I was super nervous before the pitch, but the nerves were out of excitement instead of total and utter fear, which is how they usually come up. I couldn't wait to get in there and tell the judges about our story. We pitched in front of Darcy McKinnon, NOVAC's executive director, as well as representatives from the New Orleans Film Society, the New Orleans Mayor's Office, and Louisiana Creates.
We delivered our pitch perfectly. Then came the question and answer section. That part was tough. I wasn't sure what types of questions we would get asked. Here the main question that gave us pause:
What happens if the store gets sold or closes?
One of the judges assumed that if the store gets sold, we won't be able to make our documentary. Julia and I nodded along in agreement. Inside my head I was thinking: wait a minute, that's not true. We would talk to the new owners, we would figure out a way. We're capable people and video producers.
The problem is, I didn't speak up, and because Julia has a severe hearing deficit, she didn't hear the question properly and didn't speak up either.
Afterwards, we hung out in the parking lot and talked about how the pitch went. I told Julia that I wished we had responded to that question instead of nodding along. We both freaked out. What could we do? We sent an email to the pitch judges explaining ourselves. Julia was bummed about her hearing disability, I was bummed about my lack of assertiveness.
Just as we were getting the car to leave, Darcy came out. She said, "You guys have been in the parking lot for a half hour?" Julia explained that we debriefing and talking about the question we missed, when Darcy interrupted--
"You did great. You guys had a great pitch." She gave Julia a hug. We all instantly felt better.
We know we did our best, we're feeling good about the experience. Now, we'll have to wait another week and see if it was enough to get us selected as finalists.