Now that the Pitch Fest is over, I can tell you that it was held at the Universal Hilton Hotel, in Los Angeles. There were about 200 participants pitching everything from books and screenplays to reality shows or just ideas. There were dozens of production company representatives, agents and management companies to try and sell our work/ideas to.
Even though the festival lasted for two days (not counting registration Friday night) I arrived early (Thursday) and visited Universal Studio’s Theme Park with Guia Peel, a wonderful person and my roommate at the event. Guia was also pitching her two screenplays, A Father’s Dying Wish, a drama, and her comedy, Grass Over the Fence. For more information about Guia Peel you can go to her imbd link. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2370003/
Friday before registration, I agonized for most of the day as to how I was going to pitch what I had. I reviewed the do’s and don’ts; I watched utube videos; I typed, printed out and rehearsed what I planned to say. Did I have butterflies? Na – not me. I was as cool as a cucumber when Saturday came. I stood in line with the others ready to go in at my slotted time with the first representative I’d chosen (I had five minutes to pitch). When the doors opened, I cheerfully introduced myself, shook hands and sat down. I made eye contact, and when I opened my mouth to start my pitch, one may have thought I was a kin to “Porky Pig” – I stammered slightly, totally forgot what I planned to say and I believe I probably said “ahm” about a half-dozen times during my pitch. I wasn’t at my best on that first one.
As the day went on, my pitches became better. After the first few, I just chucked my notes and winged it – I improved. I had seven stories ready to pitch for whatever genre the representative was looking for. And then one of the reps asked for a One Sheet of my story. A One Sheet? That was a term I’d never heard. In other words, it’s a one page synopsis of your story/idea with your contact information. The information that the organizers sent said not to bring anything like that since we wouldn’t be asked – so much for following instructions. I was asked at least half a dozen times. Luckily I did bring business cards. When the event was over on Saturday, don’t you know I went to the hotel’s business center that evening and started typing away to create One Sheets just in case I was asked on Sunday. I’m glad I did. I’ll know better next time.
Sunday’s pitches started at 10:00 am. When I was before a representative who seemed enthusiastic, I fed off his/her energy and belted out my pitch like a pro. But then I came across a few who looked like they were ready for nap and my pitch had a tendency to lack luster. But to give those few credit, they had to listen to twelve pitches an hour for eight hours.
Now for the exciting news. I had two representatives give me their email address to send the story I pitched. Two wanted my story Joshua Pennwrite: Ghost Writer, which is from my book Tales with a Twist & Tales Totally Twisted, and the other wanted that one plus my short story Michael Smith. I also was able to give out my newly created One Sheets for those stories.
Now for an instant success story. This is Frank DeSimone. I had talked with him a couple of times during the event. He was pitching his reality series and at the last hour, on the last day, the company he pitched to said they wanted him in their office the next day to sign on. You can visit his website at www.ballparkbiker.com
When I ran into him the morning I was getting ready to leave, I gave him my congratulations and asked if I could post his picture on my website.
Best wishes to you, Frank!
The Hollywood Pitch Fest overall was a great experience for me. Hopefully my trip opens some doors, but in any case, I learned a few new things and met some nice as well as interesting people. The event may find me there next year. Two thumbs up for the Hollywood Pitch Fest for me.