Monday, June 14, 2010

The Art of the Pitch in Hollywood

Starting with how the idea for your project came to you is one of the best ways to begin your pitch. Because you are connecting to a real place and the source of your genuine inspiration and excitement about your project, your delivery will come across in a manner that's not so re-hearsed. It's a great ice-breaker. Best of all, talking about how you got your idea makes you more relaxed and less self-conscious, which in turn makes the person you're pitching to also feel more relaxed and engaged.

As a producer who has heard infinite pitches, nothing is more painful than watching someone sweat, turn red and even shake because they feel so uncomfortable and nervous. While some executives might come across as a little cold, the truth is, every executive is rooting for you. If you have a great project, you make them a star.

Worse are those who come in and read from a document. We want to connect with you, see who you are and get to know you. We're taking time out of a very busy day to have you in our office, so do what you can to entertain us.

The best way to do that is to connect with your genuine source of interest and excitement because that reveals you...and your excitement will engage us and be infectious.

Never under estimate the importance of practice and being prepared. The best way to prepare, I have found when I'm preparing a pitch, is to write the story down. Usually, this process takes place in the form of a treatment or outline that I've been working on for at least a week. By reading and researching the characters (if based on a book or true story) and writing the treatment, I've gotten to know my characters and story intimately so that talking about them becomes second nature.

DO practice in the shower, in your car, on your way to your coffee shop, as you walk across the parking lot -- do whatever it takes! Practice your pitch on your friends. Make sure they are friends who are supportive and won't tear you apart or put you down as that will only shred your confidence and put you back a few steps -- completely counter-productive! So practice, practice, practice!...until your pitch is second nature.

DON'T wing it. Unless you're a seasoned pro, a gifted story-teller who has been writing novels, scripts or plays for at least 10 years as these are the only people I know capable of "winging" pitches...and even they too have to prepare a little bit.

Last but not least...

Have FUN! Love your story, love what you're telling...even if it's a scary movie, a tragedy or a horror movie...enjoy the process! Chances are if you have fun, the person you're pitching it to will too!

For more information about "Pitching" and other Hollywood Tips, contact Wendy: l

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why I created L.A. FOR HIRE, your own Hollywood Executive

It all started when I was sitting at a bar in Chelsea in NYC with a girlfriend of mine, Danielle, an advertising media whiz and fellow Columbia University alumni -- and I was longing to return to my roots in Manhattan where I grew up and went to college. Over a lovely, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, as I thought about becoming more bi-coastal, Danielle said...

"You're L.A. FOR HIRE! That's what you are... You have over 15 years of experience in Hollywood and a bunch of credits under your belt as a producer and executive for various film and TV companies at all the major studios. This makes you a valuable commodity, especially in New York or anyone outside of you should consult."

You know the players, the network, studio and production company know creative talent, writers, directors, actors, agents, managers, and so on...and you know how to navigate the Hollywood system. You're L.A. FOR HIRE!"

I Liked the sound of that.

I got into a taxi and by the time I arrived on the Upper Westside where I was staying, I had pen and paper in hand and began to formulate my new entertainment consulting company "L.A. FOR HIRE".

With over 15 years of experience developing and producing projects for film and television, I decided to create a company that would fill a niche for those filmmakers, screenwriters, production companies and advertising agencies that might be seeking insider expertise and Hollywood contacts to advance their projects but lived far away -- or didn't have the access and the "know-how" to navigate the entertainment industry. And in instances where companies were forced to make cut-backs or became short-staffed, they could hire a seasoned film and television executive on a consulting basis.

In creating L.A. FOR HIRE, your own Hollywood Executive, I offer filmmakers, screenwriters, production companies, and advertising agencies from all over the world a gateway to the Hollywood community. Wherever an individual or company may be...whether it's New York City, London, Paris or Dubai...if you can't get to Hollywood -- I'll bring Hollywood to you.

Thus L.A. FOR HIRE was born.

For more information, please contact Wendy at: or click on my website: