Success Stories: APR'27 REQUESTED by DreamWorks!

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Pete Stone

REQUESTED by DreamWorks!

I'm super excited as I just got word from Joey that my pitch with DreamWorks resulted in a script request!! This feels wonderful as I’ve been working hard on refining so this is very validating. Plus it was my birthday weekend so I'd been saving up for this pitch! After my first pitch got a request, my next two were passed on, but I received some great feedback that helped me analyze where some confusion was entering into my pitch. I decided to take some time to streamline a few things. I listened to Joey’s webinar about ways to improve pitches and read the other success stories to get feedback. Using all this advice I was able to hone in on few things to make some meaningful tweaks.

Pete Stone

Just in case it might help someone else, here are three main observations I made that improved my verbal pitch: - First of all, I was mentioning too many character names. Joey's webinar helped clarify this for me. I mentioned three by name, but simplified how I identified them during my pitch so they are more in relation to my main character. For example, I just started saying “Lance’s dad” instead of Bill. This way I was not creating confusion on who my main character was. - Secondly, I realized I was so close to my story that I just assumed some obvious only to me plot points were being conveyed. I went back to my written pitch and by sharing it with others found the crucial areas I was not properly verbalizing that made the entire pitch make a lot more sense and become easier to follow. I then verbally pitched but having the logistics worked out on paper helped me when verbalizing. - Thirdly, I’ve been focusing on finding fresh energy every time I pitch it. In other words, in the two pitches I got passed on, I was trying to hard to redo my first successful pitch so they were lower in energy. Much like when a sports team gets ahead too quick, it gets complacent and then get blown out the rest of the game. I went back to finding the passion for why I wrote my script in the first place and using that to just have a real conversation with whom I was pitching to. Anyway, I’m very thrilled for this opportunity and thankful to Joey and everyone for setting this up opportunity! I’ll keep my fingers crossed and of course in the meantime continue finding ways to naturally keep improving my pitch to keep it fresh, fun, and sincere.

Rafael Pinero

Wow, Dreamworks? That's great, congrats.

Christopher Wisniewski

Good work my friend. Congratulations on your good news.

Phil Parker

Great news, Peter! Congrats and Happy Birthday!

Elisabeth Meier

How cool is that? DreamWorks want your script! Congratulations and Happy B-day!

Elaine J Jackson

Congratulations, Peter!

Pete Stone

Thanks for the support! I saw DreamWorks was looking for a comedy so decided to pitch extremely grateful they requested to read it.

Boomer Murrhee

Congrats Pete! Hopefully this is only the beginning.

Andrew Bee

Excellent and wonderful!

Laura Cross

Right on, Pete. Congratulations. Wishing you all the best.

Emma J Steele

Congratulations, Pete!

Debbie Tarrier

Thanks for sharing Pete, as it's really encouraging. Have something I would love to pitch to Pixar but believe they only take ideas from those within Pixar... then there's the concern your idea 'may' be tweaked and used without you. I'm considering writing a book so there is a bit of protection and take it from there, though maybe that's overkill. Great to know Dreamworks are open to new ideas. Keep us posted & good luck! :-)

Andrew Man

Debbie makes a number of good points about pitching to major prod cos. As an author I usually publish the book before I start pitching and make it clear the script is taken from a book series. I don't think its overkill, but it takes a lot longer (two years or more) and you may get asked about book sales? Also wonder how many scripts Dreamworks have requested - last year- and how many made it to the screen? I get a number of requests, which go nowhere, so I'm careful who I pitch to?

Nerys John

Wow Pete, that's fantastic! How exciting! And thank you for sharing your observations you made regarding your pitch, that's really helpful for others - i.e. me! Keep us posted on how it goes. Hope you had a great birthday! :)

Dawson Howard

Congratulations Pete. Well done and keep us posted on events.

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

Fantastic news... congrats Pete and Happy Belated Birthday... wishing you many happy returns of the day.

Nathan O'Farrell

Congrats!

Rayna W.

Congrats!

Jessica Rose

Congratulations! When one gets requested, we all do (in spirit)! I'm so excited! Thank you soooo much for the pitch information! I really needed that. The first time I pitched verbally, I talked so fast I knew he thought I was nuts. I now complete written pitches, but still haven't fine tuned them enough to be requested, however, have seen a huge improvement in the critique information, which is very helpful in fine tuning the pitch. I especially like the ratings now and the more detailed comments by the producers, managers, etc. Thank you again for sharing!! So happy for you!!

