Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I am still recuperating from an exhausting two days at the Great American Pitch Fest. It was held at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center across from the Burbank Airport, California. How could I turn down two days jam-packed with seminars and like-minded screenwriters for $25? I couldn’t. After teaching summer school, I drove wildly through the Los Angeles freeways Friday madness and arrived in time to gobble down a sandwich that I packed that morning (thankfully since that was all I ate all day) and register. The classes lasted an hour and a half each. They ran from 1:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. I didn't attend the pitch event on Sunday because I knew that I wasn't ready quite yet, and I couldn't stand all that rejection on my birthday. The speakers were varied: agents, authors, directors, managers, producers, and writing coaches. I left with more skill, but less hope of actually breaking into screenplay super stardom. I am exhausted, mentally and physically. My back and bum ache from the slightly padded conference seats. The best part was learning specific skill sets that I can apply to my art. The was nice, but sparse. It is a competitive market. The worst parts were the statistics. Shane Black said, “93% of you have no talent. I can say that because you all think that you are the 7% that do have talent.” Is that me? A published author and paid screenwriter said that it took most people 10 years to practice writing before they were good enough to get sold. In spite of stark statistics, I rest and continue writing even if I’m too old, not talented, and inexperienced.