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Hollywood Dreamers Make Your Pitch

By Fran Humphreys
Mar 21, 2005, 11:48

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Great American Pitchfest passes on sale now

The second annual Great American Pitchfest opens its doors to aspiring writers and producers to sell their ideas for movies, TV shows, sitcoms, and documentaries to film and television decision makers on April 29, 30 & May 1st at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles.

Earlier this week, Pitchfest producer Signe Olynyk invited dozens of development executives, agents, and managers representing some of Hollywood’s most credible and respected production companies to attend the event. The early response is excellent, she says. The first companies to confirm their attendance this year include Ron Shusett Productions (Alien, Total Recall, Minority Report), Dreyfuss/James Productions (Quiz Show, Mr. Holland’s Opus), Marty Katz Productions (The Four Feathers, Reindeer Games, Lost in America), John Baldecchi Productions (Adventures of Huck Finn, Simon Birch, The Mexican), and AEI (Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Amityville: The Evil Escapes and Life or Something Like It). More companies are confirming their attendance every day. (See for the daily updated list)

Industry representatives come to the event to hear five-minute pitches in a format similar to “speed dating.” Olynyk explains the efficiency of the five-minute pitch is extremely popular with “pitchers” and “pitchees” alike. The pitcher has access to a large number of industry players – all in one room – and the decision maker can hear a great number of ideas -- all in one day. Olynyk adds a number of workshops and training sessions into the weekend mix so that those who have less experience can gain some savoir faire before pitching.

The Great American Pitchfest was an immediate success in Hollywood last year with approximately 200 writers pitching more than 80 companies. Writers came from as far away as Israel to meet with Hollywood decision makers, and at least 30 participants. had their scripts optioned, were signed by agents, or found producing partners. So far, two reality series have been produced as a result of the pitchfest, and more scripts are in development.

Other Pitchfest partners include the International Family Film Festival, Flash Forward Institute, Independent Writers of Southern California, Publishers Association of Los Angeles, Lifetime Achievement Foundation, and Toastmasters 4 Writers.

Tickets are $300 before March 31 ($350 after March 31). Price includes the Pitchfest, training sessions, parties and networking events, as well as a luncheon with a decisionmaker.

For tickets and more information, call 1-877-255-2528 or visit

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