(Elaica Zayas) Today was the first official day of the Children’s Media Conference. Once I registered and got my name tag and gift laptop bag, it was time for lunch. I was registered for the “Pitch It” workshop.
I was initially interested in this particular workshop because it was described as a workshop that would teach us how to pitch your project, your company or yourself. It seemed right up my alley. Once I arrived in Hubs A, I noticed the tables and chairs set up in groups of four with pairs facing each other. I knew instantly it would be an interactive workshop.
The introduction began with Sarah Baynes of Creative Garden. She explained how the workshop would go. There were about seven panelists that ranged from consultants to features editors to talent managers to heads of production departments and more. One of these panelists, Justine Bannister, founder of JUST B and an independent children’s media consultant, began her presentation titled, “Market and Pitch It to International Audiences.” Basically, the workshop was about the business side of pitching and marketing and pitching on an international level. I was so drawn in because I’m particularly interested in marketing media on a global scale.
In Sharon Mazzarella’s book 20 Questions About Youth and the Media, she mentions “In order to pitch a product for the children’s entertainment market, you must have thought about the viability of the product…” This is essentially what was discussed in the presentation. There were points on how to pitch an idea that will last and capture the attention of the people you are pitching to. What was the most memorable to me was something mentioned by Julie Kane-Ritsch, a talent manager at The Gotham Group in Los Angeles. She said that it is most important to know your character in the shows that you are pitching. This is such a vital part in storytelling and creating a product for a specific target audience with core values. Things like knowing your characters favorite ice cream help make your stories relatable to the audience.
In this workshop we also worked in groups to pitched shows in our prompts. My group had to pitch “Dr. Who” to Martian producers. It was really interesting seeing children’s media industry professionals come up with ideas. I learned a lot from this workshop session. I’m excited to see what the next few days have in store.