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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  Pitching Scripts Using Video Moderators: Don
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jayrex
Posted: October 28th, 2018, 7:51am Report to Moderator
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Would you pitch a video to go alongside your script?

I entered a competition called Enter The Pitch where they provide up to £30k towards the making of the film.  I entered because I thought it would only be a script, and someone else would take it on using the available budget.

I was then asked to submit a video pitch to go alongside my script.

I didn't want to do this.

It seems they like writers to also be directors.  I had quite a ping-pong of emails with the organisers.  And was then told I'd have to pitch eventually in person only once at Pinewood Studios.  The owner of the competition even went so far as to give me his phone number.

Still, I just write, I don't direct.  I don't pitch.  Either in person nor video.

The producer has quite a lot of films on IDMb.  Most of the films are made by the writers bar two.



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Matt
Posted: October 28th, 2018, 9:10am Report to Moderator
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Personally I wouldn't. I'm like you, I just want to write, I don't want to produce anything.

Quite a few writers also like to direct and produce their own work, so the competition is definitely geared towards them.

Pitching in person I thought was a pretty common thing though - Again I wouldn't do it, not good for the anxiety, and I'm not desperate to sell anything, just want to write it.

I would have thought the name of the competition was a bit of a give away though...


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jayrex
Posted: October 28th, 2018, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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Yeah it would appear so.  But the way it made out.  An employee of the competition posted in another forum, and it appeared I could pass the directing side of things to someone else.  I was hoping you could do it as a team.  This wasnít ultimately clear in the beginning.  But theyíre really keen on just writers being also directors.  As they say, writers are better at translating their story to screen than someone else.


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GM
Posted: October 28th, 2018, 10:37am Report to Moderator
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As a writer, youíre going to need to pitch to sell your story or get hired for a writing gig. It wasnít like that?

Gabe



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MarkRenshaw
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Itís the catch 22 of being a writer. I imagine most writers have similar traits. They would rather write than engage with other human beings. They write because they can articulate themselves better using typed words rather than coming up with a spoken sentence on the spot that doesnít come out sounding all bollocks. They write because they would rather be in a world they create rather than the real one.

However, if you want to be a successful writer, get things produced/published and (gasp) get paid, you need to sell yourself, sell you storiesÖ IN PERSON! You need to get out there and network like mental, pitch to everyone who will listen, attend meetings, workshops etc. In short, I am sorry to say, youíll need to do everything most writers hate.

So no, don't be a director if you don't fancy it, but you are going to have to pitch your stories and sell yourself to people who are interested in working with you.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Anon
Posted: November 11th, 2018, 4:09am Report to Moderator
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What comp is this app please? Iíd be interested to enter.
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leitskev
Posted: November 11th, 2018, 7:04am Report to Moderator
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If you have the means and time to do this, it's a great thing to do. The old idea of simply writing scripts, putting them into the secret code called script format, trying to find an agent or win a contest, and hoping for the best...that's like playing the lottery.

ANY way to help get your story out there is worth considering. Turn it into a short story and try to get published, or convert it to a novella and try to get it out there; or make a movie trailer.
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PKCardinal
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For writers interested in practicing their video pitch, Stage32 lets you buy Skype pitches with producers/managers/etc.

You have 8 minutes to pitch your project. For $35 you get the pitch and a (short) set of notes afterwards. Plus, you have the small chance your project gets picked up.

I've pitched a few so far. My pitch is getting better, though my scripts are still better than the pitches, so I've got work to do, yet.

I'm trying to land a manager, so I've pitched only managers. My logic is that if I land a manager, they'll help me land an agent/producers/etc. And, since they post short bios of the executives, you can target executives that match your projects.

No, I don't work for Stage32. Just wanted to share a good opportunity.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: November 15th, 2018, 4:13am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PKCardinal
For writers interested in practicing their video pitch, Stage32 lets you buy Skype pitches with producers/managers/etc.

You have 8 minutes to pitch your project. For $35 you get the pitch and a (short) set of notes afterwards. Plus, you have the small chance your project gets picked up.

I've pitched a few so far. My pitch is getting better, though my scripts are still better than the pitches, so I've got work to do, yet.

I'm trying to land a manager, so I've pitched only managers. My logic is that if I land a manager, they'll help me land an agent/producers/etc. And, since they post short bios of the executives, you can target executives that match your projects.

