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Blog: The Hollywood Pitch

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On Saturday night I did a PITCH to a Hollywood Executive! Typing those words my BRANE fills with images of Hollywood Pitching as I'd always imagined it to be - me in a big-shouldered 1980s suit (I have been imagining this for a long time) striding past PALM TREES into a room full of various BIGWIGS smoking CIGARS. "It's like Jaws with machine guns - IN SPACE!" I shout and they all give me milion dollar notes and then flash forward to the opening night of INTERGALACTIC FIGHTING FISH at The Chinese Theatre with me weeping over a BOURBON saying "It was meant to be ARTHOUSE."

Turns out it didn't go QUITE like that. I'd got the chance to DO a pitch as a result of 6 Billion To One getting into the finals of the Final Draft Big Break Contest. I got a VOUCHER for a free go on the Happy Writers Pitch Sessions, where you basically PAY for an 8 minute slot with a Genuine Hollywood Executive during which you can pitch your big idea and try and persuade them to read the script. It sounds a bit odd, PAYING to talk to someone, but it's definitely more straightforward than moving to LA, getting a job in a bar, and desperately hoping that an EXEC will come in for a drink.

The whole thing was done on LA time, which meant that at 10:20pm UK time on Saturday night I was sat in front of my computer trying NOT to look like I'd had an afternoon on the beers, POISED to be persuasive. I sat thus poised for 15 minutes then got an email from the organisers to say that the pitchee was having interweb problems, so that when we DID get to chat about 20 minutes after THAT it was audio only. This was probably for the best - I'm not sure Hollywood Insiders say "What we really need is someone that looks like a frightened potato who's just come in from a hurricane, also who hasn't shaved."

I had eight minutes and they FLEW by - I kicked off with my New Concise Explanation ("It's a world where six billion people look identical... and one person doesn't") and then Spoke Enthusiastically And Rapidly about how it would work. He seemed interested, especially when I casually let it slip that I am also an International Rock Star (hem hem). At the end we HAD to stop because he had several more HOURS of people to get through, but I could have banged on for AGES!

I should know how it went in the next week or so - one of the good things about the Happy Writers sessions is that you get FEEDBACK on how you did, so you can improve for next time - though he DID say he'd be asking to see the script, so that's surely a WIN. I even think I might do it again - it was a LOT of fun, though maybe next time I'll ask for someone smoking a CIGAR!

posted 23/2/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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