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I want you to imagine a place, Dear Reader. I would like you to use your imagination here, so go with me. Imagine a club somewhere in South America. The lighting and ceiling fans are low. The wall of liquor bottles behind the bar stretches high. Cane furniture and leather booths hold people having meaningful conversations over finger food and Mojitos. Beautiful women and handsome men dance to a latin beat.
Now imagine two awkward filmmaker wannabes standing at that bar, nursing cocktails so they don’t slur their words in the presentation they are about to help make to a room full of potential private investors.
That’s where Ryan and I found ourselves today, but it wasn’t actually in South America, I’m sorry to say. It was instead at the excellent Highball Express, in the heart of the Canberra CBD. Great joint, great staff – and they make excellent Moscow Mules. What else can you ask for?
We had flown up to Canberra and caught an Uber direct to the bar from the airport, which gave us enough time to chat with Andy and Monica over our first round of cocktails and say hi to the people who had been invited to attend and had been good enough to take the time to come. Slowly but surely, some of Canberra’s best filed into the room.
Andy had described our mission, and it was clear. The time had come to put Contained in front of local investors and show them enough to feel confident in putting up the final piece of the financing puzzle, about 25%. Of that gap, I had already raised 25%, so I felt good about what we needed to say, having said it already to an overseas investor successfully.
Andy kicked off proceedings with a rundown of what The Film Distillery was, and then transitioned into talking about Contained. At that point, he invited us to sit with him centre stage and off we went. Andy, just like Karel not so long ago, showed a deft touch in handling the presentation and keeping the conversation flowing. There were plenty of questions from the audience, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest – they were good questions, that represented genuine interest.
At the end of the presentation and Q&A, both Ryan and I were approached by a few members of the audience who said that they were really excited about the project and intended to invest. It was amazing to get that feedback so quickly, and later, when all of us involved with the film were having our last drinks of the evening, Andy and Monica reported that they had gotten the same kind of feedback from other people, too.
And so we sat there, chatting under the ceiling fans and soft light. I sipped on my drink and listened to the warm backdrop of the latin music and thought to myself: “I could get used to this.”