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  • Kimberlee Bassford

Making the "Good Pitch"

As part of my presentation at the Good Pitch Local Hawai‘i on November 6, 2019, I screened a 1-minute trailer for Sia.

Even though I had practiced my pitch at least a dozen times already, I was still nervous. It's the way I feel whenever I have to speak in front of a crowd, which is something I've often had to do as a filmmaker. What helped me then–as it usually does–was to just take a deep breath before stepping onto the stage and to look across the crowd and smile before starting my pitch.

In the end, I really didn't have much to worry about since the audience was warm and friendly. And of course it would be. This was my home turf. I was pitching my newest film project at the inaugural Good Pitch Local Hawai‘i. And the pitch venue was the Waiwai Collective in Honolulu, a space that's designed to be intimate with its semicircle seating and grassy floor encouraging bare feet.

The project I pitched was my film Sia about Samoan writer Sia Figiel and her journey toward physical and mental wellness. And while I've been in production on the film for almost four years now, the pitch event was the first time I had spoken publicly about the project.

My pitch went smoothly. I gave the introduction, showed a trailer, provided more context about the project and went into my "asks." The moderator then opened it up to questions from the audience and asked for pledges, which was the part I was most excited for.

While there were no cash pledges (and let's face it, that's what filmmakers really need!), I got a lot of pledges of in-kind support such as offers of places for crew to stay during production and assistance with the creation of publicity materials.

I was touched by the outpouring of support from the community. It reminded me that there are others who want to see this project completed and who want to help me along the way. And that is an incredible boost of support, especially since most of film production is a lonely process. So as I continue on with that process, I will try to remember the energy I felt on that stage and that I'm not alone.


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