Pete Stone

Debbie and Andrew thanks for the input about that. Debbie Im no expert of course, but I would recommend pitching to Pixar your script is ready and pitch polished. Everything I have read and professional feedback says that one of the most common unfounded fears is someone stealing your idea. The truth seems to be that it is ultimately not the idea but the execution of the idea, not the "what" but the "how." The reason is that if you have the idea chances are someone else already does to, what is more important is how well you express that idea, and how much persistent work you put behind promoting it after that. Everything I've heard from every source all agree that work pretty much never gets stolen. That being said if they purchase your script then they might higher others to come in help make changes to it, but since it is there name and money on the line then it is only fair that they have the right to do that at that point. Having a successful published book to point to would certainly help your pitch of your screenplay in terms of seeming marketable, but not really make a difference on protecting it. The only rule I have for pitching to a company is not to pitch before I am ready as if they request the script and it is not polished then it could burn a bridge for later when it would have had a better chance to impress that company. Likewise, you will never be 100% ready, it is a process that you must engage in and learn as I go. So I would keep Pixar on the radar if i wete you and when you get your script ready, not worry about them stealing it, just worry about showing them the best you and your best work, and let fate decide. Might be cliché, but very true, as Gretsky says, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"... And likewise, it takes numerous Requests too before landing where it needs to be at the right time. Persistence with joyful passion is key! keep us posted!

Pete Stone

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes too!

Dorota Puzio

congratulations and Happy Birthday! mine was also on Saturday!

Merry Citoli

What a great birthday present! Best of luck!

Zanna Shirmana

Must be the greatest feeling in the world. Congratulations!

Lauren Elizabeth Jayne Stiener

Great birthday present Thank you also for passing on ur observations which are helpful to others

Troy Ruff

Congrats with dreamworks.

Zanna Shirmana

My birthday's coming up! Next year.

Monette Bebow-Reinhard

Good tips on your pitching changes, thanks for sharing! And best of luck! So exciting! I especially like the third tip, having a conversation about your passion for why you wrote it. Be direct. I never get a chance to pitch, but am hoping to at some point.

Glen Kim

Congratulations Pete and happy birthday. If you're willing to share, what was the genre of your pitch/script? I've been working on an animation pitch specifically for Dreamworks so I'm curious what they're generally looking for. Thanks and congratulations again!

John Charnay

Congrats! Happy bday! Just celebrated mine recently too!

Pete Stone

Glen, sure it was Comedy. Somewhere I saw Joey had it posted that is one of the first things they were looking for. I'm sure it probably shifts around depending on needs of the time so good to research each time too I would imagine, but sounds great and best of luck as you move forward!

Suzanne Lutas

Thank you for sharing your tips and your success Pete-- huge congrats!!! That's the most amazing birthday present you could have!

Glen Kim

Thanks Pete for your reply. Much appreciated and good luck moving forward.

Tony Ginn

Congratulations. Perhaps you can assist me in getting my Syfy (Aliens vs. Humans) titled the " Void ' with a Sequel based on the book written by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom ( the Jesus Incident ) script to DreamWorks. I will send you or whom you refer me to upon request. Google: Tony Ginn for Profile. Sag-Aftra ID: 10050998 since 1978. I have a unique Project/Script that includes Google Earth, Websites for locations and music that an Executive Producer can click on the link to view and listen! Also, a Story Book woven into the script with Nasa pictures, Alien visits, and the content contains a Love Story, Comedy, Drama, Music, Animation and the War to save the Universe.

