546 Part 2: The week of film student speed dating

After Monday's meet and greet with all of the possible directors, producers and writers, it was time to team up for the big pitch in 2 weeks - the pitch that would decide who gets to make their project.

Let me back up --

The goal of this whole 546 process is to get the opportunity to make your movie with 100% school resources and faculty guidance. The school gives you $7,000 to make your movie and you work to raise the rest to reach a maximum of $12,000 budget (give or take a few $100). Then you crew up with other students to create an entire production team made up of a director, 2 producers, 1 assistant director, 2 director of photography, 2 editors, 2 sound designers and 2 production designers. All of you are officially in the "546 class" and working on 1 of 3 movies produced in the class.

And let's get back to it --

Before I pitched "Volcano Girl," I had to make sure there was no other script that I felt strongly about. Usually these scripts need a lot of work to make them perfect. The writers, for the most part, know they must work with the director to re-write these scripts; which is another reason why I definitely wanted to work with Josh. We were friends. We had a good shorthand. I knew it would be a good working relationship.

This is where the "speed dating" part comes in. I sat at a table and scheduled a meeting every hour on the hour - taking a break after about 4 meetings to run and get food. The Coffee Bean in our building LOVES 546 speed dating week. They get even more business because "everyone meets for coffee to discuss 546." It's true. SO MUCH COFFEE!!!

I met with a few writers and just kept thinking "ugh, this isn't as cool as Volcano Girl." ha! I decided on Tuesday that I wanted Volcano Girl. Luckily Josh decided he wanted me too.

Choosing the script first did scare off some of the producers. Some of the producers wanted to find their director and THEN find their script. Other producers genuinely liked other scripts better. It didn't scare off Stephen Gibler, though! Once I pitched my goals for Volcano Girl, he knew he wanted to be a part of the project. There was no doubt about it! I still had other meetings, so I could not commit to him just yet.

Signing the agreement

The deadline for deciding your team was 12noon on Friday (1 week after the shortlist came out...keep in mind!).

Wednesday night is actually when most teams commit to each other, so they can then start preparing their pitch. Wednesday night just so happened to be my DGA event (read about it here). I refused to have any meetings after 4pm that day -- so I could fully enjoy the event. I scheduled meetings for Thursday. This meant I risked losing Stephen to another crew. And I almost did. Another crew asked him to produce for them, and he said he was holding out for Volcano Girl.

I realized I needed to snag him at about midnight after the DGA event. I called -- hoping he'd be awake or get the call first thing in the morning. Nothing. I went to sleep...a little freaked out that I had waited too long.

I received a text message from him at 6am saying "I'm in."

I had to tell my other meetings that I had decided on a producer. They were bummed but understood.

Woohoo! I had my team!!

We signed our agreement on Thursday.

It was really happening...

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