So, What Exactly Is The Great British Pitchfest?

Hey everyone! It’s time again for the London Screenwriters Festival to kick off and as I take over Chris’ blog for the duration I look forward to being in lovely Regents Park College for the next three days in and around the people, seminars and activities (of which there are plenty!) and sharing the experience far and wide here on the blog and via live tweeting on the #LondonSWF twitter hashtag. I’m @momentsoffilm on Twitter if you want to contact me directly.

The schedule is here, and also in the London Screenwriters Festival app in the iTunes Store or for Android. My advice is be flexible about what you want to see, you may stumble into seminars that you hadn’t expected to and be blown away by them or unexpected encounters might take you to new places. That’s certainly been my experience over the past years of the festival and embracing them has brought me a lot of joy.

If you have projects to pitch make sure you’ve booked in for one of the Great British Pitchfest sessions! What is that? Well, I’m so glad you asked because that’s what this first blog is about!

Tucked away in a businesslike corner of the festival is a room full of Industry professionals consisting of Agents, Development Execs, Commissioning Editors, and Producers plus Trainers in the industry, to whom delegates can pitch their work. This year, the London Screenwriters Festival has joined with the Great American Pitchfest to make this Great British Pitchfest the best the festival has yet seen with both UK Industry and Hollywood movers and shakers represented. People pitched to here are in a position to open doors to get projects made and careers boosted.

It works like this.

Research beforehand, knowing whom to pitch and a bit about them is useful. Choosing wisely also helps as each delegate gets one session to pitch within.

A 90 Minutes session includes 10 execs and 30 delegates, delegates join a short queue for the person they want to speak to first, pitch, move onto the next person, etc. There’s one session per delegate and you could potentially pitch between 3-8 times depending on what time allows and how much recovery you need between pitches. Early birds get the first squirms!

Loglines & One Sheets ready and your business cards in order? Know your project is in good shape? You’re ready to Pitch.

What people will really want to know during your pitch are whether you’re a competent writer, can you work objectively in developing your ideas with people and deliver consistent work on deadline. They’ll want to know that your projects are ones they’d be interested in making and that they can afford to produce. While the budget of a project is their problem to decide they might want to know if you’ve written in many things that will cost money and if you’re capable of changing around some budget type things if they’re going to prove too pricey (or not wowtastic enough for the budget they want to spend).

Aside from that execs and producers are nice people who want to make projects happen for other nice people. While that’s not always possible if a project doesn’t fit the bill, it is always possible to just be a person and let people see who you are even if you’re nervous. Show your best self, that’s the self that cares about doing the best for your work and theirs, be honest and listen to the person you’re pitching to. Remember to breathe.

I’ll be dropping in on a Saturday session and will be back to tell you how it goes for the delegates in the room in more detail afterwards.

In the meantime, best of British to y’all, Pitchfesters!

Leilani Holmes
Festival Blogger
www.twitter.com/momentsoffilm
www.cowbird.com/leilani

One Response to So, What Exactly Is The Great British Pitchfest?

  1. Bob Schultz October 25, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Hi, Leilani! Thank you so much for the post. Signe, myself, and everyone involved with the Great American PitchFest are really excited to be partnering with the London Screenwriters’ Festival. We will be around all weekend, so I hope everybody says hello as we cross paths.

    If our paths DON’T cross, please feel free to reach out via email with any questions: bob@pitchfest.com.

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