Pitch Fests

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Pitch Fests

You might want to attend a pitch fest, an organized event that brings aspiring writers face-to-face with industry executives. A pitch fest can be a wonderful experience, especially if it allows you to give multiple pitches. Okay, so it may not feel wonderful the first time around, but the more you practice your pitch, the better you'll get at it—and that does feel pretty good. You'll be exposed to industry professionals, and there may even be workshops for you to attend. Before you sign up for one, however, think through the following:

Pitch fests can be expensive, especially if you have to travel to L.A., so confirm what you're getting for your money before you go. Some pitch fests make you pay every time you pitch. Others offer package deals. Set your budget in advance.

Ask about the schedule. How often will you have the opportunity to pitch? Whom will you be pitching to? Will there be pitching workshops where you can get feedback on how you're doing?

Pitch fests attract huge crowds. The experience has been likened to speed dating, and can be hectic and overwhelming—or exciting and energizing, depending on your personality. Be sure to ask how many attendees are expected.

Don't get scammed. Check credentials before you sign up for anything. How long has the pitch fest been around? Who will be there? Be wary of pitch fests that keep changing dates or organizers who don't e-mail you back. If in doubt, don't sign up.

Don't worry about the results. If you attend a pitch fest, don't go expecting to sell your script. Instead, concentrate on gaining pitching experience and building relationships. Maybe a producer didn't request your script, but if you made a good impression, he might be happy to read your next query letter. Look at pitch fests as a networking opportunity and a necessary part of your education, and you won't be disappointed.

Check Out:
Great American Pitch Fest (http://www.pitchfest.com)
Hollywood Pitch Festival (http://www.fadeinonline.com/events)
Screenwriting Expo (http://www.screenwritingexpo.com)



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