Tag Archives: LA

Last post from LA – better late than never!

So this is my last post from LA, LAX to be exact, and I’ll say it again, I’m seriously worried about lack of free wifi in this town. There is an airport lounge with ‘free wifi’, costs $10 an hour to use, I thought about it, but then spent my last dollars in McDonald’s, which is where I’m typing this from. (It’s ok, someone else has their laptop out, and its an airport, so I’m sure I’m safe)

So the final day at the expo was a much more settled pace, I still got nervous, but then that didn’t bother me. It’s amazing to me when I went to the pitching boot camp that nobody else had got there pitch down to the ’25 words’. This is something that John Truby, Blake Snyder & Elliot Grove talk about. But what it came down to was that was all I had to remember, and when they asked me for more story (which they all did on Sunday) I was able to tell them, without getting worked up, without forgetting anything about the STORY. This is the one thing that’s come out of the weekend, how important the STORY is. Especially in comedy, one of things Truby talks about is how you write the story first, and the gags come out of that. Most writers start with the gags, which doesn’t always create a great story.

It was great to hear John Truby talk again, reminding me of how much he knows and why he’s one of the best in the business. I’m going to get a report from the guy who works with him once I’ve looked over my current draft – cos of the exchange rate it actually works out a similar price to those script doctors over hear, but hopefully I’ll get new insight, and lets face it, although a good story is a good story anywhere in the World, he is Hollywood. And that’s one thing that I’ve learnt while I’ve been here.

I thought I was soooo right about my first couple of choices of companies to pitch too, but then when they gave their responses, I was surprised, and then when the bigger companies were interested that took me by surprise. It was a happy surprise too, one that got me really excited, and got me to think seriously about the choices that I have. I’ve directed short films, sure, but I’m not a ‘name director’, so I could hold out to be a writer / director. That’s one thing I’m not too worried about now, unless of course someone wants to fully support me on this, but I can write another script, with a good story, to do that with. So now, having pitched to the guys here in LA AND had some positive feedback, my options are wide open. And that’s the best thing for me right now.

So, what am I going to do when I get back? Get a script report from LA. Finish current application to the Arts Council, look up the Unlimited arts funding, and look at my life plan again. This is something I’ve done this year, along with doing ‘energy mapping’ out of it has come the sloooow realisation that all I want to do is write.

I want to make films that interest me, sure, that’s why I go down the arts route. Originally it was a means to an end, but once I got stuff for my showreel (Early One Summer, which was signed to Hollywood Independents distributors last year) and worked in collaboration with a digital artist to create artist film & video, now I can decide where I want to go – The big wide World is mine…

Pitching weekend day 2

20th October 2009.

I’m going to write about the Saturday & Sunday then post them separately, just to keep you in suspense…

So, the 1st proper day of pitching, Saturday, 7 pitches in all. I was lucky enough to do the Blake Snyder weekend when he came to London in May, not long before he passed away. His advice was to use sites like the Hollywood Creative Directory, and write 400 query letters. You’ll be lucky if you get 3 responses. That’s what it was like on Saturday, just all in one day.  Good things, not so good things. Obviously I won’t name the company’s I pitched too (that would be silly) but it didn’t start great, but by the end of the day I got some really positive responses, a couple from big companies. NB: I was going to do a ‘run down’ but have decided against publishing it on here.

When I did the pitching boot camp they did it in exactly the same way as in the actual pitching. What they don’t tell you is that you get ‘herded’ in to one room, sit on the chair which relates to the table number your sitting at, and the they tell you when you can go into the room with all the companies. By the time I got half way thought the day, I felt I’d achieved something quite remarkable to me – I got to the point where I just wasn’t nervous.

So that was it, and after what felt like a full day of pitching I was pretty knackered. By the time of my 7th pitch, when that company passed, I really, really wasn’t bothered by it. I said thank you, and left my seat.

When the morning pitching goes crap, and then the afternoon pitching goes so well that you get a major company definitely interested, then that says something about perseverance. All (except the last company) said I definitely had a good idea, and I was definitely on to something. One of the companies had loads of questions about it, all of which I answered – when people are that good, you realise why they’re working for the studios.

I still had time to attend a couple of the seminars, one especially memorable was James Manos Jr (creator of Dexter!) talking about writing in general. Very, very funny. He also made me feel better about my ADHD. Much better in fact. Which brings me to this blog, and why I’m much better at twittering than blogging. This blog will always be occasional, so the best thing is to follow me on twitter: @2weddings if you so desire. I can tweet by text too! Which is much easier.

So I’m here in LA for another week, and wondering if I’ll hear something other than the deathly wail of silence from anyone I met. They were nearly all polite enough to take my business card, nobody asked for a one sheet or a sample, but as said, one was definitely interested. So now I play the waiting game, and see what happens. Although while I do that, I’m off to Vegas to see Bette Midler. I can text from there too, hopefully.