CSN Reports Success For Pitch Weekend
July 17, 2012 by Denise M. O’Neal
There wasn’t an empty seat in the house Saturday at the Holiday Inn Harrison, where the Chicago Screenwriters Network held their first workshop/pitch weekend. Danny Manus, former Director of Development at Clifford Werber Productions, and CEO of No-Bull-Script Consulting, taught an all-day workshop consisting of -- Loglines, Query Letters and One Sheets, 12 Steps to a Screen-Worthy Script, and finally finishing up with the No B.S. Guide to Pitching. If you’re a serious screenwriter, you should not have missed this once in a lifetime event. But don’t fret, we’re doing it again next year.
CSN Vice President, Christina Wollerman, “the CSN pitchfest is the best opportunity for Chicago writers to show what they’ve got to the LA community without actually going there.”
Sunday morning kicked off the second half of the event with the 8-minute pitch sessions. Writers had a chance to practice what they learned in Danny’s pitch workshop.
Ryan Cunningham, Manager, Madhouse Entertainment, “the pitches so far have all been pretty great. It’s great having Danny’s class the day before to give writers a primer on etiquette, what to do and especially what not to do. I really like the format of what CSN has done.”
Danny Manus,“the pitches are going very well. I’m pleasantly surprised. Everybody seemed to really take to heart what we talked about in the workshops and everybody is really excited to be here. They have their one-sheets and they all seem to know what they’re doing. It’s going really well.”
The evening ended at Porkchop, where all of the attendees and industry insiders got a chance to relax a bit with food, drinks, and networking. CSN’s VP of Events, Linda Frothingham, sat down with the industry insiders to pick their brains and give us some insight on what they actually do on a day to day basis. We got to know them on a more personal level. They are a great group of professional and intelligent people and a lifelong friendship was established through this event.
Another great perk of having friends in high places is that we got the inside scoop on what’s trending in LA as far as genres. Franchises such as Spider-Man and Batman lead the way but R-rated comedies, sci-fi thrillers, supernatural low budget horrors and mid budget action films such as The Gray and Taken are really hot right now.
Tim Compton, attendee, “I pitched to Ryan Cunningham. It went pretty well. He was very attentive and asked a lot of questions. He is very sharp and knew the right questions to ask to quickly get to what’s my story about, how is it unique? It was a good experience.”
This workshop is not for the writer who is writing as a hobby or for therapy. This is for the serious writer looking to start and establish a career as a screenwriter. So writers, dust off that laptop, crank it up and get to writing. Who knows, maybe next year you’ll be ready to pitch that spec.