Zeroing in on the Pitch

Having spent the first few days in discussions around storytelling and brainstorming their projects with each other and the workshop facilitator, it was now time to polish up the script then pitch these projects in “live situations.”

So, on Monday the 17th, we had lunch with Rick Dugdale and Daniel Petrie Junior from Enderby Entertainment. Enderby sponsor a screenwriting award with Inscription each year and take the winning writer with them to Austin Film Festival.

Over lunch, the guys had an opportunity to pitch their film and TV ideas to both VPs of Enderby Entertainment. While the meeting was informal, this was still a good test to see how their pitches were taking shape.

Rick and Dan had been doing auditions all day for their next film which was to start filming in Utah the following morning. Again all the guys were able to swap business cards, pitch their story ideas, forge relationships and stay linked up to Enderby going forward.

On Tuesday the 18th, the playwrights individually met with Mitch Solomon from Magnet Films. They each pitched one of their projects and got advice about them. These sessions were one to one intensives.

Finally, we finished with a visit to the Australian Consulate and Ausfilm: Ausfilm connects the international film community with Australia’s screen incentives, talent and facilities.
We met with Brett Thronquest, who has a background in accounting, is an expert in film financing, in particular with Screen Australia’s “Producer’s Offset.” He has worked successfully in LA and Sydney for the past fifteen years. He spoke for a while around how he had got career traction in both cities.
In relation to our meetings with Enderby, Mitch Solomon and Ausfilm, Max thought the “dinner with Dan and Rick was really helpful”, she felt as if she was “building a friendship with them, rather than a work context”. However she thought that Mitch was great at “really making you question and integrate your concept” and “why you personally really want to write it”, what is it about it that makes you want to spend the time to write that film? Max has been able to “tweak” her pitch more, she’s been able to “keep it conversational while at the same time honing in on exactly what the story is”. She’s found that she’s more “personally attached” to her TV pitch, so Max is sensing “nice strong responses.”

Lally thought that she got an insight on the “way LA really works” from Enderby, Mitch and Ausfilm. She described them as being “generous with their experiences and their knowledge.” It was like “getting an inside look on how film business works here”. Lally learnt a lot about “not telling the whole story” for her pitch, and instead she should just give a “little grab” to pique their interest rather than “getting stuck on detail”.

Tom got a lot out of all the meetings, he said that Mitch “pushed him with his idea” and that was incredibly beneficial. And Ausfilm gave good insight on the “financial side of things” in terms of “what is involved to get a film up” and that was critical input. The prep Tom’s had to do for these last few meetings and the questions he’s been asked has pushed him to “know more about what he’s writing about” and be readier for questions which follow the pitch.

Reg specifically enjoyed the meeting with Enderby because it was so “informal”. He thought Rick and Dan were “dealing with budgets alike” to theirs. So, he was given an understanding on “mounting low budget films”. He also enjoyed speaking to Mitch because he really helped with his pitch, Reg feels like he can “go in and be ready now.” Reg feels his TV series pitch is closer to being ready, he just needs to “tease out the twists and turns” and he “should be ready”.

Tomorrow: The South Coast Repertory Theatre Company in Costa Mesa, South LA… Play readings for Reg and Max.

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