It's not a matter of just turning up, you really need to plan for the festival to get the most out of it. If you don't then you might as well roll up your ticket, insert one end into your anus and light the other. No producer is going to see the genius of your screenplay, no agent your obvious talent, unless you approach the festival professionally and with at the very least a little forethought. You will only get out of the festival what you put in to it.
So what do you need to do?
I talked about how you need to research your fellow delegates and speakers, so I won't go over that again. What I will talk about today is preparing to pitch.
You should have already decided on the three projects you want to take with you to the festival, remembering to print off one page pitches for these to hand out if requested. Your one pager should be written in the style of your project, so if it's a comedy then it needs to be funny, and remember to make it visual. If you don't know what I mean pop down to your local book store, pick up a few random novels and read their back covers. Their story is summed up there and you need to sum up your project in a similar manner. Like your screenplays; write, rewrite and rewrite again until they're as perfect as they can be.
What you also need to do is work out a sixty second pitch for each project. Why sixty seconds? Anything longer and you risk sending the recipient of your pitch to sleep. Keep it short and then if they're interested they'll ask you questions about your project. If you drone on all they'll want to do is to get away from you as fast as they can.
The pitch should be split up like this:*
- Title - relevant to the script.
- Format - film, TV , etc.
- Genre - If you don't know what it is how can they?
- Compare it to something else that has gone before (It's similar to Quantum Leap, but with robot rabbits.)
- Then..."This is a story about... who...'
More advice next week...
*Pitch format shamelessly borrowed from Julian Friedmann's session on pitching last year.