Could Ollie and Emma punch through the Canadian TV screen? Could we as underdog writers launch something that has implications far beyond our notebooks and our old Dell laptop? This is the week we travelled to Toronto.
We’d been working on the show for over two years before we saw it turn from an idea in our heads to the wonder of a Telus Optik webseries (link below.) Ollie and Emma, our valentine to multicultural love, was all shot around our hometown of Victoria, Canada. We were so fortunate to be surrounded by the amazing talent of our cast and crew and after the show launched back in late August, a trip to Toronto was on the horizon and we began focusing on how we would say it all in a thirty-minute pitch meeting with Bell Media and CBC.
The night before to an hour before our meetings we honed what we were going to say, trying to stay calm while surrounded by images of what we had grown up with, such as Mr. Dressup’s treehouse and the iconic Bell building on Queen’s street, that remains for us the home of Much Music.
Then the pitches began, both of us supported by Less Bland Production’s Leslie Bland and Bonnie Hughson as well as fellow writer Valerie Gow. The group of us were greeted by very friendly people who took us past security and into the heart of Canadian Broadcasting. As writer’s we are, of course, big nerds and we couldn’t help but privately (don’t worry, we didn’t say this in pitches!) zero in on the iconic line from the Lord of the Ring’s movies…
“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Samwise and the good he was referring to is paralleled by our great journey to bring Indigenous stories to the World. Indigenous lives and the rich history of strength, and humour. Ollie and Emma is a romance, a reflection on the bumpy, and hilarious trip you take when you venture outside of yourself.
We shared the pitch in the room back and forth, supporting each other and talking about how Cheri grew up in multicultural surroundings as someone from Saulteaux First Nations, how Tom fell in love with Cece Sawyer from Beecher Bay reservation and was welcomed into her family immediately and how we had been working together seamlessly from our two different backgrounds for over three years, spending most of the time giggling and telling stories.
After it was all said and done the folks we met seemed interested and said they would be sharing our pitches in their group meetings so naturally we are back now to the world of waiting and writing. We are so grateful to them for the chance to meet as well as Less Bland Productions, Canada Media Fund and everyone who helped us create our webseries that made all the difference in showing the full potential Ollie and Emma has.
Speaking of…you can see it too right away on our YouTube connected website at…
Thanks for reading and supporting Ollie and Emma! Spread the word!
Cheri Jacobs and Tom Pogson