Sunday, December 27, 2015


By Laura P. Valtorta
It took me ten days to write and perfect my two-minute pitch.

In Washington, D.C., I stayed at a hotel called the Windsor Inn that was the dumpiest hotel I’ve ever slept in. My room was underground. The so-called “window” looked out into a hallway. The television didn’t work.

I was the second pitcher to arrive at the venue. Soon all five of us were there, sitting around and twitching. Three pitchers were women, two were men.

One of the organizers came over to announce the order in which we would pitch. I was to go last. That meant an extra hour of sitting around and stewing.

We filed down to the auditorium to check out our video presentations.

How does my video look?” I asked Josh, the organizer.

YOU don’t have a video,” he snarked.

Yes, I do! I have a two-minute promo that I sent in last week. It’s an important part of my presentation.”

It’s not here. Do you have a copy with you?’

I rushed to my notebook and retrieved a jump drive. Luckily it uploaded quickly.

Things were ready to go, but I thought I would pass out from fear.

Meanwhile, the auditorium was filling up. I was glad to be seated on the aisle, and that I had memorized the route to the bathroom.  During the other people’s presentations, I got up twice and headed to the restroom.

None of the other presentations grabbed me, even though several presenters had great ideas. Great ideas were being wasted because of stage fright.

What the hell. I walked to the podium.

Hello, I’m Laura Valtorta,” I began. “Attorney turned filmmaker. My project is ‘Queen of the Road,’ a reality television series about commercial truck drivers.”

My first joke was “These drivers lead exciting, dangerous, and difficult lives, and that’s just trying to find a place to park!” The audience (starved for entertainment) roared with laughter.

I smiled into the camera and made my way a few minutes later to the second joke. “Donna the driver warns me she’s very conservative, but her wife, Carol, is much more liberal.” Big laughter.

The audience loved my video. Several audience members came up to speak to me afterwards.

The bad part was, I lost!

The winner was Ann Marie Dinardo, with her show called “Hostage Heroes,” a narrative re-creation of people taken hostage who talk down the shooter.

After the winner was announced, one of the panel members gave us detailed critiques. He grabbed the arms of me and the winner. “It was between these two,” he said. “They knew what their shows would be, from beginning to end.”

The panelists did not find my truck drivers compelling characters. Jeesh!  If my truck drivers are not entertaining women – I don’t know who can be.

Delivering the pitch was fun, and the cocktail party that evening was a blast.  I met Morgan Spurlock and a bunch of D.C. film people.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your film sounds really good. Hope it can be shown on ETV like the boxing doc.