Test Your Screenwriting I.Q., Pt. 11

True or False

1. Producers have a call back list of 50 people per day.
False. Their call back list is over 200 people per day.

2. Pitch Festivals give you 15 minutes to pitch your projects.
False. You have a strict five-minutes.

3. Production companies generally read your material in two to three weeks time.
False. It’s around two to three months.

4. Partner pitching is permissible with one partner pitching one part, the other pitching the other.
That’s true.

5. Good dialogue is using full, complete sentences.
False. Good dialogue uses phrases and short sentences.

6. The easiest way to structure a screenplay is viewing a similar movie and structuring your script the same way.
True.

7. You should expect brutal criticism of your screenplay from a studio reader.
True. Rumor has it that they’re frustrated writers themselves.

8. There’s no easy way to find out who’s buying what.
False. Many screenwriting magazines including Script Magazine and websites list what’s being sold and to who.

9. The Great American PitchFest and Screenwriting Expo are the two biggest pitch festivals in the country.
True.

10. Sometimes writing about what you know makes you too close to the material to be objective.
That’s true.

10 thoughts on “Test Your Screenwriting I.Q., Pt. 11

  1. giovanni

    Pitchfest? trust no one except who you can deal with directly, I mean read the pitch get your ideas, change the name of characters and places and you just got ripped off after you have been told how bad it sucked, Contest? all your doing is writing for the higher uppers looking for ideas and material to make their own, its a great way to recruit a free team of writers. Same crap goes on with music…open mic night just a scam for clubs to get free music without paying a band. The world as we know it is not safe anymore. You script would have to be so detailed and fool proof that it would be very hard for someone to copy without you standing on the set and even still someone would say lets cut the budget and try doing a cheaper version of it. You just still have to be in the right place at the right time. Just like the idiots that think Lady Ga Ga is cool cause she speaks her mind freely, please!! with all the millions invested in her, someone else is pulling the strings and telling her what to say..Britney saw to that after have a can a coke in her hand while endorsed by Pepsi…bottom line here is the industry sucks, but the more direct you can take it the better chance you have getting a true shot and deal. good luck to all

  2. Scott Wallace

    Bozo Niro, ‘Pt. 11’ was originally going to be ‘Pt. II’ but they were afraid only Romans would understand it and the rest of us would guess it stood for Inexact Integer, which, of course, it is. John F. Kennedy’s ‘Pt.’ was a boat that went putt-putt, abbreviated to Pt.-Pt. and then to Pt.

  3. Matt

    Get a good rep to pitch the right people, that’s what they’re paid for. Writers should not have to pitch, they write. Pitch festivals are not a good idea for writers because many writers can’t sell their ideas verbally, that’s why they write! Writers pitching their ideas in 5 minutes to exec’s is a way for the exec’s to get good ideas for nothing. Ideas can’t be owned, but they can be stolen and turned into a script however. Check out the history of pitching and you’ll discover less than 5% of pitched ideas result in a sale. Pitch fests are scams are far as I’m concerned.

  4. Thomas Gatus

    Please tell me that Bozo Niro is an inside joke. He cannot be for real. I’m sitting with a hand full of vitamin pills. My life is in your hands.

  5. Randy Stewart

    As a former actor, I’m in complete agreement. A rule that apply to myself whenever possible: I do not allow people that are not qualified to make decisions that will affect my quality of life. Not only does this apply to screen writing, but in every facet of life. As a screen writer, why would I allow some lackey to accept or deny my material? Who are they? Do they have any skills at all? Are they interns? Are they paid? WHAT ARE THEIR QUALIFICATIONS? I’ll pitch to producers, TYVM, instead of paying to pitch readers.

  6. Dennis

    I agree. Pitch festivals AND contests are more than a waste of time — they are detrimental to the writer, IMO. Why? Give me five minutes with some industry underling who does NOT want to spend his Saturday listening to me, and I’ll give you a disappointed writer at best. Contests? Please. The same script I entered in Final Draft’s contest last year (which didn’t make it past the first round) was “hip-pocketed” in January by a pretty successful agent at WME. I’m not thinking the script is the best thing ever written, but it was certainly good enough for someone in the industry to take notice, yet not good enough for the all-knowing judges at Final Draft. Ugh…

  7. jeo

    Pitch festivals are a joke. Complete antithesis to writing and a writer’s philosophy. A writer’s magazine should not devote so much time to pitching and contests.

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