Pete Stone

Tony, I think the best way for you to share your idea with DreamWorks, would be to sign up for a pitch at Stage 32, just keep up with when their representative will be back for more pitches. Stage 32 pitch process is set up to give you the type of opportunity you’re looking for, and $45 is well worth the money to take a shot! One reason Stage 32 pitches offer such a unique opportunity is because of the great relationship Joey, RB and everyone else at Stage 32 have already established with these companies and reps. And thankfully Joey handles all the go betweens, I’m not sure how he does it as he must be phenomenal at e-mail organization! Which is great for us because they already have a personal connection with the executives/manager, etc, and it’s great for the executives because it keeps the integrity of their contact info intact and only open to the ideas their interested in. If people passed their info around then they would get bombarded with spam and it would ruin these opportunities for everyone. So although I cannot pass any contact information along, I would be happy to offer you feedback on your idea or pitch, keep in mind it’s just my humble opinion but it might help. My initial advice would be to work on streamlining your pitch. It sounds like you have a lot of cool stuff going on and you are passionate about it, which is great. However your pitch in just this one post went everywhere from aliens to a referencing Jesus and every genre, including animation and a musical! Someone once told me that if your script seems to be about everything then essentially it is about nothing. In other words, folks like to know exactly what they are getting because their job is to find an audience for it. Everything I’ve read says that mixed genre pitches are hard sales. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to access, so I would also find a better way to tie in all the stuff on google and other books to reference. All that will take them out of your story potentially and creates more work for the listener. Just my two cents, it may or may not help, but I would recommend streamlining your pitch so it is one genre, with one clear protagonist trying to accomplish one main goal, without a bunch of external references. You can salt and pepper the main dish with some of those other details. Once you get it clarified and polished wait for DreamWorks or whomever to be offering a pitch session through Stage 32 and sign up for the verbal or written! Best of wishes

Pete Stone

Jessica, I'm certainly no expert but for me I think the key is to know your story so well and have practiced discussing it so much that you can get to the point you can discuss it with natural clarity. Memorizing is dangerous, but I just remind myself that I've spent countless hours with the story so I know it. In other words, one reason that athletes practice so much is so when they get in the game they don't have to think about every move, they just naturally react. In other words, they have to get out of their heads by trusting themselves in the moment. Since you have it written out now so well, then maybe to get ready for the verbal again, just have a friend interview you again and again and again about your story until you can move your way through it from every angle. Take notes on where you get tripped up and attack those until you no longer need the notes or the written sheet. Record it and listen to it when exercising or driving in the car. Have your friend just randomly prompt you about it from different places. For me it still took a couple of actual pitches to get use to the live setup, but I just get my confidence now more each time from busting my rear to know my stories highlights better than anything else. Like a coach told me one time, take hard pitches in practice so the game seems easy! Best luck and keep us posted!

Marlene Hamerling

Great advice and well done!!!

Lori Meyer

Happy Birthday, and congrats, Pete!

Elisabeth Meier

I agree to Marlene... great advice, Pete! To those who don't want to do this with friends it is also possible to place yourself in front of your running video camera and do it again and again until you like what you hear and see. Then save it and write down what and how you said it there. Watch it until you know it by heart - just as Pete mentioned it. Similar to this you can use Skype for this - because many pitches can be via Skype and this makes me completely nervous as I don't like how the computer cam is showing my face. It is always pure horror to me. Hence, I have to exercise this as often as possible until I don't worry about my face anymore and become strong in what I say and how I say it.

Brian Walsh

Wow, very nice! Good job!

Marlene Hamerling

That's great, Elisabeth. Just do it and do it and do it, until you no longer have attention on yourself and logistics and all that "other stuff" and you can put all your attention on the communication. It really works. Years ago, when I was singing a lot more, I'd gotten all my gigs by word of mouth. I moved from Woodstock (yes, that Woodstock:-)) to NYC and wanted to join a band. At my first audition, my legs went to jelly and I couldn't even hear the key or where to come in after the intro -- on a song I'd sung a thousand times! I was horrified. So I just answered every ad in the Village Voice for a female vocalist -- didn't care about style of music -- until I got over it.

Sandra McMurphy

Wow! Totally awesome!

Pete Stone

Marlene, cool story about vocals, pitching shoyld be easy compared to that then!

Marlene Hamerling

Hey, thanks, Pete! If nothing else, I'm persistent.:-)

Krishnapuram Subramania Iyer Nagarajan

I have well researched based on facts a historical novel half in feature script form and the other half that can be done in a few days, that only awaits the taste of the producer as to who to be made Hero of the film. It is to leave a civilized world to our own children. It is for world wide audience. Thank you, Yours sincerely, K.S.Nagarajan, Chennai, India.

Jessica Rose

Thank you Pete for the practicing tools you suggested for my pitches. These are wonderful suggestions that I have not practiced. I especially liked the part of recording the pitch. I may practice up for a verbal pitch! Thanks!

