Anything Goes : Online pitchfest and things related by Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

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Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

Online pitchfest and things related

What do you think about pitchfests and online pitchs in general? To be honest, I don´t think it are trustworthy. In first place because they are asking money for it and it sounds like paying for a job interview . In second place, I´ve done some research about the last executives in this kind of events and ok, they are real and they exist but, how do we know that people has enough power to hire us or to make things happen? I mean, You can pay for a pitch with the secretary of the auxiliar of the HBO main executive for example but, does this person has enough power to go the chief´s office and say "Hey! I have someone you must see" What if you pass the pitch but you got rejected when talking with those on top? Did you waste your money? Obviously, I understand how a pitch works, if your idea isn´t good or the executive is not interested you can do nothing but working hard for the next time but, if I could pay for this service I want to know if it actually works or you just pay for talking about your script in front of a webcam. I don´t want to say that people of stage 32 are trying to con us or steal our ideas but I need to know if is reliable because, I don´t have enough money or time to waste and I don´t want people to pay someone who is playing with their dreams.

Andrew Mondia

I asked how to write a pitch and Joey referred me to pay for a session. I did it and was interesting but not what I was after. Only discovered the answer just a couple of days ago. It's great that it is there the service but trust yourself and what you feel.

Marcella Paolacci

I did a written pitch. The report I got back had me seriously doubting the exec's abilities. Two of the three statements that made up the one-line crit were throwaway, generic and (IMPO) unjustified criticisms (you'll just have to believe me). But the last, "the blending of the mythology and the contemporary story lines needs to intertwine smoother" was the real hooey - bearing no relevance whatsoever to the story I pitched (one historic time line, no mythology). If I had her on Skype I could have asked her to wake-up and concentrate at least.

Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

You are right Joey. I usually do a research when I´m planning to pay for something like this.

Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

That is what I´m afraid of Marcella. Paying some exec with uncertain abilities. Anyways, I have to deal with the problem of making a cool log line first.

Alex Sarris

The only person I've pitched to is Johnny in 3rd grade and he hit it for a home run... Hee Hee... Just kidding. I only pitch to those that ask me. That way I know they're already keen... When you are on a site that charges you to pitch, there are other motives to listening to you and it's not for the same reasons as yours.

Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

That´s true, when you pay for it the other person listens to you because you have paid for it and can´t be the same.

James David Sullivan

Here's my suggestion: The guy behind the pitchfests is Joey Tuccio. He's on Stage 32. Ask him directly how many people get deals (an option, a writing gig, a sold script, or representation) and how many people pitch. That ratio (done deals)/pitches should give you an idea of whether it is worthwhile to you. These guys on the pitches are real and are connected, and their time is valuable. Whether it is worth $45 per pitch is a question only you can answer. https://www.stage32.com/profile/65920/about

Leah Waller

I've done quite a few pitches here on Stage 32/The Happy Writers -I've never felt I was being scammed. Joey is more then just a nice guy and a pretty face - he really works for his writers. Yes, there are other motives for everyone involved, but if you can show me any business where that doesn't exist, then well, frankly I'd call you a lier! The only way for Joey to be successful is for his writers to be successful, and he does all he can to make that happen, but in the end it comes down to you, your pitch and your project. There are no free pitches to people who matter - not unless you are stalking the elevators . Most of us have limited budget, so look at every pitch Joey posts, there are a lot, find the one you think will be most valuable to you. I always search the excs on IMDB to see what they have done and how high they rank. Honestly, even if the person is secretary to the dog walker of a company I know, I will consider pitching. Either way you slice it, if she likes the project she has access we don't have. Sometimes, it's those bottom rung people who are the most eager to prove themselves and they will really work for you. But Joey also gets some really high powered, major players! He brings in big names, to have 8 minutes of their time, is a major privilege and also something that not everyone can accomplish! Honestly, most of the in person pitchfests held in LA are secrataries and readers sent by the excs. How many high powered excs do you know would be willing to spend the day in a hotel lobby listening to pitch after pitch?! Joey brings the pitch to them, they only have to suffer through an hour or so in the comfort of their own office. I could be totally wrong, but I don't see Jim Young or Howard Rosenman hanging out in hotel lobbies - but Joey got them to sit down and hear pitches. How do I know? Because I pitched to them. They were awesome, told me what they thought and both requested my script, on the spot! I'm not saying not to do the in person pitchfests in LA - I'm sure they are great, but don't discount the pitches held hear either. You have to pay for both, neither one is going to be cheap. Also, you can pay for your pitch at either venue and still not be picked up. Hollywood is a tough place, I for one, really like having Joey in my corner. That makes 2 of us working for forward progress in my career.

James David Sullivan

@Leah - "lier" is a typo; the correct spelling is "liar"; and amazingly, there is a spell checker that points this out.

James David Sullivan

When I buy a lottery ticket, I like to know what my odds are. (number of deals) / (total number of pitches) = odds, in this case. The number of deals would be representation achieved (manager or agent), scripts optioned, or script sales. In my humble opinion, it would be nice to see those numbers published. Inktip provides the number of deals, and a lot of other organizations do as well, although total pitches, etc. is not usually revealed.

