Sunday, June 11, 2017

#Scriptchat Transcript with Bob Schultz @PitchfestBob & Signe Olynyk @Screenwriter12 of Great American Pitchfest

Pitching can be intimidating, but co-founders of Great American Pitchfest, Bob Schultz @PitchfestBob and Signe Olynyk @Screenwriter12, give tips on nailing a pitch and navigating a pitchfest. Enjoy!

If you're going to the next Great American Pitchfest June 23 to 25, 2017
use Coupon Code SCRIPTCHAT10 to save 10% 

Read the transcript below or on the Storify site.

#Scriptchat Transcript with Bob Schultz @PitchfestBob & Signe Olynyk @Screenwriter12 of Great American Pitchfest

#Scriptchat Transcript with Bob Schultz @PitchfestBob & Signe Olynyk @Screenwriter12 of Great American Pitchfest

Bob Schultz and Signe Olynyk give advice on pitching your screenplay at a pitchfest!

  1. @battyink It's okay - I recognized your name when I googled your account name. ;) #scriptchat
  2. This year's #Scriptfest and @ThePitchFest is June 23-25 at the Burbank Marriot. 120+ companies to pitch! #scriptchat
  3. Oh man, I totally lost track of time and everything! Hey hey, gang! #scriptchat
  4. Here's my big advice: find a producer you like--find someone who's career you respect, that you could imagine yourself like. #scriptchat
  5. If you are nervous, don't be! Chances r u have pitched 1000's of times. Every time you want to see a movie, go to restaurant #scriptchat
  6. Let's talk pitching and all things pitchfest with @PitchfestBob and @Screenwriter12! Shoot your Qs out! #scriptchat
  7. @AndreaLMcNeill Great advice - but also try to make relationships BEFORE you need them - with up & coming producers. #scriptchat
  8. Lots of debate about whether pitchfests or of value or not. I've gone to at least 7 of GAPF/Scriptfest @ThePitchFest. Love them. #scriptchat
  9. @Screenwriter12 haha well it will likely take that long to get a relationship going so you better start now #scriptchat
  10. Pitching is more about being someone a producer wants to work with. Quality of the person is 1st, quality of writing is 2nd. #scriptchat
  11. We are happy to take questions from Pitchfest-skeptics, too. #scriptchat
  12. I have a web series that just went online Thursday,  Will there be producers looking for web series. #scriptchat
  13. First off, Bob and I are both writers. We started this event to help others. #scriptchat
  14. @battyink Yes sir. We have folks looking for features, TV, web series, even video games and VR. #scriptchat
  15. All of our decisions are guided by the fact that we are writers too. We wanted to create an event that we would want to go to. #scriptchat
  16. @AndreaLMcNeill If you have those connections, absolutely! Sometimes the middle men are the leading men too, or on their way. #scriptchat
  17. Who can hook an exec by speaking about their movie for less than a minute? #scriptchat
  18. We also produce. When we hear a pitch, we look for the title, a clear protagonist, goal, obstacles to overcome & lesson learned. #scriptchat
  19. @collinlieberg I suspect many writers would prefer not to approach people at all. :-) #scriptchat
  20. .@ThePitchFest is a great pitching opp, meetup w/ other writers + insightful seminars whether you're pitching or not. #GAPF #scriptchat
  21. @collinlieberg ... but seriously, just be friendly, professional, funny, and confident. #scriptchat
  22. @Screenwriter12 You have to make the connections. I had nothing. You make the calls and see what germinates. #scriptchat
  23. @collinlieberg Be confident in the excellent script you have crafted, pitch it well, and focus on the relationship vs selling. #scriptchat
  24. @collinlieberg A producer would rather have a script that is at a 7 and a writer who is a 10... #scriptchat
  25. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call a producer. Or send an email. #scriptchat
  26. @collinlieberg ...than a writer who is a 7 and a 10 script. Because scripts can be rewritten and people can't. #scriptchat
  27. For those who joined late, guests @PitchfestBob & @Screenwriter12 are sharing pitching tips. Ask away! #scriptchat
  28. @AndreaLMcNeill I'm actually pretty tired too, it's way late here. Not in my usual haunt #scriptchat
  29. So important to BE A NORMAL PERSON. Be someone they want to know and hang out with. #scriptchat
  30. Got set up for a meeting with a big industry exec. He said, “I love it. But get some PA work and pay your dues first, then…” #scriptchat
