Training for the CyberSpace Open: A script per day!

When I started my 10 day screenwriting challenge the other day, little did I realize how this might get me in shape for one of the most interesting screenwriting contests I’ve seen:  Screenwriting Expo’s CyberSpace Open. The contest is set up in round-robin (elimination) style. Each round the participants must write a five page short script around a specific premise. You can write from anywhere. To win you need to survive 3 rounds, each with a tighter deadline than the last. In the final round, the top 10 writers have only 90 minutes to write a 5-page script. Whew! I’ve been writing a short script per day for the past 7 days. I missed one day, so I only have 6 scripts. I was hoping to write 2 today, but I don’t think that’s going to...

Pitching Tips from Pamela Jaye Smith

A great article on INKTIP (a great resource for screenwriters): 7 Pitching Tips from Ancient Myth to Modern...

G.A. Pitchfest Pt. 3 – So What Happens at a PitchFest?

The pitchfests I have been to were a cross between pitching and speed dating. You line up for the company you want to pitch to and when you get into the room, a bell goes off, giving you 5 minutes to find your table and make your pitch. When the five minute bell goes off, you leave so the next person can sit down. Some of the newbies at The G.A. PitchFest were concerned about those five minutes. The thing is, if you have your pitch down tight, it shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two (genres are usually faster/easier to pitch, drama takes a bit more time). That means you can take 30 seconds to introduce yourself at the beginning and get comfortable, and take some questions at the end. Tell what your story is about… not everything that happens...

G.A. Pitchfest Part 2

The Do’s, Don’ts, Myths, Facts (around the industry, pitchfests, and pitching) This post is a collection of things heard straight from the pros mouths and from my own observations of what I consider “bad behavior” – meaning things that will  make you annoying and appear difficult or amateur. The last thing you want to do is appear difficult to work with or ignorant of the industry. I don’t care how good your script is, if people decide off the bat that you are going to be a pain in the ass, you’ll never get your brilliant script read. You are asking them to invest precious time, energy, and money in your project, working with you for many months, even years… if you don’t sell yourself first, you certainly...

G.A. Pitchfest Part 1

There’s so much to tell about the Great American Pitchfest that I need to break my posts down into bite-size nuggets. Right off the top I have to say the whole thing is worth the price of admission. If you are serious about screenwriting and ready to take yourself to the next level, it is definitely the place to be. If nothing else, it will give you a crash course in pitch practice, something that every screenwriter must learn to do (no matter how much we detest it). (I have only been to the FTX Pitchfest in Vancouver and to this one, but there is also the Hollywood Pitch Festival in August, which is even larger) Saturday consisted of FREE workshops and panels that anyone could attend, even if they weren’t signed up to pitch on Sunday. I’ve...

Gone Pitchin’

So much for updates… guess I’m not going to be hired as a live blogger any time soon!  I got so distracted in Banff I never posted anything and now I’m already in L.A. for the Great American Pitchfest. More on that later… The Banff World Television Festival. Folks in the industry just say “I’m going to Banff” and colleages know they mean the festival, even though visiting Banff any time of year is a treat. Banff is a town located in a national park on the southwest border of Alberta, Canada.  It’s so stunning that photos don’t do it justice and it’s impossible to get used to the views. (bit of trivia: Because the town rests inside the national park, there is no freehold land available. The town pays...