Pitching to A&E

Laura_photo_filmmaking_May_2013By Laura P. Valtorta
Columbia II Chapter Member
Recently I got invited to deliver a pitch to the A&E channel, and I’m very nervous about it. The prize is a development meeting with A&E.
The cinematographer on the project, Lynn, says,“You’ve got this!”
Yeah, right.
My filmmaking associate, Clabber, is not so sure. He suggests I write down and memorize the pitch. That’s a good idea. So here goes:

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Hello. I’m Laura Valtorta, attorney turned filmmaker. I grew up in Watertown,New York. I’ve practiced law in South Carolina since 1992. I am the producer of White Rock Boxing, a feature documentary available on Amazon Instant Video, and director of “the Art House,” a short film accepted at 15 film festivals so far, including New York and Los Angeles.

My current project is Queen of the Road – a television series about commercial truck drivers. Truck drivers lead exciting, tough, and dangerous lives, and that’s just while finding a parking space. Drivers can be delivering palm trees to a movie set, or working with the oil industry. They might find themselves sleeping in a Walmart parking lot for three nights. They might see their flatbed and cargo stolen.

What’s much more exciting is that with Queen of the Road we’re talking about female truck drivers. More trouble, more danger, more possibilities.

 We will be following several truck drivers in this series, such as Olivia from Kentucky, who has four children and drives in a team with her husband; Donna, who dreams of moving equipment for a rock band; and drivers like Jae. I’ve heard that Jae is trouble, and I’m looking forward to that. She lives in her truck with her dog, Mack. Her truck has a hood decorated with a painting of Jack Nicholson as the Joker.

So far we’ve been filming Milica Virag – a Serbian-American grandmother, who loves art and karaoke and her grandson. You will see Milica in our video. She’s a talented driver who seems to have no fear of anything. When I went out on the road with Milica, I had a blast, and I learned something about truck driving. I know the audience will have fun watching Queen of the Road.

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I say this, and then I show my two-minute promotional video.The problem is, I will be catatonic with fear. But at least the pitch says what I want it to say.
Laura Puccia Valtorta is the author of three books and the director/ producer of six independent films. She has practiced law in Columbia, SC for 22 years. Her first film, White Rock Boxing, is now available on Amazon Prime. “The Art House,” her latest short film, has been accepted at 16 film festivals (including Indie Grits) and will soon be available on the PBS Show, “Shorts Showcase.”

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