No, I don't work for Stage32. Just wanted to share a good opportunity.


If you want to practice pitching, Iíd suggest practising with family, friends, work colleagues, fellow writers and strangers you may meet on social occasions. For one, it is free. Second, you can tell if the story you are pitching is interesting to them, not, or they are just being polite. Thatís the key. If your pitch doesnít interest people, if they donít ask questions about it and want to know more, then either your pitch needs work or your story does. If you ever do end up pitching Ďfor realí in a meeting, it wonít be quite like these virtual pitch sessions lead you to believe.

Thereís a load of websites out there offering these paid for pitches. Stage32, Roadmap Writers, Virtual PitchFest, Hollywood Pitchfest; the list goes on and on. Iíve researched some of the execs that attend these and they are not always quite who they seem. Some Ďused toí work for big studios but have since gone independent. Some are brand new junior execs. One guy was a writer pretending to be a director and I discovered this as I found his personal website. One prominent exec name that popped up regularly spent all year jumping from one pitch gig to another, it was obvious he was doing this as a full time job.

Iím sure a lot of these services mean well but  you also have to ask yourself this question. What are these people you are pitching to really there for? What are they after? Do you really think these agents, managers and execs are doing this because they are desperate to land the next great undiscovered writer? Considering how many applications they get each year, how many contest winners and finalists they could scout, they can pick and choose.  They donít need to give a shot to an unknown stranger from the other side of the world.

Stage32 does my head in anyway. They run like a zillion webinars, workshops, pitches etc. a week. Itís a huge cash cow for them.

Sorry about my rant. If you have the spare cash and think itís working for you, go for it.  I just think thereís a huge industry out there, which has nothing to do with landing genuine writing careers, making money off writerís hopes and dreams by giving them the illusion that they can propel their writing career and bypass all the gatekeepers.  It does annoy me how so many are taken advantage of in this manner.

I would recommend networking over pitching any day. Networking is about building relationships that may one day turn into working relationships and includes an element of pitching in a more informal atmosphere. Get yourself to film and screenwriting festivals is my suggestion.



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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PKCardinal
Posted: November 15th, 2018, 12:48pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw


If you want to practice pitching, Iíd suggest practising with family, friends, work colleagues, fellow writers and strangers you may meet on social occasions. For one, it is free. Second, you can tell if the story you are pitching is interesting to them, not, or they are just being polite. Thatís the key. If your pitch doesnít interest people, if they donít ask questions about it and want to know more, then either your pitch needs work or your story does. If you ever do end up pitching Ďfor realí in a meeting, it wonít be quite like these virtual pitch sessions lead you to believe.

Thereís a load of websites out there offering these paid for pitches. Stage32, Roadmap Writers, Virtual PitchFest, Hollywood Pitchfest; the list goes on and on. Iíve researched some of the execs that attend these and they are not always quite who they seem. Some Ďused toí work for big studios but have since gone independent. Some are brand new junior execs. One guy was a writer pretending to be a director and I discovered this as I found his personal website. One prominent exec name that popped up regularly spent all year jumping from one pitch gig to another, it was obvious he was doing this as a full time job.

Iím sure a lot of these services mean well but  you also have to ask yourself this question. What are these people you are pitching to really there for? What are they after? Do you really think these agents, managers and execs are doing this because they are desperate to land the next great undiscovered writer? Considering how many applications they get each year, how many contest winners and finalists they could scout, they can pick and choose.  They donít need to give a shot to an unknown stranger from the other side of the world.

Stage32 does my head in anyway. They run like a zillion webinars, workshops, pitches etc. a week. Itís a huge cash cow for them.

Sorry about my rant. If you have the spare cash and think itís working for you, go for it.  I just think thereís a huge industry out there, which has nothing to do with landing genuine writing careers, making money off writerís hopes and dreams by giving them the illusion that they can propel their writing career and bypass all the gatekeepers.  It does annoy me how so many are taken advantage of in this manner.

I would recommend networking over pitching any day. Networking is about building relationships that may one day turn into working relationships and includes an element of pitching in a more informal atmosphere. Get yourself to film and screenwriting festivals is my suggestion.



