Many writers are leery of pitching events, worried they are merely a way for companies to take advantage of vulnerable writers.
Pitchfests have an outstanding value for writers. But being prepared before you go is the key to your success.
7 Reasons Why Pitching Your Script at a Pitchfest is Beneficial
1. There are dozens of executives all in one room, eager to find the next diamond in the rough.
You have the advantage of having up to 100 executives in one place to pitch a script to… where you don’t have to drive through L.A. traffic to get to the next Hollywood executive. Pitching your script has never been easier. Writers have pitched as many as 20 pitches at an event. It would have taken them days if they had to drive all over town for those meetings, that is if they could even have gotten a meeting in the first place.
2. Pitching events are an outstanding way to build your network of both writers and executives.
Executives want to meet writers they can work with in the future, not just find one script to option. So put your best foot forward and knock their socks off. If you’re writing is good, they’ll want to hear from you again. Beyond finding a manager, agent or producers, you’ll meet other writers. The person in front or in back of you in line could be the next A-list screenwriter. Say hello!
3. High-level execs are listening to pitches, not just the assistants.
Because of the rise of independent filmmaking, more and more indie production companies are attending pitching events, with the final decision makers sitting right at the table, not assistants to the assistants. Also, many managers and agents want to meet potential clients face-to-face. In smaller production companies, you’re pitching to a development exec. But let’s play devil’s advocate and assume they are all assistants to the assistants. Guess what? Today’s assistant is tomorrow’s studio head. Finding a producer of value is absolutely possible at a screenwriting pitchfest.
4. Screenwriting classes and panels are taught by professionals and industry experts.
There’s more than pitching at a screenwriting conference. Classes can range from TV writing to features film structure. Many events are embracing alternative media, like web series. If you have a writing partner, split the classes and double your learning!
5. You’ll get invaluable practice learning how to pitch a script.
Nothing prepares a writer for their big studio meeting better than pitching industry executives in person. After you get a few under your belt, the sweat beads will diminish and you’ll gain confidence. Practice is the best teacher.
6. Pitchfests can offer a writer hope.
Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. What better way to thank those who helped bring your vision to life than to give the world an opportunity to experience their talents. Many an actor, cinematographer or editor has been discovered because their short films appeared in a film festival.
7. Writing is your business.
Part of business is meeting people. Every major company and industry has conferences and events to attend for networking and learning. Screenwriting is no different.
Start researching screenwriting pitching events and decide which fits your lifestyle, your budget and your goals. Set an immediate goal to finish that script and get to a pitching event before the year is out. Take the leap and put your baby out there!
Because if you don’t pitch your screenplay, you’ll never sell it!
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