ffow-pitchfest.gifThe Great American Pitchfest is like speed dating for the Hollywood business crowd. It’s where writers with ideas meet people with resources and an impressive number of love affairs have blossomed. “For many writers, gaining access to industry insiders is very difficult, even if they live right in Los Angeles,” explains Bob Schultz, a Pitchfest organizer. “As the only pitching event created by screenwriters for screenwriters, we take tremendous pride in opening those doors for aspiring writers.”
The annual event was founded by moviemaker Signe Olynyk after becoming frustrated by other unorganized festivals of this type—especially after they yielded few results. Her solution, the Great American Pitchfest, ensures each attendee five minutes with each company and the opportunity for additional time if the company desires. The low ratio of industry reps to attendees keeps the event fairly intimate and the odds of success higher. Additionally, registered guests are guaranteed seating to free on-site classes sponsored by The Writers Store, Learning Annex and Writers Guild of America.
Besides sitting in on classes and sweet-talking the industry insiders, Schultz says there are three vital elements to setting yourself apart and succeeding at the Great American Pitchfest. First, is strategy: Have things planned ahead of time. Second, energy: “Channeling your nervousness, excitement or fear into an enthusiastic (but focused) pitch makes all the difference.” Finally, knowledge: Knowing every detail about your script and about the company you are pitching to. With all that, you just might find a lifelong companion.

See what the Great American Pitchfest can do for you when it hits the Sheraton Hotel in Universal Studios, California, June 23-24. Head over to www.pitchfest.com for more details.

Sound Off: The Great American Pitchfest pairs prospective talent with the people who can propel that talent forward. What is the best story of an unknown becoming a hit through a chance meeting?