Mark,

Thanks for jumping in and clarifying. I agree 100% with your comments. And, yes, I find it disheartening at times to see how many people are reaching into my pockets, trying to take advantage of my (and others) desire to get a foothold.

The only thing I would counter, is that once you've pitched to your circle, you need to put your pitch in front of people you don't know... and with something (seemingly) on the line. How does it hold up with people not invested in you? Stage32 and others offer that.

But, I'm glad you made it clear: it's not really an opportunity to sell something. It should be approached as a practice... and you need to determine if the money they charge is worth the value you get back from the practice and the (limited) notes.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama
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jayrex
Posted: November 15th, 2018, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GM
As a writer, youíre going to need to pitch to sell your story or get hired for a writing gig. It wasnít like that?

Gabe


It wasn't sold to me like that.  The employee of the competition made it sound like whenever the pitching part of the process was to happen.  You can allow someone else to do that part.  I had lined up a director friend to do this part.

But the owner of the competition emailed me a lot of times.  I really think they prefer screenwriters to do the pitching.  Plus I think the story had legs and I live like 5 mins from the studio.

I just don't want to be on camera.  Nor do I wish to pitch in person in front of a panel or one person.

I'm just a behind the scenes kind of guy.


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jayrex
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Itís the catch 22 of being a writer. I imagine most writers have similar traits. They would rather write than engage with other human beings. They write because they can articulate themselves better using typed words rather than coming up with a spoken sentence on the spot that doesnít come out sounding all bollocks. They write because they would rather be in a world they create rather than the real one.

However, if you want to be a successful writer, get things produced/published and (gasp) get paid, you need to sell yourself, sell you storiesÖ IN PERSON! You need to get out there and network like mental, pitch to everyone who will listen, attend meetings, workshops etc. In short, I am sorry to say, youíll need to do everything most writers hate.

So no, don't be a director if you don't fancy it, but you are going to have to pitch your stories and sell yourself to people who are interested in working with you.


I guess there's room for another thread.  Namely how do we go about promoting our work.

The closets thing to what you've said regarding workshops are I guess meetups or groups.  There's a London Comedy Network I've gone to.  That's pretty friendly.  Most people are writers themselves.  And they're not pitching to execs.


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jayrex
Posted: November 15th, 2018, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Anon
What comp is this app please? Iíd be interested to enter.


Ironically it's called Enter The Pitch.  Based in England.  There's a financial budget to back up the winner.

I gather, it's video pitch first.  The pitch in person.  And then they expect the writer to make it.


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jayrex
Posted: November 15th, 2018, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PKCardinal
For writers interested in practicing their video pitch, Stage32 lets you buy Skype pitches with producers/managers/etc.

You have 8 minutes to pitch your project. For $35 you get the pitch and a (short) set of notes afterwards. Plus, you have the small chance your project gets picked up.

I've pitched a few so far. My pitch is getting better, though my scripts are still better than the pitches, so I've got work to do, yet.

I'm trying to land a manager, so I've pitched only managers. My logic is that if I land a manager, they'll help me land an agent/producers/etc. And, since they post short bios of the executives, you can target executives that match your projects.

No, I don't work for Stage32. Just wanted to share a good opportunity.


I'd love to get a manager/agent but have no idea how to obtain one.

I'd like to send emails but don't want to get burned at the first chance of asking.


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MarkRenshaw
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Quoted from jayrex


Ironically it's called Enter The Pitch.  Based in England.  There's a financial budget to back up the winner.

I gather, it's video pitch first.  The pitch in person.  And then they expect the writer to make it.


Just had a look at the website. This isn't a competition for writers, it's a competition for filmmakers.

"The Pitch invites original pitches of up to two (2) minutes in length, showcasing the potential of the entrant to make a film. The entrant will demonstrate this with a pitch for an original contemporary short film (recommended maximum length of 15 minutes) that takes inspiration from a biblical story, parable, character or book."

Weird, but anyway, the site then goes on to say the winning filmmaker will be given up to £30,000 to make the short film. So you could be a writer for sure, after all you need a script, but this is more aimed at people who have the skills to make films (or the connections to people who do) but simply lack funds to do so.

If you just want to write, focus on screenplay competitions. Just be aware, if a producer or director does become interested in paying you to write for them, they will expect pitches and meetings to determine not only is the script for them, but if you as a person are going to be someone they will want to work with.






For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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