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Screenwriting : Pitching on Stage 32 by Kendall Loyd

Kendall Loyd

Pitching on Stage 32

I was wanting to know if anyone ever gets any requests for their scripts when pitching on this site to execs and producers and its not just like your wasting time and money for nothing.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Hi Kendall, there are requests almost every single pitch session, and a lot of the time it's a good handful of requests. Really depends on the pitches for that session, as sometimes the execs may only see one project they're interested in reading, sometimes they may see twenty.

Just remember though, our pitching service is first, and foremost, an educational service. We're here to help you get better at pitching, get better at writing, learn the business, and be prepared. It just also has the side benefit of pitching to actual professionals so if they dig your pitch, they'll request to read it.

Brad Johnson

Do you know if Michael Meltzer plans to offer any feedback from Jan. 6th

Wilmer Villanueva

How about, Mr. Kendall, in a few days I will be a year on this page, and although I have not participated in contests or other activity that is for the revision of the scripts, I have been able to determine that any action you take must be accompanied by a payment . A producer, if they visit this page, does not take into account your skills or the quality of your writing, but what you are going to cancel. It seems a bit unfair but I guess it is the nature of the page. The script can only be seen if you manage to pay the fee.

Dan MaxXx

It is what it is and it's better now and easier. Twenty years ago, you had to live in LA or NY to meet/pitch to movie people, waste car gas, dry cleaning, parking, meals.

This online pitching, good and bad, is freaking easy and the cheapest. Or you can do it the other way and spend more money.

M L.

Most everyone in any company with development funding has a full slate. They don't take anything that isn't packaged by an agency anyway. I wouldn't bother.

Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

As is being said its educational. Its a face to face business, and there's no other way around it than to go the distance. You might learn something, I think that's all.

Dan Guardino

ML. That is not true. There are a lot of people out there who will accept material that is not packaged by an agent. I do have an agent but I know how difficult it is for someone to get one so what do you suggest people do... just give up?

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Erik Jacobsen don't forget marketplace though, too. To be fair. To myself(:D). I was up for sale at two companies (technically still am) but then a movie came out with the same concept as mine.

Also attitude is a big factor. You might be a great writer, but if you're a jerk in the meeting it might change things around. But yeah you can really only blame yourself or the marketplace. If you're not working to get your stuff out there, then what's the point, and if you're acting like everyone owes you something as if there aren't thousands of other hardworking writers out there with possibly better attitudes, then you're doing yourself a disservice.

Time and time again I see writers get mad at the notes or the rejections. I understand the frustration, but at the same time, take the damn notes and don't worry about the rejections. If you can't handle either, you aren't going to make it very far in this industry.

Brad Johnson email me at writerhelp@stage32.com and I can update you on Michael's session.

Wilmer Villanueva

I read each of the comments that other writers put in the post, and it seems very valid, certainly everyone has their reason, the page is very useful to get known and even have the opportunity to sell your works. But we must admit that it is purely commercial. Well, the cinema is, what I criticize and maybe I left a bit of context, is that in order for someone to read your project, it will not do it unless a monetary transaction is made. And I say this because I have communicated with several, by email, and those who manage to respond, say that I must first pay stipulated for them to proceed with the reading. It is what I criticize. This page is the medium, and I appreciate belonging to it.

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Hi Wilmer Villanueva I have zero records in our system of you using any of our services, so I think your criticism might be pointed at someone else?

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

It's really fascinating how even the best of the best and most successful out there can be shut down by stuff like that. Then it's doubly fascinating how some studios will go to battle with the weirdest stuff. Like why did we need Dante's Peak AND Volcano? Who was pushing hard for either? Strange town.

Bill Costantini

Nick: that's like Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, which were released within three months of each other. Both are great films (at least to me), and I don't think either film broke even, when you subtract the exhibitor's cut of the box office.

Best fortunes in your creative endeavors, Nick!

