Thursday, June 19, 2008

The failure of Operation GTTMPAIRMZS

Trainer got a new client a couple of months ago. New client is a literary agent. So Trainer and I concocted a plan.

This is what Trainer was supposed to say:

"Hey, you know I have a client who wrote a zombie script and she keeps telling me how worried she is that no matter how strong her script is no agent will want to look at it because it's about zombies so they'll assume it's a B horror film when it's really a big budget action script. What should I tell her?"

I know, right? Eh? Come on, gimme some credit for that. That's good manipulative material right there.

Because at this point Potential Agent will say "Ooh, that sounds interesting. I'd love to read a big budget zombie action movie! Tell her to send it to me! Here's my card!"

And yaaaaaaay Emily gets an agent!

So here's what Trainer actually said:

"Hey, you know I have a client who's trying to be a screenwriter. What advice can you give her to get her story out there?"

So there went that cunning plan. Next time I'm writing it down.

Her advice, as it turned out, was to go to pitch fests. I find this difficult to hear because I've always been very anti-pitch fest. They take your $300 and out you in a room with hundreds of other desperate people and you all launch your stories at the agent who would most likely enjoy being anywhere else other than here right now. And somehow that's supposed to be your big break? Pfffft.

And she told Trainer that yes, most of the pitches are bad. And yes, only a tiny fraction of them ever lead to anything. But she also said a tiny fraction of them do. And if you've got a great pitch that stands out among the tumbleweeds then you might just break through the barrier.

Of course, all this was told to me via Trainer, and we've seen how well he listens.

I still don't know. Maybe I'll do the pitch fest at the next Expo. We'll see. Any of you guys have stories with pitching at these things?

I still don't believe in them, but Operation Get Trainer To Manipulate Potential Agent Into Reading My Zombie Script (GTTMPAIRMZS) failed miserably, so I guess I might as well give a pitch fest a shot.


  1. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Not only that but most of the agents at these pitch fests are on the bottom rungs of the industry.

    That can easily be a double-edged sword... i.e., they're HUNGRY, know a great concept when they hear it, and get something going.

    They're not so hungry -- not so motivated -- could give a shit -- they're only there because their agency pointed the finger at them. Kind of like a new real estate agent doing a shitload of open houses on the weekend.

    They're INEPT. Nuff said.


  2. The experience can't hurt... though $300 is a lot to pay for experience.

  3. My experience -

    the pitchers were

    a. desperate
    b. psycho
    c. inept
    d. all three in different measure.

    The agents facing this horde were like cats in a cage someone poked with a stick.

    It wasn't pretty.

  4. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Actually, if you're going to a "pitch-fest," bag the Expo and go to the one Fade In magazine throws (they do a couple a year), they've a had a successful run at signing new talent and the reps (production or agent/managers) actually send some of their upper level people to the pitch sessions...

    FTR: I know a few of the reps (one of them is actually my agent) and she says the quality of reps is pretty good and they tend to actually focus on the scriptwriter/filmmaker (taking a script or a reel of a finished product can't hurt your chances of success either), they like to see people who are dedicated and not one-trick ponies if you know what I mean.

  5. Saturday night, ask me about the pitch room at the Expo: I've got some gossip.

  6. I know, I know, I'm WAY behind, but my new job's been keeping me from reading many blogs.

    I had GREAT luck at a pitchfest once, I pitched my high concept romcom to a producer and her agent friend (I got lucky, two for the price of one) and they LOVED it. Told me I was one of the best pitchers they had ever seen. Wanted to see the script immediately. Sadly, said script was not WRITTEN.



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