had four listeners who seemed to actually enjoy the story.

I honestly think not knowing I was going to do this pitch was the best thing that could have happened. Somehow it made it all much fresher.

I got some fantastic feedback, from the whole panel. Really honest, really exciting feedback that made me want to move on with this idea. They pointed out things from story to budget to how it might be developed into something for TV. I came out of that room with so many ideas and a massive confidence boost.

Thank you, thank you Mark Handscomb for kidnapping me and making me do that!

After the pitch session I joined the end of the "Working for Yourself" discussion which was quite interesting. It made me realise that in the end, working for yourself is just a matter of contacts, discipline and really hard work and it is not a lower grade than working for someone else. Especially these days. As one of the panel said, no job is truly stable anyway. Nice way of looking at it.