  31. @Screenwriter12 I'd even argue being a NORMAL PERSON is probably more important than how well you pitch. #scriptchat
  32. @jeannevb @Screenwriter12 Welp, I'm a goner. Anybody looking to hire someone with no marketable skills? #scriptchat
  33. Pitch as many companies as you can, even if it seems they're not looking for what you have, you can still make a connection. #scriptchat
  34. @jeannevb @battyink Tell ur niece we have a huge ballroom she can use. Coincidentally, it will be full of production companies. #scriptchat
  35. @battyink Excellent advice, Andy. It's all about the relationship. People want to work with people they LIKE. #scriptchat
  36. @dwacon @collinlieberg @jeannevb Well some of us do seem to have nieces and other relatives, so I guess it's all relative. #scriptchat
  37. Met a great guy with an amazing story at @ThePitchFest one year. Execs LOVED him... but he never followed up. Big mistake. #scriptchat
  38. Also getting your pitch on is great practice for when you get in the room later on. #scriptchat
  39. @PitchfestBob Yep. Followup fail bc of fear. Can't succeed unless you put your work out there! @ThePitchFest #scriptchat
  40. @Screenwriter12 Hear Hear! It's akin to #SpeedDating ... do I like this person and their idea enough to spend valuable time and energy on them! 🌎#scriptchat
  41. @jeannevb @ThePitchFest Amazing how some don't followup. One writer had script requests, but never sent. Isn't that the point? #scriptchat
  42. Just like writing, pitching takes practice. Even if exec passes, use the 5 min to talk about the industry! Pick their brains! #scriptchat
  43. Q: Do you suggest bringing clips to show if you have them? #scriptchat
  44. I don't recommend clips. The pitch meeting is about 2 things. Ur script & urself. Anything else = distraction. #scriptchat
  45. If any of you are going to @ThePitchFest, make sure you have a #scriptchat meetup on night in the hotel bar!
  46. @battyink Yes, they are a valuable tool for a visual medium. But practice using them & be comfortable incorporating into pitch. #scriptchat
  47. @jeannevb If a pitch bombs, I go on an information quest. Ask them about themselves and focus on the relationship. #scriptchat
  48. @PitchfestBob @jeannevb @ThePitchFest What if you pitch and combine the pitch with a trailer or short film or is that going overboard or not even aloud #scriptchat
  49. @Screenwriter12 @battyink We just gave you opposing advice - to clarify, be very careful in a tight timeframe. Crouching over... #scriptchat
  50. is rather intimate. Can feel awkward when first meeting someone. #scriptchat
  51. @Screenwriter12 Maybe tap-dance into the room playing Swanee River on harmonica? #scriptchat
  52. But using visuals such as onesheets, trailer, etc, can also be very effective. If the tools are exceptional. #scriptchat
  53. @dwacon @jeannevb @ThePitchFest Ha! I know a producer who told another producer friend of ours that 'he produces love'... #scriptchat
  54. Always, always, always have a one sheet. Execs listen to so many pitches, a leave-behind is key to help them share w/ their boss #scriptchat
  55. @jeannevb one-sheet is NOT your pitch written around the edges of a $100 bill... #scriptchat
  56. @jeannevb A onesheet also helps the exec to 're-pitch' it once back at the office. #scriptchat
  57. At the halfway mark of this scriptchat. One last plug. #scriptchat
  58. It can get a little noisy in pitching convention room. Makes it hard to hear video/trailer - better to use time to talk. #scriptchat
  59. @Screenwriter12 @PitchfestBob let's talk about prepping for pitching. i.e. Best pitches sound like conversation not monologue. #scriptchat
  60. @jeannevb @Screenwriter12 Keep your initial volley as short as possible. My most successful pitch was 10 words long. #scriptchat
  61. If you're going to a pitching event in L.A., stay a couple extra days to reconnect with your existing network or ppl you met #scriptchat
  62. Onesheet-look like you've spent $. Asking for $ so make sure everything (you, your script, pitch) professional & polished. #scriptchat
  63. It's about having a conversation with the exec, not bombarding them into submission with words. #scriptchat
  64. @jeannevb It's also important to live a life & don't work all the time. = Boring writer with no life. #scriptchat
