One week after the Crossover Scotland Development Lab in Dundee, the teams were reunited in Glasgow along with Crossover Labs director Mark Atkin and Grant Kier from Faction North. The individuals behind the projects had made their way to The CCA in Glasgow for a two day event, comprising of an intensive training day followed by the final pitch in front of an industry panel and live audience.
The pitch training kicked off with an introductory film on pitching projects to funders, one of the speakers on which was Ewan Angus from the BBC who would be on the panel the following day.
For the rest of the morning the projects were split into two groups, each one headed by Mark or Grant and a surprise appearance from Andrew Robertson from STV who had mentored on the development lab. These sessions allowed each team to reveal the pitches they had been developing over the past week to the group and receive some really intense constructive feedback from the other participants. This allowed for some aspects of the pitches to come under really close scrutiny and therefore be even further refined. All of the teams had been developing their ideas and presentations further since the close of the development lab and it was really useful to once again throw fresh eyes onto the changes. After these pitches were concluded, the groups broke for a working lunch of putting into action what had been raised during the morning.
We started the afternoon with a ‘Pitching 101’ talk from Grant, detailing the do’s and do not’s of presenting your idea to potential funders as well as some handy tips on how to structure slides. Then we mixed up the groups and repeated the mornings exercise after the suggested alterations had been made and comments taken on board. This gave all the projects another chance for final feedback, as well as fresh perspectives from different people than in the morning session. After this the teams dispersed around Glasgow to work on streamlining their pitches in preparation for the live pitch the next day.
Everybody was at The CCA bright and early on the day of the pitch, preparing themselves to face the funders. The panel arrived and took their positions, they consisted of Ewan Angus (BBC Scotland), Marianne Maxwell (NTFS), Stuart Cosgrove (Channel 4) and Mark Thomas (Creative Scotland). Scott Donaldson form Creative Scotland was also in attendance as was Andrew Robertson from STV. Almost all of the pitches managed to fit into the tight seven minute limit and if they ran over they were soon halted by an alert from the squeaky dog toy. All of the teams pitched brilliantly and received some really interesting advice and thoughts from the panel. The event ran without a hitch and then there was a chance for some networking over lunch afterwards. The panellist were genuinely impressed by the pitches and teams behind them and some expressed intentions to follow up on talks with projects, possibly with a view to collaboration.
It was incredible to see projects that had been first been formed from crews which came out of the Crossover Scotland Creative Lab, pitching full formed ideas to a panel of industry experts. There was a general feeling from the participants that the whole experience had been very useful and that they had not only come away with some great contacts but also a whole new perspective on pitching projects. Everybody who answered the survey said that it had changed the way they pitch projects now and in the future.