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When little fish swim

A Whistler screenwriter pitches at the Banff Television Festival and celebrates the survival of O


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Perhaps the sweetest moment of being chosen is when you come to accept what has happened, the point at which you stop saying "I don’t believe it." My vision of a quiet summer spent writing my new novel goes cheerfully up in flames.

I call my producing partner, Robert Kaul, and shout at him, "you’re not going to believe this! We’re going to Banff!" I’m on fire. I have calls, e-mails and research to do. Promo materials, a three minute pitch, and a short video clip to design and prepare. With only a month to do all.

Then it hits me. How am I going to afford it? The festival price tag, food, accommodation and travel tallies up to a painful three grand. If I flog my ’86 Jetta I’ll still only have a third! I ring the festival, and the kind administrator takes pity. She grants me two days admission for free. Since the festival is three and a half days long, I’ll be going Banff Lite. I decide to chuck the rest of the expenses on my credit card, and sacrifice next season’s ski pass (seeing as I haven’t paid off last season’s ski pass yet). It’s the kind of tough choice we artists have to make.

The following day I ask for a week off work. I’ve had lots of jobs in Whistler where I’d simply shrug and take off, yelling "damn the consequences!" But I happen to love my job, and I’d like to keep it. I’m a producer at Resort TV Network, and feel blessed to be working in "the industry". For nine months of the year, time off wouldn’t be a problem, but this particular week lands smack dab in the middle of one of our busiest production periods. Quite coincidentally, my friend and co-worker, producer Angela Moore, is also chosen to pitch her point-of-view documentary at Banff. It’s a double whammy. Not to mention that if we’re successful pitching our projects at Banff, Resort TV could potentially lose two of their producers.

The company agrees to give Angela and I the time off. We’re both surprised and overwhelmed when they offer to sponsor us by paying for our accommodation, our biggest expense. Their generous support launches my O to stratospheric levels, the highest it’s been in over a year. Not to be outdone, my two most rabid fans (mum and dad) chip in for the plane ticket. Surely, this was meant to be. I switch my true calling back to… filmmaker.

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