Screenwriting Event – The Great American PitchFest – Coming on May 31st – June 2nd
- January 17, 2013
- Posted by: Eric Edson
- Category: Screenwriting Blog, Screenwriting Events
Signe Olynyk is just like you. She is a writer and a producer who started this event as a way to help others meet the people they need to know for their careers to move forward. She has Associate Produced two feature films, as well as written/produced several documentaries, tv pilots, and a six part series. Most of her work has been produced in Canada, and more recently in Los Angeles.
This event was started, mainly out of frustration. She attended other PitchFests as both a participant, and as an executive. This is what she discovered:
- The sign up process to meet with companies was usually inconvenient, aggravating, and a hassle;
- Meetings were only five or seven minutes long. At our pitching event, the meetings are as long as the Executive wants them to be;
- You had to pay per meeting ($20-$100 for one meeting!!). If that company did not show, organizers would refuse to refund your money;
- At one pitching event that Signe attended, they charged $100 for one meeting. In the first minute, the Executive said they were only attending as a favor to a friend, that they did not want to hear any pitches, and that they were there to offer advice only. It was a waste of time and money since the executive was not seriously looking for writers or material;
- Meetings were on a first come, first served basis: the most popular companies would sell out first & you’d be stuck with whoever might be left;
- The participating companies were often not credible or misrepresented themselves. Organizers did not properly research participating companies;
- Participants would be limited to a maximum number of meetings;
- Poor customer service;
- Parties and networking events promised Industry Executives would be attending, but they would never show;
At our event, we address all these concerns.
- There is no sign up process. You simply meet with whatever company you want, and we encourage you to have as many meetings as possible for one reasonable price;
- One price INCLUDES all your pitches (most writers pitch 12-20 companies). We also offer private consultations, an Executive Luncheon, a hard copy of our Executive Development Bible, and advanced Master Classes for an additional fee;
- The price INCLUDES a cocktail party, attended by nearly 100 executives;
- Our team is made up of friendly, energetic volunteers who want everyone to have a great experience. We don’t have a pitching event without you, or the production companies, so we put a lot of effort into treating everyone right;
- We keep the ratio of executives to participants high, so that you are able to have as many meetings as possible;
- We spend a great deal of time making sure the companies who attend are credible, and seriously looking for material and writers. We work with a number of industry partners to ensure that only the most active companies in the business are at our event;
- There is no maximum number of meetings. We want you to have as many as possible;
- We have excellent customer service: if you have a complaint, we respond promptly and do our best to resolve it;
We are a group of writers and producers dedicated to helping others to get their scripts and projects produced. Your success is also ours, and we are very proud to have helped many of our participants to achieve this.
Here are a few suggestions to make your pitching event as successful as possible:
- Register and pick up your registration package early. Dates, times, and details on how to do this will be available soon.
- Attend as many training sessions as possible so you can apply what you learn to your pitch meetings.
- Prioritize who you want to meet with; try to have at least two ‘practice’ pitch meetings with others before meeting with the person you want to meet with the most.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. You will be standing and walking a lot throughout this event.
- Checklist of things to bring with you: lots of business cards, one-sheets, breath mints, bottled water, and snacks (powerbars, etc).
- Be professional and positive at all times, especially in the lines. You never know if you are standing next to a potential coproducer or business partner.
- Register your pitch, script, and/or idea with the Writer’s Guild, and seek legal advice about protecting the ownerships of your material/ideas. Read our FAQ for details.
- Be sure to fill out a comment card and let us know what else we can do to make the pitching event even greater!
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN! And please, let myself or any of the staff know if there is anything we can do to assist you.