I’m Philippa Bateman. By trade I’m a film producer, creative executive and writer. As guest blogger for Good Pitch² Australia, I’ll be giving you the low down on who’s who and what’s going on behind the scenes. For almost twenty years, I’ve worked primarily in feature film and come from a background in script/story, and visual arts. In my capacity as a story producer, I was asked to participate in the 2015 pitching workshop for the Good Pitch² Australia films.

Where I’m Coming From

The team asks that people leave their cynicism at the door when you enter the Good Pitch space. For someone like me, that’s a big ask. I don’t consider myself a cynic but I am a sceptic because I’ve been educated to ask questions about almost everything, including the nature of reality (I studied philosophy and read Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception before I ever smoked a cigarette). And life experience has taught me that I need to look twice—particularly at the motivations of people (philosophy didn’t save me from naivety or flawed judgment). I’m also the perverse type that if told how or what to think, I start thinking the opposite just for the hell of it and… at the first whiff of ‘worthy’, I’m out the door—heading for a pedicure.

Let’s be frank, even in small ways, the evidential rewards of self-interest and avarice can really screw things up for those who are motivated to make a small or ground-breaking difference for the common good. Then there’s the irrefutably bumpy track record of nasty humankind. And yet, like any part time optimist and disappointed idealist with wildly unrealistic expectations, and the annoying truth of ugly history tugging at my long skirt, it’s also true that society can and has progressed in extraordinary ways.

The big problems: poverty, war, inequality, racism, the extinction of animals and plant life, climate change—continue on. And those problems look like being with us for a while longer yet. All it takes to find creative, diverse, compassionate and inventive ways of living is imagination, generosity, smarts, luck, and vision.

… Saying that last sentence out loud sounds, to me, well intentioned but a bit dim. Not to mention butt-clenchingly huggy. Especially the “all it takes” blah. Working for change is a grind. It takes time, hard thinking, sweat, labor, bucks, analysis, commitment and strategic action that yields a result but isn’t always predictable. You can make up your own mind about the finer points. The Good Pitch lot want a better world and, significantly, they do it for others and the future. Without generosity of spirit—nothing happens, nothing grows. Dullsville.

Where possible, I seek out these doers to tell us why and how they do what they do. There’s a lot of them involved in Good Pitch² Australia. Buckle up.