LCFF recently caught up with Caitlin Reed, winner of the 2015 La Costa Film Festival’s The Reel Pitch, which returns for 2016. Caitlin, 21, pitched her winning original story ERASED to a panel of film producers and executives seeking fresh voices. Caitlin, who has a background in theater and acting, shares her experience and updates us on her project.
LCFF: Congratulations on your win. In a nutshell, what is ERASED about?
CAITLIN: It’s about this young woman, named Blair Kennedy, who found out that she has this ability that when people look at her — as soon as they look away they have forgotten her immediately — so in a sense, she becomes erased from her entire world.
LCFF: How did you prepare for the pitch contest?
CAITLIN: I did practice some. My friend was shooting a short film at the time and asked me to be in it. So between takes, I’d rehearse my pitch with the cast and crew and ask “Is this good, guys?”
LCFF: What was it like the day of the pitch?
CAITLIN: I remember not knowing what I was going to wear and changing my outfit like six times before I left the house. Just being in the room was nerve wracking. I’ve done stage work before, but never have I felt so vulnerable because this was my idea that I worked really hard on. I had to make it sound perfect in front of all these people. I was also the youngest person in the room (pitching).
LCFF: What advice would you give to others pitching for the first time?
CAITLIN: Focus on the story. If you’re giving a three minute or five minute pitch, nobody cares who is attached to it. Focus on the story for something that short because that’s ultimately what’s going to sell it. Know your story inside and out and don’t leave any plot holes. Know what happens in Act 1 versus Act 2 and Act 3. Know your overall themes and struggles and obstacles for your characters.
LCFF: Part of the process after winning The Reel Pitch is to fine tune your pitch with Laura Gleeson, Director of Development for Mike Tollin Productions. How is that going?
CAITLIN: She’s so cool. I really liked talking with Laura. She gave me a lot of insight and a new prospective on my story. It’s nice to have fresh eyes and someone working in development and go “An audience won’t understand this part or that part” in your script.
LCFF: What’s the next step moving forward with your project?
CAITLIN: I’ll be meeting with Mike Tollin and Cash Warren in LA. I have no idea what’s going to happen after that. It’s going to be fun. You always hope for the best. I’m just going to keep writing and see where this goes and takes me. The experience of pitching in front of people at LCFF was really great. At least now I know I can give a good pitch. I won’t be as scared going up to other people and pitching.
Stay tuned for your chance to pitch your story to a panel of industry experts during the 2016 La Costa Film Festival.[Image: Christ Brake]