Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pitching at Pitch Q

So first of all, I finally have a script in circulation. In the past, the only people who read my scripts were friends or other writers or contest people who rejected me. Now people who don't already know me and aren't being paid actually want to read Not Dead Yet.

So now I have officially passed from being a douchebag who sits on her couch and writes screenplays to a douchebag who sits on her couch and practices pitching.

Speaking of pitching, Sunday I had the good fortune to visit Mel Scott at Pitch Q headquarters in a prime spot on Hollywood Boulevard. Pitch Q is a site where you can upload a video of your pitch. If you're in town, Mel will record your pitch at his office. So I did that.

First, a disclaimer. Mel is a personal friend. Even if he wasn't I would still have considered this a worthwhile activity, and I speak the truth here because I'm pretty big on integrity. Still, I thought you should know.


Just like most writers, I hate being in front of the camera. I'm okay if I have a script and a part to play, but ad libbing while staring at the camera makes me nervous as hell. And this was a scenario where I couldn't screw up. The pitch is recorded in one long take, and if you screw up you have to start over. And I screwed up a few times.

I apologized, but Mel told me his record so far is like 89 takes, so I didn't feel that bad. And he let me take my shoes off. If I'm wearing shoes, I am not comfortable. I have a feeling I will one day be known as that girl who takes her shoes off during pitch meetings.

Anyway, I tried picturing a friend behind the camera but then I got distracted by my wandering brain, so I tried again and got distracted by worrying that I wasn't saying everything right, so Mel taped my logline to the chair in front of me. But I still screwed up.

Then I got all the way through it and didn't know how to end. My last words in the pitch were "So it's kind of depressing."

Mel gave me a few pointers.

I shook it out. I thought to myself, Self, you do this every day. You're a teacher. If you can tell a story to a class full of teenagers, you can tell your own story to a camera.

And that's what I did. I turned on teacher mode, imagined my class in front of me and just ran through the story like I was in front of my board. I used hand gestures and went "Boooom!" when the explosions happened and I did some asides and said "Yay!" when good things happened and at the end it was pretty awesome. Mel said I wouldn't get any better than that. He even seemed to be pretty moved emotionally by my story.

My zombie story.

You hear that, haters?

I felt pretty damn good after that, even if I did tell my story at like 80 miles an hour. I think I did something like 6 takes. And now that I've done it once in front of a friend, I think I'll be completely okay doing it in front of some strangers.

Now I have the option of putting it on the site for only producers, or allowing writers to see it. So we'll see what happens next.


  1. haha, you have to take your shoes off when you pitch? LMAO. that is strange.

    Hey I wish you best of luck with this zombie screenplay, you deserve all the success! I hope you get it produced ^_^

  2. wow. You say "Yay!" in front of your students? I gotta visit!
    Seriously, E, you are so poised and self-possessed when we are together. My first impressionn of you was "okay, I get it: she's a newscaster from Finland with a side-gig as a model, but she comes up to strangers and says 'pull my finger' once in a while."
    I'm sure you knocked it outta the park.
    Think about this: when the DVD comes out, that'll be one of the special features!

  3. I totally agree with you about Mel being a stand-up guy. In fact, I'm probably the record-holder for the most takes at Pitch Q, but he never lost his cool with me.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. I, like, totally want to see your pitch video.

    I'll pay to see it.

  5. It's not up yet but when it is I'll send you the link. Fee to be paid at a later date.


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.