BlogPitchingScreenwriting Career

Meet the ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Top 10 Finalists

By November 13, 2020 No Comments
virtual pitch finale

Pitching your screenplay to a room full of professional writers, agents, producers, and studio execs can be nerve-wracking. There’s a lot to consider when you craft the pitch for your script. How long should you talk? What questions should you be ready to answer? Should you summarize the plot of your screenplay or focus on the themes? What about character descriptions? Should you “spoil” the ending or keep your listeners in suspense? Pitch meetings are usually short (often less than 15 minutes) so you have to know how to pitch like a pro if you want to option your script.

Learning how to pitch your script like a pro is tough because you really have to experience what it’s like to be in a pitch meeting to really know what to expect. Until now. We’re thrilled to bring you our first ever LIVE Virtual Pitch Grand Finale event where ten top writers will pitch to our ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch judges live and streaming for all of you to see. Learn from professional pitches and take notes on the feedback and input from these talented writers and judges. If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to pitch your script, this is the event for you.

Watch all 10 pitches here (the pitches start around the 4:00 mark).


Meet the 10 ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Finalists

Watch these emerging screenwriters pitch to industry pros to learn how to pitch like a pro at your next script meeting. Here are the ten talented finalists that will be pitching their screenplays live for all of you to see!

Joshua Young — SOAKED

virtual pitch finalsRaised by a psychic and a carpenter (that’s actually true), Joshua’s humble beginning in the entertainment industry was as a horse in a community Christmas play. Today, after twenty years in the film industry, he’s pushing his work as a screenwriter and director full-time with the eventual goal of becoming a Showrunner and Head Writer of his own series. Joshua spent six years working in a variety of positions for a cruise line, which is the inspiration for his TV series, SOAKED.

How he prepares for pitch meetings

“There’s an old saying in the sciences where if you can’t explain your scientific theory to a non-scientist, you don’t truly understand the theory yourself. I feel the same could be said for pitching as a writer, as it teaches you what key elements and “hooks” make your story what it is.”

Say congrats to Joshua on Twitter @JoshuaYoung9.

Richard Scott — A-POP

virtual pitch finalsOriginally from Maryland where he worked in politics and government, Richard stopped writing campaign speeches to move to LA to write for TV. At 17, he was in a boy band competition, where he met Lou Pearlman and got words of wisdom from Aaron Carter. “What if I were the leader of a K-pop group, and how would an American K-pop group come together” was Richard’s inspiration for A-POP!

“Pitching is the second-most important thing for a writer, other than writing itself, in my opinion.”

How he prepares for pitch meetings

“To connect, you have to understand yourself, understand who you’re speaking with, understand why you connect with and should tell the story you’re pitching, and finding a way to connect with the person you’re pitching to. Pitches change based on the time and who you’re pitching to, but ultimately, the core of the pitch is who are you, why are you the one to tell this story, and what makes this story so frickin’ awesome that it has to be told?”

Kyra Jones — GO TO THE BODY

virtual pitch finalsOriginally from Annapolis, Maryland, and currently based in Chicago, Kyra’s inspiration for GO TO THE BODY comes from her work as a professional sexual violence prevention educator and survivor advocate. She wanted to write a story that accurately depicted the experiences of Black survivors and their loved ones.

“You’re not just selling your story, you’re selling yourself and why you’re the best person to tell it.”

How she prepares for pitch meetings

“To prepare for a pitch, I write a short summary of my script, then focus on answering the questions “Why Me?” and “Why Now?” I try to be as natural and upbeat as possible during the pitch, and make sure my personality and passion shine through.”

Congratulate Kyra on Twitter @blkassfeminist.

Elisa Eliot — THE DREAM MACHINE

virtual pitch finalsBorn in New York and currently living in Los Angeles. THE DREAM MACHINE, though whimsical and magical is autobiographical. According to Elisa both actual dreams and the dreams we have for our own lives and our world – are more important than ever, and she wanted to inspire children everywhere to keep dreaming no matter what obstacles and challenges lay ahead.

“You can have the best idea ever, but if you can’t present that in front of an audience in a compelling, engaging and exciting way no one is going to be interested.”

How she prepares for pitch meetings

“I usually script my pitch, then edit the heck out of it, then read it many times over… then throw it away and speak from the heart haha!  It may seem like a lot of work just to throw it away at the end, but by doing all of the prep work I feel that the really important stuff gets internalized while not hindering you from being real and spontaneous in the moment.”

Congratulate Elisa on Twitter: @elisaeliot

Stef Smith — NEXT DIMENSION VIDEO

virtual pitch finalsOriginally from Wagga Wagga, and now living with her family in Sydney, Australia. Stef’s inspiration for NEXT DIMENSION VIDEO is her love for big, action-packed, ‘splosion filled, blockbuster movies growing up, and the comfort in being able to disappear into a movie! She wanted to create a show to express her love of the comedy sci-fi genre specifically – and to try to address the imbalance of leading women in the genre.

How she prepares for pitch meetings

“Oh gosh, pitching is SO important, though as a little Aussie writer the opportunity is also super rare. In terms of prep for the pitch itself – I come from a performance background, but I’m also pretty incapable of not being myself, so I try to be a mix of SUPER PREPARED (thanks anxiety) and also just very myself (accidental swears and all).”

