The Great British Pitchfest has been running for some years as part of the London Screenwriters’ Festival and gives writers the opportunity to pitch to agents and producers projects that they want to see made and that may be just what the executives are looking to find. Executives come from Britain and Hollywood and there is also a skype pitch to Hollywood set up for those execs unable to come in person. Each year numerous writers get a new break from being able to pitch and the rest get to exercise their pitching muscles for the next time they meet someone to put forward their work. To prepare writers for the Pitchfest Bob Schultz of the Great American Pitchfest holds a Pitchfest Bootcamp and there is plenty encouragement and excitement fuelling the writers who want to pitch and to make them feel comfortable and well prepared to do so.
Around the festival each year I get to hear stories from individuals who’ve pitched about how their work went down with the executives, for many opportunities have opened up. This year I spent some time speaking with festival delegate Christoph Mathieu, a German writer and journalist who’d come over from Cologne to pitch a project written by himself and his writing partner back in Germany Dennis Todorovic. Their work, a philosophical sci-fi tale set in space was awarded a scholarship fund from the Wim Wenders Fellowship in collaboration with the Film and Media Foundation NRW and enabled them to produce a proof of concept. The pair are now seeking financing to direct their project and a producer to champion it.
For Christoph, being able to come well prepared to pitch the project paid off, a good morning at the Pitchfest was in store, all of the executives he was able to pitch to requested reads of the work and hopefully for he and Dennis some furthering of their project may come either from today’s meetings or from the support they have earned back in Germany.
This is just one story of the pitchfest and there are many, many others. Some writers will have had equal success, some may feel they could have done better but all were both able and willing to go and speak about their work and writing with people who can make things happen for them. It isn’t an easy thing to do to put your work out there to strangers but even for those writers I spoke to who hadn’t yet had success in pitching they were smiling and enjoyed the experience and enjoyed meeting the executives. Most found the support of the festival and just being around other writers in the same boat to be invigorating and everyone had a plan for how they were going to step forward after their pitch experience.
We wish all our LSF writers the best of luck for their projects in the coming year.