John L & Jamie S

We have gotten one read request here. One other request went a circuitous route to our attorney because the exec that read our stuff already had a relationship with them. In fairness, we were more practicing here than anything else. We have a manager we work with from time to time and a well known entertainment attorney that we've had a relationship with for some time who does contract work and sends some of our stuff out and sends other clients our way. We've gotten some very positive feedback along with passes. In general, we set a cap on what we were going to spend time and dollar-wise to practice pitching and stuck to that and the results were within our expectations. A few of the pitch report cards we have had had better results/more thorough responses than others. Some of it was frustrating but it sort of mirrored what we do on our own with no guaranteed response industry-wise. That is said in the nicest way possible because I appreciate that there is an intermediary service here where you get a definite answer rather than querying into the "void" so to speak. There are definitely signs in the pitch session write up descriptions that you have to pay attention to. "Are they looking for your format/genre, etc" are very important questions to ask related to your work before you should even consider pitching. Both of us have directed several shorts and features before we even started trying to pitch our completed screenplays. We've also had our work produced and directed by others. One project has an attached director that is pretty well known. The service here really is about learning to pitch in written form or via phone and it's accurately represented for writers wanting to get their projects into the hands of people who could potentially point them into a new direction or get them a step up from where they currently are in their career.

Kendall Loyd

John you make a valid point. There's so many execs and producers on here it gets overwealming on who to pitch to. It is almost like getting a winning lottery ticket that costs $30 a pop. If I specifically knew what these guys were looking for in their descriptions it would make it a lot easier than just randomly throwing money out there.

John L & Jamie S

Make a spreadsheet of all of the companies. In general, that's the best way to keep your research simple and keep notes on the genres that people are looking for by company and by past projects so you are able to pitch based on what might be the pattern to their released work. No matter where you go, there is an element of luck that has to line up between what you have and what they want. The more time you spend looking into who does what properties, the better the table tilts that luck in your favor.

Dan MaxXx

Bill Costantini two years ago, I think there were 3 movies about Neil Armstong and space race to the moon.

Olympus Has Fallen took like 11-years from spec to screen. Good specs always find a home or get you a writing job.

M L.

Dan Guardino "A lot of people will accept material not packaged by an agent." Really? Just had three development execs from different companies say otherwise this past month. Including a CEO of a major studio. If you know of a legit company that's open to reading scripts from unknown writers, by all means, prove me wrong and name the company.

Doug Nelson

M.L. - Dan is correct in his observation. I'm aware of several (a few anyway) that will entertain looking at scripts from 'unknown/first time' writers without agents. Think about it economically; Why would a producer be willing to buy your script through an Agent (and pay the extra 10%) when he/she could buy it directly from you for 90% of the price? Filmmaking is a very personal business. You need to make the connections.

Bill Costantini

M.L. and Dan G: I think it's a little bit of both, and depends who you're talking to, and when. Some love when an unknown/unrepped writer can say "and I already have a name director and a name actor interested". That's been proven over and over again by writers who posted about it here. Some option scripts from unknown/unrepped writers without any packaging by the writer, and that's been proven over and over in the Success Stories here. And some only work with repped writers whose agents do the packaging, which is an issue that the Writers Guild is voting on next month (for money reasons). Obviously it makes life easier for a producer or studio when a script already has attachments to it. And some do a little of each, and with repped or unrepped writers - with or without produced credits, known or unknown.

There are a lot of great stories and brilliant writers out here, and the people who have the ability to fund films or get funding for films get to act accordingly as a result of that. As an unrepped writer without produced credits, and who is known by some producers and execs, it just brings me back to the importance of having a script that "pops off the page"; to write extremely compelling conflict; to write something that is extremely marketable to them; to write something that is extremely relevant and has a zeitgeist quality to it; and to know or be aware of the industry gatekeepers who are best-suited for my scripts, and who are looking for a script like that at that particular time.

Easier said than done, right?

And to answer your original question, Kendall., I've pitched here, and didn't get requests, but the feedback that I did receive helped make me understand the shortcomings of my writing; helped make me a better writer; and helped me better understand the essence/zen of pitching, and become a better pitcher, too.

Best fortunes to you in your creative endeavors, Kendall!

Jason Mirch

The pitching exercise is to get feedback on your project from managers and producers. There have been times when managers have requested the scripts and signed writers as clients. Here's a good example of one: https://www.stage32.com/blog/Monday-Motivation-Stage-32-Writer-Lands-Representation

And I know of a few producers who have taken on projects from Stage 32 writers.

I have heard a few pitches on Stage 32 from writers and while I have given feedback on how to improve the story or the pitch, there have been times I've requested a few projects.

