month's column will be about my trip to
Los Angeles to attend Creative Screenwriting Magazine's Screenwriting Expo
5 on October 19-22, 2006.
Friday morning, October 20, 2006, I attended Mr.
David Ayer's guest speaker session. He is the screenwriter for
the Oscar winning movie, Training Day. This movie makes you sit up
at the edge of your seat and intensely keeps you there until the very
end. This was how I felt when I watched soon after it won an
an admirer of Russell Crowe's acting, I wanted to see the movie that made
Denzel Washington get the Oscar that year. It had to be pretty outstanding and
Training Day, after seeing it, lived up to its recognition.
as you can see from the picture below, I was pretty excited to be standing
next to Mr. Ayer!
After Mr. Ayer finished his session and stepped
off the stage, I was first to approach him before a line starts to
form. I asked him if I may take a picture and he said, yes, and then
I asked him if I may post the picture on my website and again, he said,
yes, so thank you, Mr. Ayer! I told him I'm definitely going to go
see his movie.
fan in the line asked me to take a picture of him with Mr. Ayer. So
as I was doing so, while pointing the camera at them, I said, "I'm
pretending to be a director." Mr. Ayer's serious face cracked a
Ayer showed us a trailer for his new movie, Harsh
Times, opening Friday, November 10, 2006. The movie stars Christian
Bale and Eva Longoria.
Mr. Ayer said it was about friendship. It looks like another great
white-knuckle, grab-and-won't-let-you-go movie! Go see this movie!
Ayer's executive friend, who moderated the session, mentioned that it is
very uncommon in Hollywood to write, direct, and produce your own movie,
as Mr. Ayer has done. It's about as pure as it gets. You
can watch trailer here. Click on movie poster to go to official
Ayer shared pointers helpful to screenwriters such as his thoughts on
putting your heart on the page, revising someone else's work, at what page
his script tells him when it's in trouble, and why he has moved on to
Screenwriting awarded him the Writer Director Crossover Award. You
can read more about my notes on his session in Screenwriting Collection when it is updated.
Friday Afternoon, the next session I attended was with Mr. Neil Labute who
attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I stayed for as long
as I could knowing I had to leave early to go to my first pitch. My
notes from Mr. Labute's experience will also be included in Screenwriting
also attended the guest speaker sessions with Oliver Stone on Friday night
and Tony Gilroy and William Goldman on Sunday afternoon. Notes from
these will also be included in next update of Screenwriting
gives a list of the executives and companies I pitched to during the
pitched my Dramedy genre script to the following executives and companies:
Pete Collins, Benderspink
Jonathan Stopek, John Wells Productions
Lauren Gordon, Di Novi Pictures
Michael Hatch, Zucker Productions
Erica Lee, Thunder Road Pictures
Edwards Skerbelis Entertainment
female executive (forgot to ask her name), Maverick Films
to my pitch included the following:
to our website and sign the Release Form.
will send you the Release Form.
me your name, the script title, phrase about script to trigger memory,
and contact information (wrote all on a pad and gave to them).
me log line and synopsis.
pitched my Dramedy to Ms. Lisa Zambri at Contra Films and she said that
they don't do those type movies, and that they're interested in movies
with male leads, so I winged it and asked her if I may pitch my
semi-finalist script with a male character that would be great for someone
like Keanu Reeves (or other male actor). She answered, yes. Mentioning Keanu Reeves got her attention.
Once again, thank you to celebrities and how they can command
attention. That is, if you find that the executive may be looking as
tired as how you feel, throw in a celebrity's name to wake both of
my few Friday pitches, I quickly learned that the 5-minute pitch I
memorized was too long. So that night I trimmed it down to about two
minutes and pitched this on Saturday and it worked better. It was a
good feeling to know that I didn't have to talk as much. There is
always an exception. When the two minutes is up and you have what
seems to be an eternity of time left, I winged it again and asked if the
executive had any questions to fill the time. That lasted only a few
seconds so I had to come up with more to say and found myself stringing
together sentences I didn't know I had in me.
reason for shortening your pitch is that you must allow time for walking
and finding your table as well as greeting time and giving your contact
information should it be asked at the end of your pitch.
if your genre doesn't fit the company, you give yourself time to pitch
another script that may fit them. You may have one that at least
will be given synopsis time.
smile, make your brief meeting together, courteous, gracious and even
if you're interested in pitching, above gives you a bit of how it
goes. Find out more on Screenwriting Collection at next update.
off to everyone who made the expo run as smooth as possible. The
expo staff were friendly and very helpful. You can subscribe
to Creative Screenwriting Magazine here. If you have a chance to
attend an expo, go! Live life, have fun, and learn something new!
Mortensen's movie, El
Capitan Alatriste, opens on December 2006 in the U.S.
to Perceval Press home page to
Crowe's movie, A Good Year, opens November 10, 2006. Watched trailer
on this movie from its official site and it looks like another great
movie! Challenges the lighter side of Russell's acting.
Crowe is scheduled to appear as guest on Tonight Show With Jay Leno on
Friday, November 3, 2006.
Vote November 7th!
Sam forever hunting
when to say,
Rundell, November 2006
the friendship of
Rundell, November 2006