Yes, now through the wonderful world wide web you can pitch to Hollywood right from your bedroom. Of course, those rules apply to the exec too. I once pitched to a WME agent while he was sitting on a sofa eyeing his girlfriend offscreen. I could have said anything and he would have kept smiling because there’s no way he was listening to me. I hope she gave him a good show because that was thirty bucks down the drain.
Everyone wants to be repped by CAA or WME. But pitching to them is not the best idea for a new screenwriter. You might be better off looking for that agent that broke away from CAA to start his own company. Or that manager that left Benderspink because he wanted to produce his own material. You’re paying for these pitches so be smart with your choices. It makes no sense to throw your script against the wall to see if it sticks.
And, if you’re going to do the virtual pitch, please practice using Skype or whatever software that they ask you to use. I can’t tell you how often an exec initiates a call and the writer can’t figure out how to turn on their webcam. So you can see them but they can’t see you. Trust me, that’s strike one for you.
You can also choose to submit written pitches through most of these services. We are writers, so we feel more comfortable with words on the page rather than words off our tongue. I can’t say for sure that this method is a handicap or not. I will say that most of these companies also provide you with feedback from the exec. Yes, now you’re getting graded on your pitch. It looks just like script coverage with marks in different categories. In my opinion, this is useless for a writer.
Look, all of these services are “for profit”. Never forget that. Some pay the exec a little something and others don’t. But they are making money off of you. That goes for contests, feedback and consultation services. So you have to decide if this particular agent or producer is “the one” you want. Is he?
Next time I’ll talk about optioning your script…