One of the things writers tell me frequently is, “I just want to see how ‘real’ writers pitch to ‘real’ producers.” On November 9th, this will be possible and you are invited.
The American Film Market (AFM) is the largest film market in the world. During AFM (November 6-13, 2013), there’s a week of panels, screenings, industry events, and conferences on specific topics of interest to filmmakers. AFM facilitates roughly $800 million in deals per year. Yes, that’s “millions.”
Coming to AFM is a great opportunity to research your niche in the independent film market, refine your pitch, and enjoy the Hollywood community.
Each year at AFM there are five industry conferences. One is the Pitch Conference. I have participated in many film-related conferences and the Pitch Conference is one of my favorites. Other than the year when my wedding was scheduled the same day, I don’t miss it.
What is the AFM Pitch Conference?
The AFM Pitch Conference will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:15am – 12:45pm. I’ll be moderating the Pitch Conference, and producers Cassian Elwes and Tobin Armbrust will be on the panel.
These are not just any producers.
Cassian Elwes is one of the most important figures in independent cinema. He produced Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Margin Call, and The Paperboy. As head of William Morris Independent for 14 years, he arranged financing and distribution for 283 films including The English Patient, Slingblade, The Apostle and Monster’s Ball.
Tobin Armbrust is President of Worldwide Productions and Acquisitions of Exclusive
Media. Recently, he produced End of Watch, Snitch, The Woman In Black, Hit and Run and Rush.
This is the third year Elwes, Armbrust, and I will be at the Pitch Conference together. Elwes and Armbrust are very smart, direct, funny, and have incredible stories to tell. What can I say? I vouch for these guys. They are the best in the business and I’m excited to get to talk with them again this year.
If you’re able to come, you’ll also get to watch other people pitch, which can be incredibly informative, and if you’re selected to pitch (I’ll tell you more about this in a moment), you’ll get to pitch not only to Elwes and Armbrust, but to 700+ people, many of whom will be producers and financiers looking for new projects and undiscovered talents.
This is not a writer’s conference where every attendee has a chance to pitch. But if you want to get a film produced independently or in the studio system, AFM is where the deals are being made.
Just sitting in the lobby, riding in the elevators, at the bar in the evening, waiting in line at Starbucks, you will see and hear deals being made.
There are a number of different Attendee Packages. I recommend attending as much as you can. If you aren’t attending AFM or buying an Industry Pass, you can just come to the Pitch Conference for $95.
Do you want to pitch your project?
This year, anyone interested in pitching on stage at the Pitch Conference will need to submit a 2-min video pitch.
- Here’s AFM’s Conference page.
- Pitching Essentials mini-ebook to help you prepare your pitch.
- AFM Pitch Conference Guide To Creating An Effective Video Pitch.
Why should I submit a video?
Unlike many other pitching opportunities where you only pitch to one person, a pitch at the Pitch Conference allows you to present your ideas to over 700+ people. This can make it a lot easier to find producers who are a good fit for your work.
Over the AFM’s I’ve been a part of previously, several projects have been optioned and deals have been made because of an idea that was pitched in this room.
Why should I come to the Pitch Conference?
Whether you get to pitch or watch other people pitch, this event is a rare opportunity. Even successful, established writers rarely get to see other writers pitch, or to hear how decision-makers evaluate their pitch after they’ve left the room.
Here’s what you can expect: I’ll open with a brief presentation of my top pitching tips. Then, writers will come up onstage and pitch their projects. The producers will give feedback, critique and suggestions.
At the Pitch Conference you’re going to get to see a variety of pitches and learn how our elite panel evaluates ideas. That is a learning experience you can’t get anywhere else.
I would be happy to answer any questions in the comments.
If you come to AFM, please feel free to say, “Hi.” I’d love to meet you in person.
. . . . . . . .
You Might Also Like:
- Slate Gets It Wrong – The Real Reason Hollywood Makes Bad Movies
- The Lie Most Frequently Told In Hollywood
- 11 Ways To Write Faster