Well as I expected, Saturday was a very long day for me. I didn’t get too much sleep because I was up early to prepare for the pitch competition. I had to have a my PowerPoint presentation ready in time for the tech rehearsal in the morning. I had just taught myself PowerPoint the night before but found it quite easy to figure out. I discovered that the use of visual aids increased my running time so I was in a small panic wondering if I’d be able to trim it enough to fit within the 6 minutes we are allotted.
The pitch itself was a blur. I have no idea how I did really. I got a few laughs, which was very good. But I felt I could have answered some questions better, especially one about the minor character of a girlfriend. I was fine though going up first and presenting. It wasn’t until I sat down that I realized how knotted and tense my stomach was.
But when I finally settled down, I was able to just sit back and enjoy the other pitches. And they were all very, very strong and interesting. I could easily see any one of them doing well as finished films, so it’s kind of too bad that there’s only one prize available in each category. The MC Keith Cole was very entertaining and engaging. He and the distinguished jury (Nobu Adilman, Judy Gladstone, Eileen Arandiga) seemed to be having way too much fun up there.
Afterwards, NSI (the National Screen Institute) hosted an industry reception at Espresso Bar Mercurio. It was a good opportunity to decompress after the anxiety of having to pitch. Then I joined filmmaker Jennifer Liao (What You Eat) and my co-producer Sandy Kellerman for a quick bite.
We then headed over to the theatre in preparation for the 8:15 screening. I was pleased to see such a great turnout even though the weather was so lousy. The theatre was packed. They brought out a bunch of extra seating and easily filled it all. It was a real honour to have my modest short film screen alongside director Michael Kang’s excellent work. I recall seeing his outstanding debut The Motel at a previous Reel Asian festival and his great talent is clearly evident in this very different work.
I popped by the Festival Social Club at Augusta House briefly and took in some of the 90s themed fun before heading over to the reception at Yuzu for Michael Kang. The food was tasty and I could finally completely relax. Then a bunch of us went off to do some karaoke. That was a blast. There were so many of us that we needed to book a second room. That went on for some time but I hung in there until the very end, around 4:30 or so. After that, we went across the street for Korean food. I finally made it home around 6ish.
Like I said, it was a long day. Fantastic, but long.