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 attended so many workshops and panels on screenwriting that much of the material was redundant. But for those who have been writing in a vacuum, there was a great deal of value.

There were workshops aimed towards writing such as “megahit movie climaxes,” “mastering the creative process,” “writing great endings,” and Dara Marks “Inside Story” workshop on personal themes. There were also workshops on how to pitch, how to network, legal tips, and working with agents.

There were panels of action movie screenwriters, comedy screenwriters, executives giving advice on what they’re looking for in a pitch, and my favourite panel: Reel Breakthroughs.

Reel Breakthroughs was a panel of screenwriters who were just a step or two ahead of us, the ones who had recently gotten feature scripts optioned/bought. I liked it because it was very authentic and encouraging. It was personal stories from people I could relate to. The message to me was simply keep doing what I’m doing. There is no one way to make it, you just have to persevere and ride the ups and downs. They had taken courses, entered the right contests, and networked. (hands down they all said the CINESTORY and FADE IN contests were the most useful)

And of course, they kept writing… and writing… and writing.

(UP NEXT: do’s, don’ts, myths, and facts)


  1. Michelle Johnson
    Jun 18, 2009

    Sounds like you had a great time. I’m happy to hear you were able to receive useful information. Have a great day.

  2. openchannel
    Jun 19, 2009

    Thanks, Michelle. Yes, it was a good time and I left feeling quite inspired.

  3. Suma
    Jun 21, 2009

    Wow Danika. This sounds fun and interesting. I hope to do it next year round.


  4. openchannel
    Jun 22, 2009

    Oh, Suma, you should.

    There’s also going to be a PitchMarket in Vancouver, BC in November. I’ll be blogging about that one, too, since I’m helping to organize it.

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