Screenwriting : Pitching in US not being a native, how to deal with this? by Stella Wilderom

Stella Wilderom

Pitching in US not being a native, how to deal with this?

Hi folks! I've been pitching a tv pilot and in general got good feedbacks that allowed me to improve it and make it better, guess soon I'll have it ready to rock! :)

But something bothers me since I'm not so sure how to solve it: from 12 pitches I've submitted, 2-3 mentioned that although my concept was cool and they would consider buy it with some adjustments or improvements they said that my English wasn't that good and the fact that I'm not a native and may have not a perfect writing or expected style would me an issue or a "no go" for opportunities. Just wondering here: should I hire someone to re-write my pitch and then my script? Should I keep trying and trusting that if they want it they will buy it anyway? Did anyone here have this kind of problem? Would like to hear how you deal with it... Thanks! <3

Shaun Michael Goldsmith

Hi Stella. If English is not your first language, you may want to have your pitches and script reviewed by someone in order to ensure that any nuances. Such as word tense, grammar and spelling are all correct prior to submission. If any is unclear, it may result in the producer misunderstanding and passing on your idea or the finished draft. Let me know if this helps and if you have further questions.

Robert Premus

Stella, it's incredibly difficult to pitch online. Many producers use fake excuses and the feedback I get,are standard responses. I am Australian and I use Australian/UK English and I'm constantly told that I have spelling mistakes ... It's Bullshit. I've stopped looking at the U.S. for pitching as a screenwriter. I have rewritten two of my screenplays as novels. I am currently working on graphic novels for the same scripts. A pitch or a script isn't enough. If you have the script, a book, a game and/or an activity for a reality idea, you're far better off then having a script alone. If you have a published book (I self-published a novel), you will continue to own the rights, even if you sell the screenplay. Know it's a lot of work, but for me, I have fans that love my work ... I haven't made a huge amount of money yet, but that will come ... one day.

Stella Wilderom

Shaun Michael Goldsmith Thanks a lot for your feedback, I do believe that will be nice to hire someone to support me for review at least the pitch. I've been working in US and Canada as executive and never had any issues with my English so I guess I assumed that it would be not a issue for screenwriting and for most pitches it wasn't but these couple of feedbacks regarding my grammar or writing style bothered me so I'm trying to figure out how solve it. ;)

Stella Wilderom

Robert Premus Thanks for sharing your experience. I've considered to turn my TV series in a book before cut it into episodes but quit the idea. Maybe should reconsider...

S.J. Robinson

Hi Stella, if are looking for someone to help you, i would recommend the editor at Stage 32 Rosalind Winton. Unlike script coverage (which is still great and worth its weight in gold!), an editor will go through everything line by line, and word for word. I would liken script coverage to seeing your regular doctor for a check up, while editing process is more booking in with a heart surgeon! She is very thorough and I'm she would help you with your pitch too. Her details are here Wish you all the best with it and keep going!

Julia Dibbern

Hi Stella, like you I consider myself pretty much fluent at English, having lived in California for a while. However, before I pitch, I will absolutely give anything I write to a few native speakers to read.

Chris Blair

Hi Stella. I emphatically agree with Julia. Having someone proofread your work can make all the difference in the world (I think this goes for even native-speakers). I don't think you need anyone to rewrite your whole script, but if someone can just offer some notes, you'll be in a better place.

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