BY GRANT HENRY
I will be perfectly honest; I did not know what to expect when walking into the beautiful space at A.R.T./New York in Brooklyn for CMA’s “Power Networking, Power Pitching…The Dynamic Duo with Jim Arnoff” on Monday, July 31st. My intuition told me that a man in a suit was going to stand before us and run through a laundry list of things that we need to accomplish to successfully pitch and then develop our most cherished idea into a children’s television show. However, my intuition failed me and I could not have been more happy that I was entirely wrong.
Jim walked into the auditorium with a t-shirt and shorts raving about a new pair of turquoise converse shoes that he was wearing for the first time. And understandably so – they were a great pair of shoes. Jim was kind and conversational introducing himself to every CMA member and guest who walked into the room, some with hesitant looks on their face unsure of what to expect. From the moment Jim stood up in front of the twenty-five people in attendance and began speaking, you could feel how genuine a person he was and how he truly cared about helping everyone succeed in accomplishing their dreams.
Jim had everyone introduce themselves to the group, which was a surprise to many including myself, and talk about what they do for a living, pitch their shows (if they had one), and then say what they “will be doing” in the future. Notice that I am not saying “what they “hope to be doing” when describing future aspirations as that is a point that Jim stressed throughout the two-hour discussion. Jim wanted us to understand our potential and know that when we exude confidence in ourselves and our ideas, people will take notice. Subtle changes to our “pitch” will take the idea off the ground and into the studio.
As the workshop went on, Jim answered every question with professionalism and kindness. He wanted to make sure that every question was answered to the best of his ability no matter the topic. And lucky for us – Jim has extensive knowledge about all aspects of networking/pitching and the innate ability to express those ideas in an entertaining and engaging way.
Two hours flew by, but there is no question that a wealth of knowledge was bestowed upon those in attendance, and we came away with lessons that will guide us in pursuit of our aspirations and dreams.
If you could not attend this workshop last night, do not despair, as Jim has plenty more opportunities to meet for coaching sessions as well as an upcoming course called “Pitch Your Television Series to the Industry Experts” starting towards the end of September. During this 10-week course, you will have access to industry pros as you dig deeper into networking, pitching, and negotiating your television series. You can learn more and sign up at sva.edu under Film and Video/Preproduction.
And to learn more about Jim, please visit his website at www.arnoffco.com.
Thank you, Jim, for a wonderful evening!