Leah Waller

James - thanks, I caught that after I posted it. In fact, I caught quite a few typos in my post, the most egregious to me was using hear instead of here. Lier is, in fact, a word - spelled correctly - it was just the wrong word. :)

James David Sullivan

The spell checker on Stage 32 flags it as being spelled wrong, thus making it easy to think twice about whether that was the correct word choice.

Leah Waller

Websites don't generally have very stringent spell checkers (if any at all), they rely on web browsers and personal computers to do the heavy lifting. Since I have used "lier" before, my browser wouldn't pick it up as an error. Because you have not, your browser tagged it. I could be mistaken about this, but since I ran it by a web designer (my boss), I don't think I am. On a side note, do you plan to troll the forums looking for typos and point them out to everyone, or is it just me? Not that I mind, I'm just curious. :)

Héctor Nevolus Sciitio

" not unless you are stalking the elevators ." I loved that hahaha I think you´re right but I also think that, if you are a beginner is difficult to understand how things happen. I mean, for me writing a script and talk to someone on the internet and suddenly being involved in the production of my movie sounds quite unreal, almost utopian because my teachers always say that is very difficult to get a pitch and even if you got it is even more difficult being listened if you don´t have any credits before. That´s why I don´t trust very much this kind of things but maybe I´m being too pessimistic.

Andrew Mondia

Depending where you live... Paying some money to meet with those who will listen is not much compared to paying for flight and hotel on top. On top of that you are in the comfort of your own home. Never know where opportunities can lead really. The more open you are the better the chances but if you are not as open and trusting in your intuition then look at that first. It's great to be cautious but also be careful it's not the ego getting in the way.

Dave McCrea

I empathize with where you're coming from but at the end of the day you want to ask yourself, what's more important getting my script made or exposing potential fraudsters or ripoff merchants who prey on screenwriters? I'm sure for some of these pitchfests you're throwing money away, but in any business you might have to spend money on an ad campaign that got you no results or what have you. There are these actor showcases here in New York where you can pay money to meet with a casting director. While there are some people who get noticed this way, it's also a pretty lucrative gig for the low person on the totem pole at a casting office to go meet 20 actors on a weeknight for 2 hours and rake in a few hundred bucks. I'm sure there is some of this going on in the world of paid pitching sessions, so just be cautious, but don't make it your mission in life.

Andrew Mondia

That's where intuition comes in play. Best source is your intuition. If it feels right for it if not .. you know what to do. Like anything do your research and buyer beware mentality but watch that it's not ego stopping you. You never know where one meeting can lead you to.

Leah Waller

The way I see it - I wrote my screenplay to be sold, not to sit on my computer forever - the only way to do that is to pitch it and get it out there. I like the idea of doing an in person pitchfest at a hotel, and I hope to try it one day. BUT until that happens, S32 pitch is the only one I feel comfortable with. I know you are all going to roll your eyes and shake your collective heads, but I trust Joey. My trust isn't easily won, but once you got it, you have it forever and he has EARNED my trust. Not just because he's a nice guy (to be honest, he was so nice, at first I thought it must be an act, but I've worked with him a lot and he is very genuine.) He has proved to me on numerous occasions that he is actively looking to promote his writers. You buy the pitch and you pitch - he is NOT required to do anything but put you in contact with someone. In my experience he has repeatedly gone a step further. He goes above and beyond what I paid for, to promote me and my script. You will never get that from the in person pitchfest things. I'm also not the only person who has experienced this from him. I have 2 other friends that I have made here on S32 who've had similar good feedback about Joey. He is a very good business man and he knows that the more writers he can help succeed, the more he and his company will succeed. Another draw back I see to the hotel pitchfest is there are hundreds of writers there. The exec hears and sees so many people, how can you really make yourself stand out without doing something crazy. Yes, you hope your story is strong enough to hold it's own and make an impression - but everyone there is hoping for the same thing. You have to assume at least half of those people are at your skill level or above. Plus, for me I have to include the price of the pitchfest, flights, hotel, and food - that's a lot! With the S32 pitch, I can save my money for only the execs I really like or think I have a shot with. I do a lot of research to decide who I want to pitch to so I don't feel like I've wasted my time or money. I know I sound like an infomercial, but I'm just being honest. I really like pitching off S32 and I think it's something any serious writer should try, but I also understand your hesitation. Just remember, your script can't go anywhere until you put it out there. It's going to either waste money doing nothing or spend money, take a risk and hope it pays off.

Andrew Mondia

There are different ways I work. I utilize a lot of my tools and information source from personal development. One is following my Human Design profile strategy which is waiting to respond. For example I will still work on my writings but when it comes to pitching as is this topic.. I send out message to Universe but won't take action till someone external force like Leah recommending pitching through Joey. Unless you put yourself out there the Universe can't respond. I have found interesting connections from unlikely places. As I said the more open you the more opportunities can come but if you have a negative viewpoint... the more challenging for you.

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