POWER PITCH - How to convince a would be financier to open his or her check book

May 25, 2013, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: Havana Restaurant, 1212 Commercial Drive, V5L 3X4 

Moderator:  Peggy Thompson

Panelists: Stacey Landers (Development Executive for Lark Productions) Sue Biely (Nudge Consulting), Gary Harvey (Being Erica, The War Between, Robson Arms) and Michele McMahon, (Director of Drama Development at Omnifilm)

Presented by BC Film + Media and WIFTV

Sponsored by CMPA- BC Producer's Branch and Actsafe


9:30 - 12:30 Prepare your pitch in a small group setting with Peggy Thompson

12:30 - 1:30 - Lunch (bring your own or purchase nearby)

1:30 - 4:30 - Practice your pitch to the workshop panelists and receive feedback.


Participants must have a project (any genre and format) at some stage in development.  It is not necessary to have a pitch prepared.

Peggy Thompson, (writer/co-producer Better than Chocolate), Moderator

Peggy Thompson's most recent film credit is the documentary film The World's Oldest Basketball Team (2007) on which she was Executive Producer.

She's also is the screenwriter and co-producer of the feature film Better than Chocolate (1999). The film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival was both a critical and commercial success, opening in over two hundred cities throughout North America. It also won numerous international awards and was nominated for a GLAAD Award in the US for Best Independent Feature Film.

Thompson won a Genie Award in 1993 for the screenplay of the feature film The Lotus Eaters (the film was nominated for 11 Genies, and won three) and in 1990 for the short film In Search of the Last Good Man. Her short documentary film Broken Image - The Photography of Michelle Normoyle has played festivals world wide. IT'S A PARTY! another short was nominated for a Genie Award in 1986.

She also writes for series television (Da Vinci's Inquest, Big Sound, Weird Homes). Publications include Hard Boiled - Great Lines from Classic Noir Films, Tall in the Saddle - Great Lines from Classic Westerns published by Chronicle Books in the US. Her radio play Calamity Jane and the Fat Buffalo Moon has been published by Blizzard Press and was recently staged in New York. Her stage work has been nominated for both Chalmers and Jessie Awards.

She was one of four producers on the feature film Saint Monica, released in 2003. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, won the Cultural Expressions Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Sarasota Film Festival, and was nominated for two Genie Awards, winning one for Best Original Song. Saint Monica received its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. She is currently working on several new film projects.

Stacey Landers, (Development Executive for Lark Productions) - Panelist

As the Development Executive, Stacey manages the growing slate of projects for Lark Productions.

Before joining the Lark team, Stacey was the Development Manager at Paperny Films, with a focus on non-scripted programming (Eat St., Consumed, Dust Up). Previous to that she worked as a producer in both the factual and scripted worlds on projects ranging from W Network’s Cupcake Girls and The Smart Woman Survival Guide, Slice Network’s Superstar Hair Challenge, to CBC’s Steven and Chris.

Stacey graduated from the University of British Columbia with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and from the University of Toronto with a Master of Arts in Drama.

Sue Biely, (Nudge Consulting) - Panelist
With 15 years of experience in the independent media sector, Sue has been a funder, producer, broadcaster, innovator, new media entrepreneur, and teacher and has recently turned her energies to creating opportunities to gather creative minds to educate and innovate in the media-sphere. With an understanding of how media works in Canada, from the policy, funding and production angles, Sue has an understanding of the foundational context change is happening within. As a speaker, facilitator, curriculum designer and consultant, Sue has worked with community stakeholders all across Canada.
Sue has just obtained her MA in Organizational Systems Renewal which incorporates organizational development, change management, adult learning and leadership for complex adaptive systems. The current shifts in the media-­-verse are a perfect place for Sue to apply her newly refined skills as a dynamic and passionate professional who is able to cross pollinate between worlds and motivate people to think outside the box.

Gary Harvey, (Director, Producer) - Panelist
Gary Harvey has helmed over 100 episodes of television on such series as Being Erica, The Border, Wild Rose, Exes and Ohs, Godiva’s and Traders.  He has also directed made for TV movies starting with the CBC’s Another Country (2003), based on the series North of 60, as well as the CTV made for television movie Play For Keeps (2008) for CTV and Lifetime Network.  He helmed two other movies for Lifetime, Cinderella Pact (2009) and most recently the ‘LOM’- Taken from Me- The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011).  He has just completed production on his first Hallmark MOW Time After Time (2011).

Gary has always been a director first, but over the years producing has allowed him to see his projects from concept to completion.  He started producing almost by accident on the series Madison in 1995 and followed up that same year with producing the award-winning CBC television movie The War Between Us.  He produced the first season of The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, and was the supervising producer on the CBC series The Rez.  He also produced Seasons 4-7 of Cold Squad for Alliance Atlantis and CTV.  Gary was executive producer, co-creator on the CTV television series Robson Arms and he co-executive produced Alice, I Think, a 13-part prime-time comedy series also for CTV and the Comedy Network, along with his Robson Arms Partner, Susin Nielsen.

 Gary has served on the board of the DGC BC District Council and the National Directors Division for the DGC. Currently he sits on the board of Crazy 8s, a not-for-profit short film competition and festival.  Gary sponsors an emerging director competition, a prominent international film festival and sits on the advisory board for Langara College Film Arts program.

Michele McMahon, (Director of Drama Development at Omnifilm), Panelist
Omnifilm Entertainment Ltd. is a vertically integrated content company which creates entertainment brands across multiple genres and handles production, post production and exploitation/distribution of its content worldwide.

As Director of Development Michele McMahon develops drama and comedy series for television, and recently developed CBC’s new drama Arctic Air which premiered to over one million viewers - the highest premiere for a CBC drama in over a decade. She also developed Primeval: New World, a new drama for CTV/Space, ProSieben and UKTV which aired in October 2012. In her diverse 20 year career as a journalist, writer and TV producer, Michele has researched stories for the 6 o'clock news, done freelance work for national newspapers and magazines, and written several feature screenplays. Michele earned degrees in Political Science (Carleton University), Journalism (Algonguin College) and in Writing for Film (Vancouver Film School).