Saturday, March 07, 2009

Page to Screen

Spent the last two days in Toronto to attend a Page to Screen conference put on by the OMDC. I've never been to something like this before, and went to it with extremely low expectations. Also, rather fearfully: I'm a book guy, don't know my movies or television well at all, and wasn't sure how the producers we would be meeting would react to what we had to offer.

It was set up as a sort-of speed-date, and we proved very, very busy. 16 regularly scheduled appointments, 3 double bookings, and 3 additional informal meetings, for a total of ... 22! I've never talked so much in my life, which, as I'm a bona fide rambler, is saying something. But it proved an exhilarating, if exhausting, experience. And rewarding: to see so much interest in Rebecca Rosenblum's Once, Mike Barnes's The Lily Pond, Terry Griggs's Dead, as well as work by Friedman, Helwig, Simic, Robertson, Smith(s), Orchard, Eichner, Flood, and Buday, as well as others. Gave away dozens of books, have dozens of follow ups to do over the next few weeks, as well as another dozen or so packages to mail out to film producers we didn't get a chance to meet. Nothing may immediately come of these meetings -- though I feel as if something just might -- but it taught me to look at what we are doing here a little differently, and gave me a sense of who out there might be interested in some of it. That I need not wait to have a bound book in hand before pitching some of my writers or their work to producers. That eventually, and of this I have no doubt, one of these pitches just might take.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to spend two evenings with the near irrepressible Rebecca Rosenblum, who's rose-coloured take on things always proves so refreshing, and saw a few other friends, including an old high school friend, Jeff Boulton, new LPG ED Jack Illingworth and former LPG sales manager -- and the person who first got me thinking about the importance of marketing books properly -- Margaret Bryant. Picked up Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter and Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone from Chris Reed at Pages. Good food. Overall, though it is good to be back home, a complete success.

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