Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Great American Pitchfest THIS WEEKEND - plus amazing offer!

This weekend (6/1 to 6/3) the Great American Pitchfest returns to the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel. Over 120 companies, from big boys like Davis, Atlas and Thruline, to little indies looking for very niche material. A veritable cornucopia of opportunity! As usual, Coverage Ink will be there, and we will be giving away our Spec Format + Style Guide 2012 (a $3.95 value.) So stop by and say hello!

GAPF's Bob Schultz has blessed us with a stupendously cool last-minute offer. But before I tell you about it, I want to share with you a call I had with a Coverage Ink client last week.

So I was chatting this this fellow, a writer with no small amount of talent and several scripts under his belt, and he mentioned how frustrated he was that he sends out query after query and never hears back from anyone. He had gotten coverage from CI and another company which came back pretty good, and he said his query was pretty tight. I asked if he had ever attended a pitch event, and he said, "Nah, I'm not really into that." This gave me pause.

Now I know these events are not exactly cheap, but money wasn't the issue in this fellow's case. What it comes down to is, he simply doesn't want to put himself in in the position of having to meet people face-to-face and pitch them his ideas. Far easier, and more comfortable, to do everything via e-mail, indeed.

My response was something of a cliche: "Man, I hate to say it, but you've got to be in it to win it."

Look, I totally get it. It can be a nerve-frazzling to go into a room filled with industry types. To sit down across the table from a company rep and know you've got five minutes to impress them.  We creative types much prefer the lovely solitude of our dank hermit caves. Selling ourselves and our material with a snappy, concise, and compelling presentation? Not so much.

Signe Olynyk and Bob Schultz give us the 411 on GAPF 9. Click here to watch!
But here's the thing. I hate it too, but I have forced myself to do it repeatedly. And in so doing I have met some of my best industry connex.  So let me make this as clear as I can: there is simply no better way to broadcast yourself and your concept to the industry than by attending a pitch event. Psych yourself up, practice your pitches, get your confidence on, and bring it. If you want to be a professional writer, you need accept that at some point, you're going to meet with producers. So find a way to tamp down your writerly insecurities and neuroses for a day. Sign up and go pitch.  When you walk out of there at the end of the day, having met with dozens of industry people and maybe opened a few doors that would not have been opened otherwise, you will be justifiably proud. If I can do it, you can!

Great American Pitchfest has been doing this for nine years now and to say they are a well-oiled machine is an understatement. The top-rated Pitchfest in my 2010 "Rating the Pitchfests" article for Script magazine (as voted on by readers,) GAPF does an amazing job of bringing in top-quality buyers and keeping the lines short. Expect to meet 20-25 companies or more in one day. Try getting that from query letters. Not to mention, you get their incredible GAPF Company Guide, featuring in-depth interviews with all the buyers. This booklet will become your go-to industry contact list for the next year.

But the truly amazing thing is, while the pitch event is on Sunday (which you have to pay to attend,) Saturday is an entire day of FREE seminars from some of the leaders in screenwriting education (see their "Jam-Packed Schedule of Awesomeness" right here), plus a live interview with writer Rhett Reese (Zombieland, Monsters Inc.) Last year, literally thousands of writers packed the Burbank Marriott Hotel to avail themselves of this incredible deal. Watch GAPF founders Bob and Signe tell you about it right here.

Now about that special offer -- this one is a corker -- Buy a Bronze pass, and get a free ticket to the Great American Pitchfest Executive Luncheon (a $75 value). Okay, wait up, this is not just a free lunch. This is extra time with the buyers -- crucial hobnob time. It's not just about impressing execs with your material -- it's about showing them you're a cool and easy-to-get-along-with person. Having a little hang time with them outside the pitching floor could be crucial.

I hope I have impressed upon you all what a killer deal this is. To claim your free executive luncheon, e-mail Bob Schultz ( after you buy your pass and he will make sure the ticket is included in your package.

We will be at GAPF all day Saturday at the Coverage Ink booth. Come see us then, but make sure to return Sunday for the main event -- and come ready to do some damage. The time is now. This is your opportunity. Great American Pitchfest is back, baby!

-- Jim C.


No comments: