Featured Success Stories
(*as seen in Variety & The Hollywood Reporter)
Darrien E. Burks:
Sold his reality show to Critical Content
Found a producer – Laura Bickford
Sold her Reality Series to Leverage (Boardwalk Empire, Contraband)
Sold his Reality Series to Blinktip, Pilot Now Being Shot.
Signed with APA
Pitched “Hsien of the Dead” now produced feature!
Fireman & the Popstar – Andrew Stevens Entertainment
Hostile Intent – Andrew Stevens Entertainment
Phillip Caldwell optioned his script “Doggy Style” to Silver Lion Pictures.
Astrid Neal, Steven List:
Born to Shop – 20th Century Fox/Drew Barrymore*
Steven & Daniel Altiere:
The Meddlers – Warner Bros.*
Fall to Pieces – Wilson/Woods
Lucky Kilroy – MGM*
Harmful Intent – Cosgrove/Muerer
S.P.O.O.K.S. – Miramax*
69 Reasons Not to Deal – Pretty Pictures
If Only – Intermedia/Outlaw*
Minute Man – Kaufman Company
Jeff Belkin optioned his script “Necessary Evil” to Gross Weston…
…not to mention hundreds of agency/management signings, options, produced TV and features – and even one marriage!
Congrats on the sale of your script. That’s awesome news. Sean Kaplan phoned to let us know that it was all a result of your attending the festival – that’s so cool. We love a good success story. Would you call it fate?
Maybe fate. Sean and Aaron were two of many people that I pitched to. It was a long day of work, and I was exhausted from trying to sell the idea, but it paid off I suppose. Who knows how these things happen?
Were you apprehensive about attending the Pitchfest?
I sure was. It was only my second time in Hollywood and I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had stories I wanted to tell, but I had no idea how to get anyone to listen. I still don’t to be honest. But without a doubt the Pitchfest gave me two full days to give it my best shot.
How had you been trying to market your material prior to Pitchfest?
The animation studio I was working at was the first place I took my material, but they weren’t interested. I knew that if I was going to keep this up I needed someone to love my story idea as much as I did. I had several requests for scripts after the conference but Kaplan/Perrone really seemed to get the vibe of what I was trying to do and worked with me to make it even better.
Yeah, they’re good guys, and obviously come with major agency experience. Why did it take so long to go from being signed by the management company at Pitchfest to actually making a sale?
Well, it wasn’t like we weren’t working that whole time. I suppose it’s been two years since I actually met Aaron and Sean at the Fest. That’s two years of writing, re-writing and finally going out with the script. I don’t know how long it takes most people, but that’s how long it took for me. Getting representation made me write more and that was a big plus. It is a process. Sometimes, new writers don’t understand that process, however. They expect things to happen much quicker once they sign with representation. And things just don’t happen that fast in this town.
What are you working on now?
I have the re-write of SPOOKS to do. I’m also developing a script with Tribeca. I never really have had trouble coming up with ideas, just finding the time to actually write in between my animation gigs. I can’t wait to bring the other foot over and JUST write but, like you said, it’s a process. We’ll get there, though. I’m encouraged by recent events.
What is S.P.O.O.K.S. about?
A group of nerdy middle school students that save the world from an invasion of evil spirits. It’s a fun kid flick.
Sounds like something we would like to see as adults! What advice would you give to future attendees of the Pitchfest?
Be prepared to have sore feet. Be prepared to feel like you haven’t got a chance in Hell. Don’t be too desperate. Don’t try too hard to anticipate the market. Learn to fall in love with the creative process because, in the end, it may be all you get for your labor.