Pitch Like a Pro: Tools for Any Scenario

Pitching Fundamentals
Hosted by Charlie Charbonneau

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Charlie Charbonneau

Webinar hosted by: Charlie Charbonneau

TV Writer/Producer (CW's The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and The Secret Circle)

Charlie Charbonneau is an accomplished television writer and producer whose credits include the 1-hour dramas The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals. Born in Las Vegas but raised in the sleepy horse track town of Saratoga Springs in Upstate New York, he moved to California at 17 where he earned degrees in Screenwriting and Spanish from University of Southern California. A born self-starter and anxious to learn the business from the ground up, Charlie quickly continued his Hollywood education as an assistant at The William Morris Agency. There, his work garnered him an intimate and expansive knowledge of the entertainment business and a litany of agents, attorneys, and talent with whom he proceeded to construct his writing career. He cut his TV teeth by assisting and then writing and producing for the likes of writer and Executive Producer Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You did Last Summer, Dawson’s Creek, FOX’s The Following) and Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Containment), eventually earning the title of Executive Story Editor on The Originals. During a time when Network TV saw gradually decreasing ratings, over 3 million viewers from all over the world tuned in live for his episodes week-to-week. In production on its 7th season, The Vampire Diaries can still frequently be found among the most downloaded episodes on iTunes as well as the most watched series on Netflix. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

You’re a writer. Your work is entertaining, informative, thought provoking — heck, it’s even clever. You dream of tapping away on your lap-top in a cabin, sending off your material to a publisher or a producer, and collecting your check from the mail-box in the evening before pouring yourself a glass of Malbec red wine and walking your dog by a river. It’s a beautiful dream. But the reality is, no matter how good your writing is, no matter how brilliant your ideas are — if you’re ever going to have that cabin, not to mention enough cash to cover dog food every month, you have to know how to pitch well.

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) will teach you how to successfully pitch your ideas as a writer. You’ll learn about the many different scenarios where you’ll have to translate that spectacular idea in your brain to someone who’s never heard it before. This webinar will lay out the rudimentary yet vital skills used by the pros to win over the show-runners, buyers, and agents. You’ll hear about the nitty gritty do’s and don’ts of pitching in places like the TV Writers Room, a studio or network executive’s office, and at lunch with the agent or manager you’ve been dying to meet with.

Also, Charlie will be giving you tips on how to nail your 8-minute pitch so you can take advantage of the Stage 32 Script Services pitch sessions offered every week. He'll guide you through how to start, cultivate interest and leave the executives wanting more. He'll not only cover live pitching but how to deliver a superb written pitch! 

You will get to examine the biggest enemies to a great pitch — fear and anxiety — and strategies to neutralize them so you can keep your cool. And, of course, those who tune in will get to catch some horrific pitch fails from the trenches of TV staff writing.

Writers in any medium and at every experience level will benefit from this webinar — from novices to experts. And anyone else looking to hone their sales tactics in the entertainment industry or elsewhere will walk away with strategies to bring their pitch games to the next level.

 

"The pitching webinar was fantastic. Every I was dotted every T crossed. It helped me to really understand the process than to be afraid of it. I still have lots more work and practicing to do, but it was great. Thank you."

- Mindy G

 

"Great real life examples - much appreciated!"

- Paul B.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Different Pitch Scenarios and Examples
    • Studio/network/production company pitch
    • Writers room
    • Pitching an idea or a “fix” for someone else’s episode
    • Pitching your own episode
    • Pitching at a party or lunch
    • Pitching friends
    • Pitching at a staffing meeting (aka interview)
    • Pitching representation (agents, managers)
    • 8-minute Stage 32 Script Services pitch session - both live and written 
  • Honing Your Basic Pitch Skills — eye contact, facial expressions, effective communication, broad concept vs. specific ideas, making information relatable, humor, contextualizing your idea, personalizing your idea
  • 7 Tips of What Not To Do in a Pitch
  • Do Your Homework — How to Prepare a Great Pitch
  • 3 Tips to Crush a Studio, Network or Production Company Pitch
  • Writers Room Pitch Do’s & Don’ts
    • Pitching an idea or a “fix” for someone else’s episode (learn how to kill an idea without killing momentum, right moments to weigh in, when to stay quiet)
    • Pitching your own episode
    • Left-field pitches — the good & bad
  • 6 Tips for Pitching at a Staffing Meeting (aka interview)
  • Tips for Pitching Representation (Agents, Managers)
    • Where to practice
    • Email -see a short template for how to query or pitch an agent/manager via email
    • In-person - learn how to wow agents, managers and executives
  • Pitfalls — What Can Go Wrong During a Pitch and How to Recover
    • How to Take Notes After Your Pitch
    • Defending Your Ideas
  • Tools to Overcome Nerves
    • Fear & anxiety are the leading enemies of creativity — learn strategies to neutralize your biggest adversaries
  • Case Study — Charlie’s hilarious personal pitch fails
  • Q&A with Charlie

About Your Instructor

Charlie Charbonneau is an accomplished television writer and producer whose credits include the 1-hour dramas The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals. Born in Las Vegas but raised in the sleepy horse track town of Saratoga Springs in Upstate New York, he moved to California at 17 where he earned degrees in Screenwriting and Spanish from University of Southern California. A born self-starter and anxious to learn the business from the ground up, Charlie quickly continued his Hollywood education as an assistant at The William Morris Agency. There, his work garnered him an intimate and expansive knowledge of the entertainment business and a litany of agents, attorneys, and talent with whom he proceeded to construct his writing career.

He cut his TV teeth by assisting and then writing and producing for the likes of writer and Executive Producer Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You did Last Summer, Dawson’s Creek, FOX’s The Following) and Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Containment), eventually earning the title of Executive Story Editor on The Originals. During a time when Network TV saw gradually decreasing ratings, over 3 million viewers from all over the world tuned in live for his episodes week-to-week. In production on its 7th season, The Vampire Diaries can still frequently be found among the most downloaded episodes on iTunes as well as the most watched series on Netflix.

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Testimonials

"The pitching webinar was fantastic. Every I was dotted every T crossed. It helped me to really understand the process than to be afraid of it. I still have lots more work and practicing to do, but it was great. Thank you." - Mindy G

"Very informative!" - Carisia S.

"I liked his down to Earth manner." - Margo T.

"Great real life examples - much appreciated!" - Paul B.

"Charlie put a lot of heart in his presentation... that's everything!" - Matthew R.

"This was exactly what I need. I'm totally new to the industry and I wanted insight into how to best prepare for pitching my projects. Charlie, thanks for doing such an excellent job of providing that insight." - Cam Clark

This webinar changed my life. My fear of pitching has been replaced by a confidence in my work. I feel prepared and ready to pitch anyone, anywhere without the anxiety of being judged or feeling that I'm not good enough. Charlie, thank you, thank you, thank you! -Sarah G.

Questions?

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Nice general how-to pitch webinar. Charlie's personality seemed to outshine the material at times but the info was still good.
  • Great insight and easy to consume methods on getting your pitch ready.
  • Merci beaucoup Charlie. Very clear and informative information, which will most definitely help grow pitching potential.
  • Charlie has a great demeanor and delivery. Very comfortable. Great insight on structure of a good pitch.

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