Spent this past weekend at The Great American PitchFest. This is the event created by Signe Olynyk and is in its fifth year with annual get togethers in both Canada and the U.S., and getting better and bigger every year.
Not only did I have a chance to give a speech to a packed house Saturday morning, and meet with some amazing screenwriters, I also had the rare opportunity to interact with all of the big names in screenwriting mentorship.
As those of you know who read my book, I credit two gurus with my early knowledge of how to write a screenplay: Syd Field, who wrote the seminal Screenplay, and Viki King, whose book How to Write a Screenplay in 21 Days was key to my understanding so many things about how scripts are structured.
I got to see Viki this weekend again, and shake her hand post-book for the first time, and along with her, see some other greats in the biz, including Linda Seger, who wrote the other classic in the pantheon of how-to’s: Making a Good Script Great.
Along with my now good buddy Karl Iglesias, author of Writing for Emotional Impact, we were all gathered together in the “green room” swapping stories about our travels, books, and lectures. It gave me a kind of out-of-body feeling to be among the people I looked up to in my early days and now have a chance to see in person, still giving great advice after all these years!
I want to thank Signe for inviting me to be part of this great event, and also Lorene Lacey, who was the PitchFest troubleshooter and all-around “go-to” person for any question or problem.
And thanks mostly to the 1,200 + screenwriters and 100+ producers and executives who showed up to hear the writers pitch their wares, and gave us all such great feedback.
Hope to see you all next year!