I entered the Pitchfest X last Sunday. To be honest, I don't think I did very well. I ran short of time, and I shall be amazed if anything comes from it. It was my first time doing a pitch like this, and it was probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life! Having had a few days to think about it, I thought I'd like to share what I think I've learned and see people with more experience think. So here goes: 1. Always double check your appointment time: The Happy Writers blurb clearly states that you may not get the exact appointment time you booked. My Skype call came in an hour and forty minutes sooner than I was expecting. Fortunately for me, I was sitting at my computer rehearsing my pitch, so I didn't miss it. Next time I'll be sure to double check. 2. Keep everything much briefer than you think: I had a little animation to start my pitch, which left me about six minutes of live call. My pitch was rehearsed to last about four-and-a-half minutes, and I thought that would be about right. What I hadn't allowed for was introductory greetings and questions at the start. The following is a list of what I think I should have done and why: 2a. Logline: I always thought this was what you put on the poster outside the cinema ("In space, no-one can hear you scream" etc.). I was asked several times to describe what my film is about in one sentence, and I hadn't prepared that. I suspect that this is what the logline actually is. 2b. About me: I went into a list of stuff I'd done, which lead to some unnecessary questions and reduced my actual pitch time. I should have said "I'm Julian Tewkesbury. I'm the Director of this company from Devon in the UK". And left it at that - maybe mention it's a start-up. 2c. The world of the story: Again, too much detail (not necessary at this point). I should have kept it much briefer. 2d. The story: Yet again, much too much detail - to the point where it became difficult to follow the story. "I'm not sure people will understand the concept" was the comment. I should have kept it to something like this: "Protagonist lives here and wants this. Something happens, and as a result he goes there and does that. Then something else happens, something goes wrong and he ends up here. Then he has his "epiphany" and sets off home where everything turns out well in the end." 3. Don't read your pitch: I have a terrible memory, and I tend to waffle when nervous, so I wrote my pitch out and set up a basic autocue on my computer. It doesn't really work. The pitch lacks a certain conviction, and there's practically no eye contact with the person to whom you're pitching. You can't gauge the other person's reaction as you talk because your attention is on the text you're reading. Consequently you can't adjust the way you talk to take account of, say, bored expressions. It also makes the whole thing rather impersonal - more like a news report than a conversation about an exciting project. I hope this all makes sense, and, if anyone has any comments, I should be very glad of the advice. Finally, I would like to thank The Happy Writers and Stage 32 for allowing me this experience, and to thank Howard Rosenman for his patience in being so polite to a very green pitch.