So all of that to say, Stage 32 has a very solid roster of managers and producers who know the market and the craft. I don't think it's ever a waste of time if you are learning from the feedback you get.

Dan Guardino

ML. If you are trying to submit to development execs and a major studio you would have a very difficult time getting someone there to read your screenplay. Smaller independent filmmakers are more likely to accept material submitted by an unknown screenwriter without representation. I can’t name any companies that are open to reading scripts because if I want someone to read one of my screenplays, I just call my agent and have her submit the script unless I know the producer then I do it myself.

Dan Guardino

Erik. You must've had a lot better luck than me because I found selling a screenplay not all that easy.

Pamela Bolinder

Erik, I don't agree with your comment: "the only alibi for not selling a script is subpar writing." It's a numbers game. They only make so many movies a year. Or, if there are a 100 people in the room and 99 don't believe in you and just one does, it can change ... (That last part—just kidding).

Dan MaxXx

M L. there's a small company called AMAZON. They used to accept unsolicited material. I met an unrepped writer who got a $10,000 option deal from Amazon. I guess he is a unicorn you hear about. Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw prods accepts unsolicited material. I'm a nobody and I submitted a spec to Joel Silver Prods, I called them and one of the Boss said "SEND."

Anyway, this business is not easy. I met a WGA writer who had over 100 meetings in 2017. 100 real meetings at offices. He had to dress up, drive his car, create look books and he did not get a single job. 0 income for 2017, but he said it was the best year of his professional career.

I think the issue here some folks pay for 1, 2, or 15 pitches and they expect a YES, and when they get a "NO", they start talking conspiracy, scams, whatever. Some are scams though but in general, everyone gets rejected, fails. I actually believe Industry people love failure. That's when folks start trusting you - when you fail and keep coming back for more :)

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Erik Jacobsen I don't know where you're hiring your monkeys from, but mine works for grapes. Email me at writerhelp@stage32.com for monkey info, also that goes to you Kendall Loyd if you're looking for the right person to pitch to. I do my best to keep track of what ever exec we work with is looking for, and I'm the one who views the feedback, manages the requests, and sets up any meetings from pitch sessions. So if you're thinking of pitching, email me your logline, genre, and brief synopsis, also budget range if you think you know it, and I can make a healthy recommendation for you.

Doug Nelson

Dan M That old school approach still works for me, so I stay with it. All this impersonal internet pitching stuff strikes me as being rude & crude; but remember, I'm from an earlier era.

Dan Guardino

Doug. It is still a people business and nothing will replace calling people up and talking to them. I used to call ten producers and ten everyday until I got a request for a read. I am not suggesting people not use the internet but in this business nobody knows what will payoff or when.

Doug Nelson

Yes Dan G - it is.

Dan Guardino

Erik Have you sold a screenplay before?

Pamela Bolinder

Erik, I admire that you want to write a world-class level screenplay. Don't you think in the heart of all those who love to write and are dedicated to learning how to write and how to write screenplays, want to write a wonderful (world-class) story? You have the writing skills...now, you need to write a good story! But, that is not all...

Elisabeth Meier

Kendall Loyd You should read our section of "Success Stories" and contact those who pitched successfully. It's really motivating and inspiring! Check the menu bar, under "Lounge" you'll find it.

Krista Crawford

I got a script request and landed a meeting with an exec my first pitch for an original TV pilot I wrote. Each pitch I've done since then I've only improved my projects that I'm pitching. I live in Wisconsin. My networking opportunities aren't that great or vast here so being able to do what I can do on Stage 32 has been invaluable. Would I love to get that request followed by a meeting followed by a large check for my script? Oh yeah. But I've also accepted that I'm in this for the long haul and it's going to take time, and money, to get to that point. Until then, I will continue to write what I love, pitch when I can on here, and shovel snow in Wisconsin.

Dan Guardino

Erik. I am not arguing with you. You said a monkey can find a buyer for a "world class level" screenplay so I was curious if you actually sold one or not.

James Matthew Chauvin

Ok Braintrust, that's you guys that have written on this thread. I'm looking for production companies to pitch a big budget sci-fi adventure film and so far I have not found any to pitch, most companies are low budget films and/or short films which I understand- low risk. Where are the gamblers? Any advice or thoughts?

