Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inktip Pitch Summit II Report

I just attended the Inktip Pitch Summit for the 2nd consecutive year of its two year existence, and I have to say that this pitch festival is rapidly becoming the best one out there. After last year's festival, Jerrol LeBaron and the staff, far from shying away from criticism, welcomed it. "It's our first try," they said, "tell us what we can do to make it better." We did, and they listened. The result was a pitch fest that was well organized, ran smoothly, and was pleasant to attend.

I blogged about this event last year, and refreshingly, Inktip addressed EVERY SINGLE COMPLAINT I HAD. For example, I said,

"I think it’s better to have the numbers designating the lines hanging from the ceiling, rather than on the floor."

See if you get that kind of fast response from Tech Support

I also had a problem last year with the way the executives were grouped. It seems that each pitch fest has their own little twist, their own spin on how to run the show, and Inktip's unique spin is that they put several companies (usually no more than 3) with similar interests at the same table. The idea being that you get to pitch many more companies who are interested in your type of project. Last year, this didn't always work, as a "misfit" seemed to be at almost every table. This year, not only were execs well grouped within tables, they were even grouped by section, so the first ten tables were execs interested in TV, the next twenty had reps who wanted thrillers, and so on.

People lining up at the "Action" section 
 This made things incredibly easy and efficient for the writers. Rather than hunting all over the place for the right execs, If I had a TV script (which I did) I could just go right down the line, Table 1, then 2, then 3, etc. If I wanted to switch to Comedy, I could just hop over to Table 58, then 59, then 60 and so on. They even had the individual companies and what they were specifically looking for (Reality TV, Sitcoms, Sci Fi, etc.) so there were few surprises when you sat down to the table.

I also didn't care for how long it took to start things up last year. This year, there was a delay of no more than ten minutes before things got underway, and considering herding producers is probably not unlike herding cats, that's a pretty impressive feat.

Another plus was with the volume of companies attending, most lines were short, and I didn't encounter lines of more than three until late into my pitching process.

Shorter lines means more pitching opportunities!

Most of the people there were in good spirits, and the organizers work hard to make sure everyone has ample opportunities to pitch their next tentpole blockbuster or multiple Oscar winner.

"Pfft! I got this."

On that note, just FYI: If I'm getting ready and just about to go in to pitch, don't come up behind me and say in my ear "Don't worry, they're going to like it." (Yes, someone did this.) If I am worried about that, I don't know you, and your assurances are not going to help. And if I'm not, why do you want to put that idea in my head?

But back to business: If there's one criticism I had, it's that it would be great if they could really nail down the people who promise to show up. I know this isn't really in their control, but it's a big disappointment when you're on a line and the company you came to see suddenly disappears from the list. Maybe asking for two reps from each company, or for companies not to say yes unless they can really commit, would help. If I had two criticisms, its that parking was tough to find and expensive. But these are really minor things. They did an amazing job, and an amazing job integrating the feedback. Whether I sell a script through this year's festival or not, I'll definitely be back next year.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 Big Stars That You Forgot (or never knew) Played Soldiers in 1980s Vietnam War Movies

Forest Whitaker (Platoon)

Kevin Dillon (Platoon)

John C. Reilly (Casualties of War)

John Leguizamo (Casualties of War)

Dylan McDermott (Hamburger Hill)

Johnny Depp (Platoon)
Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket)
Don Cheadle (Hamburger Hill)
John McGinley (Platoon)
Ving Rhames (Casualties of War)

Honorable Mention: David Caruso (Officer and a Gentleman)