  65. Good to meet and socialize with writers before hand. Get a chance to pitch and help others with their pitches #scriptchat
  66. When you go to any #screenwriting event, talk to the WRITERS not just the execs. You could be sitting nxt to the nxt QT. #scriptchat
  67. If you are thinking of going, two things: 1. Bob has a discount code for everyone on ScriptChat. and 2. we also need volunteers. #scriptchat
  68. My latest script, the initial pitch is one word. After the one word, the conversation starts. Or it's "Get away from me." #scriptchat
  69. I always leave GAPF pumped and optimistic about my career. #scriptchat
  70. Everyone you pitch to has to pitch those scripts to studio/bosses/investors - keep in mind the film business aspect. #scriptchat
  71. If you go to , use Coupon Code SCRIPTCHAT10 to save 10% on our packages - Expires in 48 hours. #scriptchat
  72. @CassidyMcM That's what I tell everyone who goes in to ask for a million dollars, and thinks a pirate costume is just the thing. #scriptchat
  73. @jeannevb Exactly. Everyone in Hwood wears multiple hats. New writer is a PA, directing a short, and then catering music video. #scriptchat
  74. @battyink We are still the Great American PitchFest (but since we're the best pitchfest around, we are okay with THE PitchFest). #scriptchat
  75. @battyink Some of the guests we were trying to get thought we were only about pitching, hence the name/rebranding. #scriptchat
  76. We are the biggest screenwriting conference of our kind - it's amazing! #scriptchat
  77. @Screenwriter12 @battyink Our nicknames: The PitchFest. The Fortress of Pitchitude. Mount Awesome. The Ultimate Superpitch. #scriptchat
  78. @Screenwriter12 it's wild so many of these events have died on vine. I think yours hasnt bc it's by writers for writers. #scriptchat
  79. @jeannevb @Screenwriter12 We never knew how challenging (and rewarding) it would be. Now we've been doing it 14 years! #scriptchat
  80. @jeannevb @Screenwriter12 It's a labor of love. Our team is all writers, from around the world. #scriptchat
  81. So funny @PitchfestBob + so true. Some writers think it's only about a great script but for a studio it's the $ bottom line. #scriptchat
  82. I've met some great writers and made great friends at pitchfest. Looking to meet more this year #scriptchat
  83. @CassidyMcM @PitchfestBob I got GREAT notes on a script, only with the note that it would cost TOO MUCH for a FEMALE lead script #scriptchat
  84. @jannagummo @jeannevb As writers ourselves, we like supporting our tribe. Improving specwriting across the board improves opportunities for us all #scriptchat
  85. ScriptFest is sponsoring 50 student filmmakers / writers to attend this year's event. Applications at . #scriptchat
  86. @jeannevb @Screenwriter12 @battyink Really glad I had an Irish-Catholic boss once who taught me how to drink. Important skill. #scriptchat
  87. @battyink We accept companies who want to hear pitches right up until the day -- but the Exec Dir. will be out the week before. #scriptchat
  88. @battyink @jeannevb When I pop open a bottle... I hope Jeanne pops out of it. I should try wearing my USAF uniform… if it fits. #scriptchat
  89. @battyink We post them on website once completed - anyone can see. We publish & release to attendees a few days before. #scriptchat
  90. If you know any students who want a sponsored trip to ScriptFest/GAPF, please point them here:  #scriptchat
  91. Research companies BEFORE you go. Know who you're pitching to. Mention films they produced that you like, etc. #scriptchat
  92. Engage with the executive. Nobody wants a relationship w/ someone who sits down and says "Here's what YOU can do for ME." #scriptchat
  93. This year's event is all about writing material that effects and inspires change. @ThePitchFest #scriptchat
  94. Hey, there's @wcmartell! Bill will be teaching at ScriptFest this year as well! #scriptchat
  95. @wcmartell @ThePitchFest #scriptchat Bill Martell is teaching his DIALOGUE TO DIE FOR class at ScriptFest on June 24, 2pm!
  96. As I get ready to go see THE BAD BATCH @AlamoPhoenix, don't forget Coupon Code SCRIPTCHAT10 saves 10% at  #scriptchat
  97. Thanks for having us, Jeanne! And happy writing, scriptchatters! #scriptchat
  98. Contact Bob or myself anytime at Thanks again, everyone! #scriptchat

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