Fleurette M Van Gulden

Read the success stories. Don't despair. A spec at the bottom of the barrel can find its way to the top. The competition is fierce.

Dan Guardino

James. It very difficult unless you have someone in their inter circle attached to your screenplay. So you might want to try and attach a Director or Action Director or Second Unit Director who has worked on some bigger budget films.

Dan MaxXx

James Matthew Chauvin Follow the career plan of Jon Spaights. He was a nobody 13-years ago, wrote an original big-budget sci-fi spec "Passengers" which got him meetings in Hollywood with movers and shakers; he parlayed the spec into writing assignments on Aliens, Doctor Strange, Pacific Rim. "Passengers" was produced 11-years later after he established a track record. I don't know how/why would anyone trust you on a big budget movie without a track record.

Bill Costantini

Dan MaxXx: You said it, Dan. Passengers is a brilliant story and screenplay that got Jon Spaights a lot of acclaim in the industry back then. Of course, he's a brilliant creative writer who understands dramatic structure, but he's a great example of how one spec script can get someone inside the studio system.

James Matthew Chauvin

Dan MaxXx thank you for your brutal honestly, I know you are right, however; I'm surprised that a script writer doesn't notice a great story and try to push through regardless of who the writer is but what do I know.

Dan Guardino great idea, thank you- at least that's a good place to start.

James Matthew Chauvin

Erik Jacobsen quoting Shakespeare then Journey that is strong my friend, very strong. Good words of wisdom- I shall ponder a bit.

Dan Guardino

Erik. I don't have any goals or plans.

Dan Guardino

Erik. What do mean I am dead?

Doug Nelson

Dan, I'm sorry to hear of your recent passing. RIP.

Dan Guardino

Me too!

James Matthew Chauvin

Do you think we can bleed this post for much longer? I forgot what the main idea of the post is -so far from the shore.

Dan Guardino

James. Sometimes threads go on a lot longer than this. The good thing is you don't have to continue reading one if you don't want to.

John L & Jamie S

And sometimes they come back. Hello future people looking at zombie threads.

Tony S.

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. - D. "Marky T" Guardino

Pamela Bolinder

LOL, sometimes it's Comedy Central around here. Laughing is good for the soul! =)

Calvin Bender

I haven't yet, but perhaps my story sucked, lol

Gustavo Freitas

I’ve got one request.

Pamela Bolinder

Calvin, that does not mean your story sucked.

Pamela Bolinder

Gustavo, what was the outcome of your request?

John L & Jamie S

Sharing our results for the curious. Long post incoming.

We did 25 pitches in a set period of time. Basically we did 8 Development Exec, 5 Assistants, 4 managers and then 8 "other industry" or creatives. (Our terms, not the terms here) We had 1 meeting request from an “other creative”. 1 "other creative" reached out vis a vis an entertainment attorney that considers us a client. In reality, we work for one of his other clients but he’s busy so we don’t worry about the distinguishing words.

We’ve pitched Blumhouse, Amazon Studios, Atomic Monster, Platinum Dunes, Voltage, either directly or indirectly etc. in other capacities. Overall, the subjectivity is hard to conquer. Some of the pitches the pitchee clearly wasn’t on the same page as the Stage32 paperwork. They were looking for something different. Some of the pitchees didn’t like “comps” or thought they were derivative. Some of them wanted more text. There were four overwhelming positive “passes” (See above). All of those came from “creative execs”. The one request we had that went straight to meeting basically told us outright they wanted a retainer for services. We didn’t decline but we are waiting to see what the paperwork looks like before we do anything. One of the pitchees didn’t even read the pitch correctly. We didn’t say anything but just moved on. Some “1”s from one pitchee were a three or a five from another. Most of them don’t seem to know what they are looking for script-wise which is not very industry like. Also, the format of a “two page” pitch is no longer utilized in the industry until you have a meeting. The vast majority of what Jamie and I do is a simple logline and synopsis and then either a read or don’t read. I used to do a lot of treatments. I also did a number of two pagers in the early 2000s but that format has sort of flown the coop for most companies with the rise of concept/sizzle reels/short form media.

