(Photo by freeparking/flickr.)
Podcast guest Asterios Kokkinos has published a Web site featuring his hilarious clips from the Hollywood Pitchfest, some of which we played on The Second Column podcast two weeks ago.
Asterios explains on the site:
The Hollywood Pitchfest is a two day event where aspiring screenwriters can pitch to movie and tv executives through a series of five-minute, speed-dating style meetings. It only has three problems:
1) No executives actually show up (only interns and assistants).
2) The event costs $420 (in addition to the hundreds people spend to fly & stay in hotels. I met people from as far away as Massachusetts, Tennessee and Canada.)
3) None of these movies ever get made. Some films get optioned, some people find managers, but not one film has gone from the Hollywood Pitchfest to a theater near you.
I didn’t know any of this at the time. I’d heard of the pitchfest and always assumed it was a scam, but I had no idea how bad it was until I got there. People were waiting in line for 45 minutes to pitch to some adolescent twerp. The phrase I kept hearing was “nobody’s buying” – except, of course, the 225 people who bought tickets.
And by the way, attendance was supposed to be capped at 175. At the last minute, they sold another 50 tickets (making another $21,000 in the process). I’m pretty sure they didn’t invite any more executives – multiple pitchfest attendees noted the lines were longer this year than ever before.
I was sent there to find out if the festival was a scam or not. I did this by pitching the worst movies of all time to executives to see if how they’d react. If they said films like “President Baby” were stupid and dismissed them, then I’d be wrong. If they just nodded and smiled, it’d tell me they were only interested in getting me out of there as quickly as possible so they could get back to the free lunch buffet.
Neither completely happened. But the results were still pretty insane.
Check it out at http://new.presidentbaby.com/.