Collette Legault — HEAVY

virtual pitch finalsOriginally from a wicked cool town in the Northeast and now lives in Los Angeles. The inspiration for HEAVY is her lifelong friend, who’s black, five-hundred-pound stepdad, Heavy, made him and his brother feel safe, happy, and protected.

“Every movie or television show idea starts with a pitch.”

How she prepares for pitch meetings

“It’s important to be able to sell your story orally through pitching ideas in concise and exciting ways. If you can convey your voice and stir emotions through your pitch, there’s a good chance they’ll want to read your script.”

Congratulate Collette on Twitter @collettels

Wesley MacInnes — BLACKOUT

virtual pitch finalsBorn in Calgary, Alberta, and currently residing in Vancouver, Canada, Wesley MacInnes has created a dramatic series titled BLACKOUT inspired by his life as an artist in the music industry. From tiny bars playing to no one to sold-out arenas touring with Shania Twain among others, BLACKOUT is a deep dive into the underbelly of the industry: the meteoric highs, crushing lows, abuse, addiction, sexism, racism, and the unseen true to life reality of what really happens behind the curtain.

“Pitching is essential, in that it is the nexus between the creative and the business world, and you have to be able to pitch in order to take a great idea and make it into something real and tangible.”

How he prepares for pitch meetings

“I prepare for a pitch by trying to zoom out as far as possible from the core of my project and from there find the most engaging way to invite someone inside, layer by layer, until they reach that core themself.”

Congratulate Wesley on Twitter @WesMackMusic.

Lizzie Perrin — BAKO

virtual pitch finalsBorn in Nagoya, Japan, Lizzie grew up in Canton, Georgia. Her inspiration for BAKO came from her own struggles to embrace her identity as a “Japanese American” writer as someone who was adopted and grew up in white, Southern culture. BAKO is her window to dive into Japanese culture through her character’s eyes.

“Pitching is essential for a writer because it forces her to understand the core of the story, themes, and how it relates to others, which are the building blocks of storytelling itself.”

How she prepares for pitch meetings

I prepare for pitching my reminding myself why I chose to write the project so I can explain the reason I should tell it and have the appropriate passion and courage. I then boil down the project to the most vital story beats and themes, and I rehearse the whole pitch until I feel confident that I can convey it to others in a clear way.”

Congratulate Lizzie on Twitter @LizzayPerrin

Jim Picariello — THE CULT OF US

virtual pitch festivalGrew up in Wellesley Massachusetts and currently lives in rural, coastal Maine. Jim’s inspiration for THE CULT OF US is based on his own experience of being recruited, trapped, and rescued from a Quasi-Buddhist, computer-programming, mind-control cult. It led him to write an informative, accessible, and entertaining story, to clarify the nature of typical cults, the initial red flags cults present during recruitment, and the power they have over their intelligent and creative followers.

“I think the skill of pitching is important, but it needs to feel honest and conversational as if you’re not really pitching.”

How he prepares for pitch meetings

“As a two-time Austin Film Festival pitch finalist, I typically write out the pitch and record myself saying it, clearly and slowly, and listen to it 100 or more times, eventually speaking along with it, like singing to a song. Then I speed up the playback, to practice at normal speed. My goal is to know the pitch so well, I can change the order and riff on certain parts, based on the level of interest from the listener.”

Congratulate Jim on Twitter @jimpicariello

Vanessa Logan & Nadia Wit — HIS DEAD GIRLFRIEND

virtual pitch finalsvirtual pitch finalsHIS DEAD GIRLFRIEND is a comedy feature from this female writing team based in Los Angeles. Inspired by the notion of a modern upbeat look at love and loss–something to riff on the old classics like My Favorite Wife and what it would look like if the female lead were dead and the man was caught in an other-worldly love triangle.

“As writers, we love working to harness this same excitement in a pitch in a way that conveys the essence, texture, and tone because it is absolutely VITAL to engage and entice the producer (and every other team member along each step of the way) to get them to understand what the audience will love and why they are investing their time and money.

How they prepare for pitch meetings

“When we pitch, we spend around 100 hours on camera rewriting and playing to find the right ways to phrase each section and get it in our bones.”

Congratulate Venessa and Nadia on Twitter @thevanessalogan.

ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Grand Finale Event

how to pitch your script online

Watch these emerging screenwriters pitch to industry pros to learn how to pitch like a pro at your next script meeting. Register for this free event and watch all of the Virtual Pitch Finalists LIVE at the Grand Finale event on November 18th at 5PM (PST).

ScreenCraft Virtual Pitch Judges

  • Eric Heisserer — Oscar-nominated Screenwriter, ARRIVAL, BIRD BOX, LIGHTS OUT
  • Wendy CalhounTV Writer and Showrunner (PRODIGAL SON, STATION 19, EMPIRE, NASHVILLE, JUSTIFIED, etc)
  • Amy Retzinger — Literary Agent and Partner, Verve Talent Agency
  • Marc Manus — Literary Manager and Partner, World Builder Entertainment

virtual pitch meeting