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Making a pitch.

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Splinker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Making a pitch.
    Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 8:55am
I am writing a screenplay based on a biography of WWII pilot. It's basically my first attempt at a full length project.

I know with non fiction books, you can pitch the idea before the work is finished. Does it work that way with screenplays?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2017 at 8:43pm
Short answer: yes. More so, even. I just went to a weekend pitchfest in LA where one of the producers was pleasantly surprised to find out the script was done after I pitched it...

BUT

It's dangerous if you haven't finished a feature length screenplay before, because if they DO want it, they may want it faster than you can do it (or at least faster than you can do it RIGHT).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Splinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2017 at 12:58pm
Thanks Jeff.  Hopefully, a short deadline will be my biggest problem!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixustrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2017 at 12:09pm
Hi guys. I have two completed screenplays (or at least two finished drafts of each) and am looking to pitch...but to who. What do you believe is the right first step in getting them into the right people's hands to read? Thank you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2017 at 12:53pm
There are a few possible right steps (and a bunch of wrong ones--tossing a copy into the bathroom stall when you've cornered a manager is generally frowned on, for example).

1) Pitchfests in LA--San Diego is close enough to drive, but you'd still need someplace to stay. 
Pros: target-rich environment, you get lots of practice fast, vetting 
Cons: limited time (5 minutes or less!) to pitch to any given manager/agent/producer, pricey

2) Online pitchfests--if you trust your internet connection.
Pros: same as 1) but possibly on a smaller scale
Cons: limited time again, still not cheap

3) Individual online pitches through "matchmakers" like Stage 32 and Roadmap Writers--if pitchfests are wholesale, these are retail
Pros: individually cheaper, you can pick and choose the interesting ones
Cons: individual ones add up over time, slightly looser time limit (8-10 minutes) 

4) Film festivals and similar events--the big ones (Sundance, Austin, et al) have pitch targets present.
Pros: if you have a script that did well in an associated contest, you have a leg up in pitching there
Cons: pricey, people often looking more for films to distribute than stories to produce

5) Query letters--the old-timey way
Pros: cheap
Cons: the slush pile/round file--though I heard at Austin this weekend that if you have your lawyer send a script, they're less likely to simply throw it away, as that provides a paper trail in lieu of a release (which you'll be signing before anyone actually looks at your scripts anyway)

This is not an exhaustive list! There are plenty of online resources that address this. Some don't even charge you for information. ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2017 at 1:32pm
Do they have #pitmad(s) on Twitter for screenplays like they do for manuscripts? I love those. I'd look into something like that, as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixustrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2017 at 12:55pm
JeffreyHowe thank you for offering so many excellent laces to start! I live in SD so I'm lucky by location. I really appreciate that you took the time to answer my question and I hope others in the forums can also benefit from your suggestions!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2017 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by nixustrick nixustrick wrote:

JeffreyHowe thank you for offering so many excellent laces to start! I live in SD so I'm lucky by location. I really appreciate that you took the time to answer my question and I hope others in the forums can also benefit from your suggestions!

Just sharing my experiences, such as they are. But you're welcome. Smile
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