02 October, 2008

Son of the Pitch

"The competition, which is in association with 4Talent, will run from 17.00pm (GMT) on Monday 8th September until 17.00pm (GMT) on Friday 31st October 2008. After which ten lucky finalists will be chosen to come to the SWF'09, take part in a pitching masterclass before standing up in front of a live audience and pitch that idea to a panel of industry experts.

Last year we had over 1,600 entries that were finally whittled down to ten which were then, after going through the public humiliation of the live pitch, were whittled down further (there was a lot of whittling last year, more than in a ‘phones4u' advert) and three winners were chose.

How to enter:

* Write down your pitch in 25 words or less, then on a separate page, expand the synopsis to 150 words and email it to us at:

pitch@screenwritersfestival.com "

Details in full


terraling said...

Great sounding competition, wish I'd known about it last year.

My instinctive response is, great, I think I have about six killer ideas, why don't I pitch them all? But there is that nagging suspicion - given the impossibility of copyrighting ideas - that I may put the very best I have out there in the public domain and come away with nothing to show for it.

Doubtless last year's finalists all think it's the best thing they've done, but I wonder about the other 1590...

That the 10 all get to pitch to Film4 suggests film is what they're after rather than TV...

Robin Kelly said...

I only realised recently that 'pitch' can mean just giving your idea and hoping someone will pay you for the idea or pay you to think of a story and characters for the idea.

In that example, it would be daft to just put your original high concept idea out there but how many actually are original and high-concept?

Lots of people have good ideas but if those ideas are tied to character and story then it makes it more original and less likely to be "stolen". You can't copyright ideas but you can copyright characters and story.

The pitching workhop the winners get is valuable but I'm actually against public pitching competitions for entertainment.We should practice pitching but in a safe supportive environment amongst mates.

Writing the film and querying companies who produce similar films makes more sense to me. Film4 are hardly going to turn down your pitch because it didn't come via a pitch competition.

But good luck to anyone who enters!

terraling said...

Hi Robin

ruminating on your comments something occurred to me. When you say "Film4 are hardly going to turn down something..." - the last time I looked into it, there is no direct route into Channel 4 is there? You have to approach an indie prod co and get them interested, and they take it to Channel 4 and try and interest them. That's still the case, no?

Robin Kelly said...

I think in general if any prodco discourages unsolicited scripts then it does no harm to send a nice query letter instead - and maybe an outline and the first 10 pages. If it's good (or even if it's bad but they reckon it has potential) and it's the sort of thing they do then they'll ask for the full script.

Specifically with Film4 they are a separate entity in effect to the TV side. This is what Katherine Butler, Film4's HofD has to say on wanting new writers: 4Talent