We were even on the Amazon studios site with a couple of scripts that sat in "deciding" for over 700 days only to be chucked with a form letter. Those had reels. One of those projects had an attached director that Amazon Studios wanted to work with. For the record, pitching them separate of that old open submissions site is exactly the same. They are terrible at being warm and friendly but most places in "Hollywood" are.

Bear in mind, we weren’t looking for “money” or to be “set up” anywhere. We were mainly meeting new people. Half of the people we pitched are already on our linked-in or other social media. Almost all of them but one were within “one step” on social media from us. That one is for a pretty big company that doesn't look big when you pitch it here. Jamie grew up in the same town and happens to know it would be a win to get in the door there with those particular producers because of the style of our productions. We were looking for people that were either reps or worked with a company we did not yet have an in with. Not necessarily their own. But someone they had frequent or “big” partnerships with. We were looking for creatives with sales experience particularly foreign sales. We are our own money. (This is John writing not Jamie who usually chats here) I’ve had agents and managers since the early 90s off and on. I was a writing fellow in the 90s. I’ve worked on a couple of Oscar winning shorts. I have four completed feature movies. I’ve written close to a hundred feature and long-short screenplays. I was looking for a unicorn that had distribution experience for future projects. We did the same thing we did here at other sites with variations based on what those sites offered. We got a couple of meetings regarding representation. We optioned one new script to a producing/directing team that we liked. We got an A-list director attached. We got one "90s" director attached to a really cool project that was included in the pitches here. That even had mixed results. Jamie's a female horror/thriller director. I'm a white guy over 40 that's been around a while. The odds, in today's industry, are weirdly stacked against both of us in the strangest ways. We will still have a feature with 2019 on the production dates. Just like we had one with 2018. And 2017. And several shorts from 2016. And a feature from 2014. And on and on and on. I'm a firm believer that you have to produce your own work a lot in this day and age. The need for content is there. The development world is severely lacking bodies to get more content out. The weird thing about being in on early development in projects is that it's a stepping stone in the industry so people don't generally (with some exceptions) stay at that level very long. They either move up or they move out.

I'm not saying "don't pitch" either. These sessions are mostly highly informative and definitely fun. But every way to pitch in the world is a lot liking buying a lottery ticket. The money part of it is a gamble. The results are not guaranteed and the odds are always against writers. The absolute thing you are paying for here is a response. The type of response is actually irrelevant. You can instantly tell if you are onto something or not with a completed screenplay.

Pamela Bolinder

John L & Jamie S: Question: Just to be clear, (forgive me in advance for not understanding—new territory for me) you are saying you received positive “passes” from “creative execs” that requested a retainer for services?

Pamela Bolinder

John L & Jamie S: Another question: So you are saying pitching is informative and fun? Are you also saying, based on your experience the desired outcome of getting optioned is like buying a lottery ticket?

John L & Jamie S

No. One of the execs skipped the line from the pitch passing the read here to a meeting. Basically, they requested a meeting. Their company checked out when we inquired about it. We accepted and chatted with them on the phone. They asked me to email over one of the scripts. They explained that generally their company charges on reads but not for Stage32 reads. (It's not a huge fee. It sounded like a print/copy fee to me) Mainly what they do is "package" projects. This is not an agency or management firm. They reach out to producers they work with and see if any of them like the script, etc. If they do, they want you to put up a retainer against services for the packaging process. It's not completely unusual. Generally, that gets a pass from us but as we've been increasing our reel and resume we have been considering doing something like that in order to get a better industry connection to a project. We spend a lot of our time querying sales professionals and producers anyways. This would be paying to have someone do some of the work. Make more sense?

Pamela Bolinder

Yes, thank you.

John L & Jamie S

For your second question, Jamie has one recent option. Which will probably become a sale. I don't know her total through the years. She doesn't write as much as I do. I've had multiple options over the years. One sale. Didn't get produced. I've had some quid pro quo agreements where I got shorts produced. I've made a few connections in the realm of writing overseas and with directors and DPs. In general, we found out a long time ago that it was going to be easier to do the bulk of things ourselves to get projects produced. Pitching is informative and fun. You can instantly tell when someone likes something (even on a bad grade or a pass) or thinks something you are working on is going to work or not. One of our "passes" was because the producer flat out said they didn't like small projects at the moment because they were looking for something "bigger". We had some bigger projects but the four scripts we pitched here are the most industry ready and the most likely to get made. One will get made because I'm already starting to fund the pre production effort now. But yeah, getting in with some form of attached sales person or creative person is very much like buying a lottery ticket in two ways. You know how sometimes you buy a ticket and you only win another ticket? That's one way. You may just be getting a new contact that gets you more contacts. You can also win a prize. That prize may be 1,000 bucks. Or 10,000 bucks. Or whatever. That's the other way because selling a script beyond a dollar option is that prize. But making a script into a movie or making a sale. Or selling a movie you make is a way to move that prize meter up. All of these things the odds are stacked against you. Any one of them is like winning the lottery in some regard. Make sense?