Pete Stone

Cool, thanks yeah Recording it works great for me as hearing it over and over again also gets me well tuned into what is non essential to leave out because it keeps cluttering it up. and helps me fine tune overall flow most importantly.. I never want to memorize the whole thing as I rehearse but just get to know it so well I have Crystal clear Idea of what characters to introduce, the ordet of essential plot points, but perhaps most importantly the TRANSITIONS of moving from beat to beat. These transitions are important because It allows me to talk from the heart yet if I feel myself wandering I can go to these transitions to move back into whatever point is next from no matter where I might wand off to. Kind of like gutter blockers in bowling I know these transitions will keep ball moving towards pens for best chance of strike, allows me to have fun with it, keep us posted when you pitch!

Marlene Hamerling

The specific tools that have been mentioned here are terrific. One overarching thing I read that might also be helpful is this: You get them to read your screenplay or manuscript by getting them to feel something positive about it. You must reveal the strongest, most emotionally involving information about yourself and your project you can, in order to convince the buyer that it's worth reading.

Pete Stone

Good point Marlene, about the emotional connection. I've been trying to do better job of coneying that early on and then empasizing it throughout the pitch. As youre right, good reminder that pitches, like stories , are about connecting with people not just becoming more efficient like a robot!

Marlene Hamerling

Thanks, Pete. Coaches are always telling actors that, in an audition, it's not just the performance but whether you strike them as someone they want to spend time with on set, especially if you ever want to get called back for something else. I actually got a role that had already been cast, because the other actress was a diva, and they didn't really want to work with her, and I'm more the type to offer to help Crafts Services carry stuff in from the van.:-) I think pitching and auditioning are like any job interview; your own likability can make or break you, as much as (if not more than) your talent, skills, story, etc.

Eric Ehrhardt

I agree with Marlene 100% and am known for putting more importance on the initial one-on-one conversation than on any formal audition or other process. A Master Salesman in a past life, I find it incredibly easy to 'read' people from the onset as well as pinpoint real potential in others to commit to nurturing. Still, at that initial meeting I've found if there isn't a Good Vibe shared, there isn't much hope for future harmony.

Marlene Hamerling

And, heaven knows, unless it's a hit and run -- e.g., you sell the screenplay outright, grab the money, and never have to deal with the people who bought it again -- without any hope for future harmony, even a seemingly good deal may not turn out to be one.

Pete Stone

Good point, it's about establishing good relationships for the big picture, for sure

Paula Brathwaite

DreamWorks!? Wow, Congrats, Pete! @Marlene: <...and they didn't really want to work with her...> So true. Such a shame though. I guess some folks still haven't realized they're being observed and can still be evaluated at any time. That kind of tunnel vision, thereby tackling themselves on the one yard line like that, can definitely be costly. I wonder if she was ever informed of this reason, or will she just continue losing opportunities because of it... <...and I'm more the type to offer to help Crafts Services carry stuff in from the van.:-)...> Heh. Same here. I'm a Unit Stills Photographer though, so it's not like I have a ton of gear to load on set (just one roller case), so I help everyone else when needed -- like the camera and lighting crew, etc... :-)

Marlene Hamerling

And I'm an actor. So unless it's an ultra-ultra, really-low-budget film that requires me to bring wardrobe, all I'm carrying is my purse.:-)

Paula Brathwaite

^^Heh, I guess that purse can be sort of handy in a pinch when standing by the Craft table. ;-)

Samantha Anne

Wow! If that isn't the greatest birthday prezzie ever - congratulations!! :-D

Marlene Hamerling

Paula, you mean in case I forgot to do my grocery shopping?:-)

Tania Joseph

That's great news, congrats.

Michelle White

Congratulations!

Harold Vandyke

Congrats! Keep us updated.

Carmella Cardina

Great news.

Francesca Varisco

this sounds great, congratulations!! :)

Suzanne Ordonio

Wow, congratulations!

Owen Mowatt

Go for it, Pete! And congratulations.

Pete Stone

Thanks for all the encouragement!

Robert Graphik

Happy belated birthday Pete;-)

Tony Cella

Congratulations Pete.

Glen Kim

Pete. It's been about a year since your script got requested. Any updates?

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