Filmmaker's Doc Released On OUTtv After Connecting With Exec On Stage 32

Filmmaker's Doc Released On OUTtv After Connecting With Exec On Stage 32

Filmmaker's Doc Released On OUTtv After Connecting With Exec On Stage 32

Brenda Lee Lau
Brenda Lee Lau
a year ago

I was a Stage 32 "virgin" when it happened. Truth be told, I think it was my third time, my third 8-minute Pitch Session with a Stage 32 Exec.

Being an "ugly red-headed stepchild" of the entertainment world, meaning even though I have a successful career as an Entertainment Marketing Creative, I had to find a way for executives to see me in a new light. A multi-award winning Creative Director, writing, producing, and directing trailers, etcetera needed executives to now take me seriously as a long-form writer, director, producer, and creator. Which is almost like starting over even though I had already written and directed 2 award-winning shorts that were in distribution! Dang, this business is about persistence and showing up.

So I took a leap of faith and I jumped into Stage 32 with both feet not really knowing what I was doing or what to expect.

A few years ago, I had this documentary I directed and produced, QUEER CHURCH, that was in development as a follow-docu-series at a high-profile cable company. They had a major re-organization and as per usual when this happens anything that was in development gets a "pass". Well, I got a pass.

Filmmakers Doc Released On OUTtv After Connecting With Exec On Stage 32

In the meantime, I had been developing QUEER CHURCH as a one-hour dramedy which is what I pitched to Lauren Whitelaw at OUTtv. OUTtv specializes in LGBTQIA+ projects and I thought it would be the perfect place to start. Part of my pitch included talking about the documentary which inspired the pilot. At the end of my pitch, Lauren asked if I had anything I could send her from the doc because she was interested in seeing it. I sent her a 3-minute sizzle reel. The next day, she contacted me and said she loved it and that they would be interested in offering me a deal on distributing the documentary.

Two years later, QUEER CHURCH is now streaming in all English-speaking countries on OUTtv just in time for Pride!

We've all heard it before and it's definitely true. When you pitch, always have more than one project ready to go because you never know what a buyer is really looking for. This has happened to me personally on more than one occasion.

Since selling the doc a couple of years ago I have joined the Writer's Room and have practiced my pitches with Brooklynn Fields and John Mezes in the Pitch Practice, pitched in one of the monthly Pitch Tanks to an exec, listened in on the Executive Hour & Script Coverage Report with Kay, entered a Stage 32 writing contest where I got to the quarterfinals, and have developed a pilot that I'm ready to take out.

I have learned a lot working with Stage 32 and plan to continue to do so. RB and the team have developed a great way for us to get noticed and sell our projects. Thank you and write on!

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About the Author

Brenda Lee Lau

Brenda Lee Lau

Screenwriter, Marketing/PR, Filmmaker, Documentary Filmmaker, Director, Producer

I grew up in a small town in rural Wisconsin & dreamed of working in TV & Film. Ray Bradbury changed my life when he invited me to participate in his Hollywood Emersion Program for TV & Film students. I’ve written & directed award winning short films in distribution. My scripted projects st...

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