Pamela Bolinder

Yes, thank you.

Dan Guardino

Erik. Thanks for the explanation. When I claimed to have no goals or plans, I was just talking about screenwriting since this is the screenwriters’ lounge. I own my own company that produces a lot of revenue so I only took up screenwriting as a hobby and didn’t have to rely on it for any income and still don’t. However, I did land a WGA Signatory Agent to represent me and sold and wrote screenplays on assignment. At one point in time I was employed as a Staff Writer and did quite a bit of Script Consultant for two different Production Companies until I got tired of that and it was taking up too much of my time. I still write screenplays but most of my focus now is on producing. I have five feature film projects in various stages of development and pre-production as a Screenwriter, Executive Producer and a Producer. Until you manage to sell your first “world class content” screenplay that a monkey would have no problem finding a buyer for please don’t judge me. And I will not read or respond to any more of your nonsense.

Doug Nelson

Kendall - going back to your original question: Learning the fine art of pitching requires knowledge, understanding and practice. While I've never used the S32 sessions, the fact that it charges a modest fee seems reasonable to me - it's an educational process. You pay tuition to attend a University, a Trade School, an online course or even a basic 'how to' book. Whether the quality of the education you receive is worth the price or not is up to you.

Dan Guardino

I agree with Doug. Pitching like screenwriting requires practice.

James Matthew Chauvin

John & Jamie thank you for taking the time to share with great clarity your business successes; it helps to educate clueless folks like me about the business side of movie making- it helps a lot.

Dan Guardino you're right again I stand corrected these threads do go on forever kind of like Marvel franchise movies(full disclosure I love those movies).

Patricia Zell

I pitched here on Stage 32 quite a number of times, but got only one request for my script which I sent, but the person wouldn't read it without a reading fee. So, in that sense, it's been disappointing. However, because I had taken the feedback on my pitches seriously, they improved and I finally had the request to see the script. My next step was to post my pitch on LinkedIn Pulse and then include the link in my outreach emails.

People have been reading the pitch--the representatives of the two actors who are attached to the first script requested the script on the basis of the pitch. So, if someone is open to receiving good feedback to learn, pitching here can be a good thing.

Pamela Bolinder

Erik! Hello. Impulse control. Dan was not making you look like a fool. I didn't understand what you meant by he was dead, either. It's all good.

Doug Nelson

Yes Erik, you have clearly demonstrated that you can. Over & out.

Scott Young

I research all requests and who they come from. Too many scammers out there these days. Do your homework. If you can't find any info from conventional research means, then talk to them, personally, get to know them. Gauge how you feel after that conversation. If it feels wrong, then don't send any material. If you feel in sync with them, then see where it goes. You might be surprised. There's a lot to be said for "first impressions" and "gut feelings."

John Day

I don't comment often, but over the years I've always appreciated the straightforward advice about the business from Dan G. and Doug N. -- and I can absolutely see a sitcom starring these two stranded together in the desert.

Tony S.

How about a "Gilligan's Island" reboot with them as The Skipper and Mr. Howell?

Scott Young

How about no more reboots and focus on new, fresh, original ideas for new, fresh, original writers, like many of the writers to be found here on Stage32? Has Hollywood truly run out of ideas, that they have to remake everything that's already been done? I think not.

Pamela Bolinder

Nah, Tony. John Day: Stranded on a desert island with paper and a pen, together, they would write the greatest story ever told! You're looking at two very talented writers. The girls have a sweet spot for Doug because he does not just regurgitate facts, he helps explain the nuances of story construction.

Tony S.

Huh?

Pamela Bolinder

Tongue-tied?

Tony S.

Dumbfounded, as usual.

