And Then Another One Comes

Clif leaned forward, set his drink down and declared that he’s the kind of guy who’s really good at finding rare things.  Used to write speeches for a Senator, had two screenplays optioned, and now works as a science writer for a science channel.  He’s accomplished much with his life, but he doesn’t feel that way.  He’s kind of dead behind the eyes.

It seems ‘the same old thing’ feels like the same old thing for all off us, even if the ‘thing’ is different from person to person.  Clif’s resourcefulness makes a difference to big projects.  Nobody knows that except for those at the channel.  Just once it would be great to create something that’s truly his own… something he would truly be recognized for.

Maybe we’ll get to work together someday.  This whole week has been full of opportunities.  So much so that I was full by the time Wednesday afternoon rolled around.  I exceeded my goals for the summit.  I left myself switched on for two full days… talking talking talking, shaking hands and making connections.  I had enough.

I was half way through a quiet celebratory gin martini when Clif sat down across from Katrina and I.  We fell into a conversation and wound up sucking him into our wake.  Two bars later it was 12am, Clif disappeared and I had just enough gas left in the tank to pitch my Cuba project to a broadcaster I met (yet another project I hadn’t planned on bringing up).  Might have a development deal on the plate.

I’m currently writing from a pub in Logan International Airport in Boston waiting to board a flight to Toronto.  More meetings await.  More opportunities to seize.  There’s momentum afoot.  Let’s see how these next few weeks go.

Brilliant

Every single one of my projects is getting an enthusiastic response.  Some people are even calling them ‘brilliant’.

It’s good to hear things like that from people who aren’t my friends or hadn’t given birth to me.  I bet my immediate future on these projects and it’s comforting to know that I’m not being delusional.  Still, words that ring well in my ears, remain only words.  They’re not worth very much, and one can get drunk on ‘em if they’re not taken with a healthy dose of reality.

Each project is a mountain to climb.  I’ve got four of them… actually, make that five.  A lady sat next to me at lunch and we fell into a conversation.  Turns out she’s a big wig at a big American institution.  I cold pitched her our alternate reality game, ‘momMe’, the first game targeted to mothers & daughters to get gaming together.  She wants to give me money for it.  Lots of loop holes, but nothing we can’t handle, especially if she remains as enthusiastic about the project a month from now, as she was at lunch.

Enthusiasm is something easy to get drunk on as well.  Like words however, it’s best taken with a healthy dose of reality.  Funny how things work though… I never even planned to talk about ‘momMe’ while down here.

The night capped off with an opening night party featuring free eats and ‘Histrini’s’, a Martini sponsored by History Channel.  I quickly tore through about four of them.  Fell into a conversation with a couple of representatives from a business affairs firm in Toronto.  They wound up treating us to supper, and we didn’t even have to talk shop.  Just hung out drinking, eating, and telling great stories.

Mike was there too.  Told you I’d follow him anywhere.

Reflecting at Stoney’s

I’m back at Stoney’s.  It’s been a great day!  Started off slow and just kind of tapered off from there.

Read a book about successful CEOs of multinational, multibillion dollar companies a few years back.  That’s how one described his approach to life.  The comment really resonated with me because… well, it fits me to a tee.

[a thinky thought emerges]

“To a tee.”  Did I spell that right?  What is a ‘tee’ anyway?  What if I’m not a ‘tee’ sort of guy?  Maybe I’m a ‘Zee’?  Hmmmm… I’m definitely not a ‘Zee’.  In Canada I’d probably be more of a ‘Zed’.

Anyhoo… just kind of relaxed all morning, getting ready for the show.  Whole room full of humanity, some of whom could potentially fund my projects.  I wasn’t about to rush in, all ‘look at me!’  This ain’t my first rodeo.  Been here twice before and I’ve never been more prepared.

My first meeting was with a representative from a very large media conglomerate in Canada.  I pitched ‘Girl Talk’ (www.girltalkontv.com).  They showed interest.

Later I wound up sitting next to a program manager from a US channel.  Pitched her ‘Girl Talk’ and later sent her ‘Urban Future’ (www.theurbanfuture.com).

I later met my roommate Katrina back at the hotel.  I first met her at the Yorkton Film Festival last year, saw her at an industry party last November, and now we’re sharing a room.  There’s a photo of us triumphantly occupying a toilet together on Facebook.  This is her first big market and her enthusiasm is a good energy to have around.  She’s also a big Twitter personality.  She’s convinced I’ll be a convert by Friday.

We attended a workshop together, swapped business cards with several others, and then sat down to my final meeting of the day (evening) with my distributor, Mike from Canamedia.  We hadn’t actually met face to face before, so discussing my four projects and looking at ways to move forward with them was important to me.  Mike paid for the drinks… so I’ll pretty much follow him anywhere now.

Katrina and I went back to the hotel afterwards.  She’d been up since 3am, had three flights, and hit the ground running.  ‘Spent’ probably didn’t begin to describe her frame of mind by this time.  She went to bed and I wrote follow-up emails to people I met over the course of the day.  You meet so many people at these things, and it’s easy to forget the connections you make if you don’t jump on them right away.

Finishing this day off at Stoney’s is great.  There are no film creatures around and I can be left alone to write and reflect on my thoughts.  Tomorrow’s a new day!

A Night Within A Night

After wrapping up my article last night in Stoney’s, two guys sitting at the bar took an interest in me.  One is a professional Parkour athlete.  Both spend a lot of time travelling around the world.  We fell into a nice conversation when suddenly, BAM!

Some guy sitting by himself hits the floor.  This drunk cougar who’d been there all night working the room came to his rescue and got him back into his seat.  The bar was silent for a few moments until she started beeking to some of the other patrons about the way they were looking at her.

The energy returned to normal, and so did the conversations.  Next thing I know, Cougar starts making out with the Parkour athlete… like right next to me.  Try having an honest conversation with that going on.  Strangely, we succeeded quite well.  After a few minutes she left him sitting there, looking kind of shell shocked… like he just shotgunned a beer or something.  He fell back into the conversation with us.

Distant sirens from emergency vehicles began to pierce the ambience.  Louder and louder they grew until they stopped, emergency lights flashing, right in front of the bar.  Two guys come in and start talking to the guy who fell over.  He couldn’t walk, and after a few minutes they helped him out.

It was now 2am and I needed to be relatively fresh for the day of meetings awaiting me the next day.  As I walked out, I thanked the guys for buying me a pint.  They were talking to this other guy they just met, and they’re like “Hey!  This is Jarrett from Canada!”

The guy at the bar looks at me and glares, “Sidney Crosby is a fucking cunt!  He’s a diving cocksucking son of a bitch and he gets away with it because the Canadian refs love him!”

“You’re a Caps fan!” I respond, smiling.

He then adds, “but your guys’ healthcare system is better than ours, and you clearly weathered this whole economic crisis way better than everyone else in the world, so good on ya!”

I walked out with a smile on my face.  Stoney’s.  I love this place!