This week started with a heart-warming experience as I was invited to deliver a master class in pitching as a visiting tutor at The National Film and Television School. The inspirational Head of Television, David G. Croft, whose impressive credits include Live Aid, Shooting Stars and Top of the Pops, selected some of his very bright students to attend. It was a real pleasure to train as the students were, not only tremendously enthusiastic and personable but had an almost insatiable thirst for knowledge.
The National Film and Television School is the UK's national centre of excellence for postgraduate education and has turned out numerous world-class, award-winning film and television programme makers in its 37 years. Some of the best known graduates from the NFTS include Oscar winner Nick Park, CBE (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run), David Yates, director of four of the Harry Potter film series and BATFA award winner Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, Basic Instinct 2).
When I looked at the list of other visiting tutors at the NFTS it read like a who’s who of entertainment. Matt Stone and Trey Parker (South Park, Team America); multi Oscar and BAFTA winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, Flight 93) to name but three.
As I interacted with the students during the course of the day, I started to wonder how many of them were going to be making as big a splash as some of the other illustrious alumni.
At one stage, I told a story about how a researcher on a show I was appearing on had gone of to be a very important executive six years later. Fortunately, she remembered that I had been very nice when she had been starting in the business and she went on to commission a project from me. The moral of the story? Be nice to people on the way up you as may meet them on the way down. I look forward to meeting these students when they get to the top.
The day was made even better by the news that my book The Pitching Bible will added to the NFTS recommended reading list for all students.
‘A fascinating insight into the personal dynamics of ideas pitching – a must for Television students everywhere’
David G. Croft, Head of Television, National Film and Television School.