James Matthew Chauvin

Any thoughts on 32 Sci-Fi contest? I wrote a sci-fi script big budget film(I know) which is the main reason I joined Stage 32 in first place to learn the business. It appears that if I were to win the folks I would get to pitch to have never produced anything big budget, so my thinking is waste of time. I don't mind practice but I would rather make this story into a movie and talk to the right people which I am surmising is a very difficult thing to do, like winning the Superbowl or lottery. Thoughts anyone?

James Matthew Chauvin

Also dido Scott Young no more reboots please; this is the main idea why I starting writing many moons ago - I thought Hollywood is out of ideas holy crap I can come with get stories for movies and 15 years later here I am(still in Houston selling real estate).

Jim Boston

Scott, you're FREAKIN' RIGHT about calling for a moratorium on reboots!

Hollywood hasn't run out of ideas...even if its leaders think the industry has exhausted every plot and every premise there is.

The bigwigs just don't want to take a chance.

The way they tell it inside the industry: "It's all about THE DOUGH!"

But what they don't realize is: If you try some new concepts for stories, plots, and premises (even new wrinkles on familiar stories), the audiences will find those new concepts.

And the money WILL come.

Dan MaxXx

Patricia Zell what's this reading fee? Help me understand. You paid $35 to submit a written pitch/skype pitch. Received a script request and then the person wanted a reading fee?

Patricia Zell

Dan MaxXx Correct--the spiel for the session did infer a reading fee for the script, but it didn't register with me. The fee was $3 per page and then, if the company deemed the script worthy for their services, there was an hourly charge unless I had enough A-list attachments to the project. At that point, the company would work for a percentage. However, I did get to talk with the representative on the phone where they explained the details to me. I was expecting a yes or a no because I had emailed the script to them (at their request) a month prior to the phone call, but that was not how the company worked. They had not read the script.

At that point, because they complimented the pitch, I decided to go the LinkedIn Pulse and the IMDbPro route with the project. The feedback for my pitches here on Stage 32 did help me hone the pitch and I am grateful for that.

Jody Ellis

Patricia Zell Ive never heard of a production company charging to read scripts. That is not the norm, at least not in my experience (and I’ve had a lot of read requests by many different agencies.) Also, if they requested your script as a result of you pitching via S32, you need to let the admins know so they can drop that particular agency. That’s completely unethical.

Dan Guardino

Patricia Zell. The only people that would charge money here to and then try to soak a screenwriter out of money to read the script that they already paid to pitch is a crook.

Mark Rashid

I have had numerous requests since I began pitching here on Stage 32 and am currently working with a producer I met through one of those requests on developing one of my comedies.

Dan Guardino

Mark. That is awesome. Congrats!!!

Elisabeth Meier

Kendall Loyd After all these comments I hope you see what I see. Here are thousands of creative people who try to be helpful by sharing their experiences and you are always in good fellowship. Even Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services tries to help you personally. The only thing I wonder now is: Will you give it a try and book a pitch?

I can add a story another fellow screenwriter shared when I was new at Stage32. I remember it well, because he was from England and we of course have trouble with the time difference when pitching. So, he thought if he books one pitch he won't be able to sleep anyway afterwards. Hence, why not not book 5 pitching appointments in the same night? That's what he did. The first was of course the worst and most exciting, but the next easier and then he became cooler and knew how to use these few minutes wisely, leave time for questions etc. In his post the next day he said even if he'll get no request at all he learned everything about pitching, knows how to handle this stress situation and to pitch more professional. The money and the sleepless night weren't wasted.

Hope that helps. Good luck to everyone here!

Viquii Johannesson (Vicki Johnson)

congratulations, I look forward to pitching a lot on here.. great practice

Dan MaxXx

Probably need to pitch the same idea 10-15 times to different Execs to draw any concrete data if your pitch/idea sucks. Or wait 5-years and pitch the same idea to a new crop of Execs. It's the game of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Robert Rosenbaum

If you are paying to pitch it is training and nothing more. No legitimate producers, managers or agents charge for taking pitches.

