Screenwriting : Pitchfest by Harold Vandyke

Harold Vandyke

Pitchfest

Hey guys, anyone here have any success from this past weekends pitch fest. For those of you who have participated before: How soon can one expect to hear anything?

Laura Cross

Hey Harold: I submitted a written pitch to BenderSpink on Saturday for the ManagerFest and received a script request the next morning. I also did another pitch session yesterday with a producer, Anna Halberg, and received a script request this morning.

Harold Vandyke

What types of scripts were they? Low budget, Indie? Genres? I submitted a written Sci-fi pitch to Scooty Woop, but have heard nothing. I'm wondering if they tend to answer right away, or if there can be a delay. Thanks for your reply.

Harold Vandyke

Kathryn: Yeah, I was just curious if they tended to contact right away, or if there was a delay. I'm hoping they'll request to read.

Nicole Eilers

Hal - I submitted a written query for a low budget Horror. I think the script requests usually take a week, like Kathryn said.

James Chalker

I've been waiting 1 1/2 years for 4 studios to get back to me from the Fade in pitchfest. I'm pretty sure they're going to get back to me any day now. They're probably just waiting on getting the 6-figure check from their accounting department so they can send it to me.

Harold Vandyke

Joey sent me a pitch report from the pitch fest of two weekends ago -- must say, I was a little disenchanted by what was said. Here's why: I had a written pitch that had more character detail and story information ready to go, then I listened to the online pitch instruction that was given and simplified it accordingly. The result was a pass with the statement that there wasn't enough character or second and third act information given...great. :( Now that's not to say things might have changed, but I sure would like to have the money be spent more productively. Exactly how detailed are we supposed to be, or does it vary from company to company?

Laura Cross

Hey Harold - While I can't speak for what every producer (or manager or agent) is looking for in a written pitch, as a small independent producer myself who receives pitches outside of Stage 32 I know I like to receive a complete synopsis of the story (all three acts covered). As I am on a mission to acquire a manager, I have pitched to four opportunities in the last week via Stage 32. I received a request for my feature script from two of the four (within one day of submitting the pitches) and have not yet heard back from the other two pitches (it's been 2 days). My written pitches included a logline, complete one-page synopsis (telling the entire story), and my bio (since I'm looking for a manager, I feel this element was important). Stage 32 offers an amazing opportunity for writers without an agent or manager to pitch to execs (it can be challenging to get past gatekeepers without the ability to say "...and I'm represented by..."), and the investment of $45 is exceedingly low (you could easily spend more than that in driving, parking, taking time out of your day, etc. for an in-person meeting in Los Angeles) - plus the fact that you received feedback from Joey, which is invaluable for moving forward more strategically. I encourage you to see the opportunity in the experience, and move forward with a positive attitude instead of feeling your money was not spent productively. All the best with your endeavors.

Harold Vandyke

Laura, thanks for the feedback. ...not to mention flying to L.A. You're right a lot of money can be spent in this endeavor. I was just bummed that I had it correct before listening to the advice given. I also asked Joey to let me know if it needed improvement when I sent it in, but heard no reply, so figured it was okay. I'll get over it, just felt a little let down.

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