While there was a lot of overwhelming and heartening positive feedback surrounding my pitch, I found that one particular element of feedback stuck out to me and was almost universal amongst the panel.
That this world I had created was a very familiar one, with a strange and intriguing new twist (the incorporation of the “Duck and Cover” ritual).
For me, this feedback was interesting because it represented my work’s connection and disparity from a conventional view of a “propaganda town”.
Being someone who blatantly rejects convention in many ways, I enjoyed this explanation of my world, as it showed its progression from the comforting world we have come to know quite well in recent times, with films such as Pleasantville () and The Stepford Wives () using this ideological facade to reveal the inner workings beneath; to my absurd version of events leaning more towards a Charlie Kaufman film. It was great to hear that this ‘method’ of transitioning from the familiarity of genre and convention, into the absurd is a good way to convey complex ideas. I definitely agree with this statement, as I have found that it is easier to ease an audience into the absurdity and the deeper message. When dealing with complex issues, sometimes the use of subtlety to portray your message, is a better course of action than beating them over the heads with it.
I guess this makes my film quite like the young protagonist, comfortable until something tells her she should pull a string and reveal what is beneath, starting the tumble of events. In this way, her questioning and deciding to pull that string is the inciting incident and the beginning of the absurdity curve.
The absurdity, of course, begins as soon as the “Duck and Cover” ritual begins. It was great to hear how this distinguishing element was what truly allowed for this disunity from convention. This element was described as “original” and “taking something factual and real out of context and taking it to its limits”. I enjoyed these descriptions as it showed that this element of reality, although an absurd use of it, conveyed the strange reality and likeness to our own current situation. The era of fake news and Donald Trump/Putin, taken to the nth degree.
It was great to hear that my pitch was almost as though I were pitching my idea for real, out there in the industry. I really appreciated hearing this, because not only did it make me feel confident within my own idea, but it made me feel as though this idea, and possibly others would be successful pitches and move through various stages of production to get to the final point – being able to see my ideas on the big screen.
I learnt a lot from this pitch session and the subsequent feedback. Especially seeing how this process of ideation and pitching works in screenwriting. This has only affirmed my dream of one-day writing and directing my work in a larger context to larger audiences.