Noureddine Hifad

I did a first pitch on stage 32 the feedback was very helpful for me, the executive compared my Pilot to a new "game of thrones" it was just beyond their budget, I'm satisfied with this result, since it is the first time I pitch something in my whole life

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

I pitched on here for almost two years, once a month, honing my written pitches, until finally I landed a manager through here. I've since parted ways with said manager because of creative differences, but I'm still thankful for the help he gave me, and he certainly got my script out to a lot of people.

I'm now currently being considered by another manager from here, and that's all through Stage 32. That manager, without repping me, has my feature out to two production companies just because he loved the script and wanted to help.

I see a few comments in here about Ramo Law PC and their services. They're complicated because they aren't producers or managers. They're a law firm that specializes in packaging projects, and some people have enjoyed working with them and found some cool successes using them, but I always suggest reading the full pitching page before just signing up because you might be surprised to learn how they operate after the fact. I've read many an angry email from people who didn't read about who they were pitching to first. They're the kind of company you'd want to hire if you had the money and knew your script was ready to go. They're not the kind of company you're going to want to pitch to if you're just looking for a manager or for someone to buy your script because they don't do either of those things.

There was also a comment above about this being a lottery. You shouldn't be using our pitch services like a lottery. You should be using them to get better at pitching. If you feel your script is good to go already, then why not submit to a producer or manager directly through us for coverage? They can confirm that for you, and yes meetings happen through coverage, too. We also send out our Double Recommended scripts to our massive exec list.

I can't stress this enough. If you're thinking about pitching, or coverage, please email me at writerhelp@stage32.com and tell me about your project. I'm here to guide you to the right person if I can.

John L & Jamie S

The comment above wasn't about "pitching Stage32" or using those services being a lottery. I'm going to take a little umbrage at that particular characterization of my words to respond in kind. It was about pitching scripts and really, screenwriting (in any way, shape, form or fashion) being like buying a lottery ticket. And the idea of "pitching" is literally that tall an order of odds and mathematics. For instance, the pitch in the comments here to try the "double coverage" service is a lottery. You are playing the numbers on who comments and read this post to get a bite. There's nothing wrong with that and it may help some people. But once you weigh in the subjectivity of getting favorable coverage in the service you paid for and then the statistical probability of both making it onto the massive exec mail out plus the idea that it will be received and read by someone with similar subjectivity to the coverage and the writing to begin with, you'll realize that even a response or read request from someone was very much like winning the lottery. There are how many working writers in the guilds as of 2018? 7,000? That might be generous. Trying to get into those slots to become one of the working writers is also like a lottery, be it in TV, film, etc. I don't like to misrepresent the statistics to people ever. Particularly on posts like this where someone is asking an honest question and the occasional troll or know-it-all is already popping up. (Myself included) But writing a movie down in its entirety in the first place is slanted towards high odds. Imagine if we just included "how many people had an idea for a movie in the world this year" and wheedled it down to "how many movies got made". It's absolutely mind boggling the amount of skill and luck that has to diverge and confluence in order to achieve a single sale in the "business".

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

I'm just sharing information on how to use this site the best to your advantage, not arguing against how hard it is to break into this industry. There is a numbers game aspect, sure, but if you're only looking at the numbers and you're not working to improve your scripts and your writing in general, then what's the point? You're comparing it to a lottery, but it's more like a race. You have to train, you have to put in the time, and only then can you win. By suggesting it's a lottery is like saying "any script can get made you just need to find the right person to make it." That's a yes and a no. Obviously you need to find the right person, but your script has to be ready, too. I'm not on here to sell people Stage 32. I'm not a salesman, I'm a writer.

I 100% understand where you're coming from, because I do feel some places out there treat it like a lottery, where they point out how many submissions they get and how many people were awarded based on those submissions. I'm not a fan of that, and in the end I find it completely meaningless unless you're getting rep or you're getting produced as a result.

And I understand that it can feel like a lottery because of how many of us want to succeed and how many jobs there are actually are. But it's not about being picked randomly based on how many submissions you make. It's about having the right submission. There are writers here who pitch, and every single time they pitch they get a read request or a meeting request. Their batting average isn't luck. It's skill. They took the notes. They did the work.

Really my only point here is that Stage 32 doesn't exist to make you feel like you're in a lottery, and I wouldn't recommend people use the site that way, which I'm saying because I do see some people use it that way. We're the gym. We're here for the training. We just also happen to have some people standing on the sidelines scouting.

That's all.

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