Sunday, January 24, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript with Joey Tuccio of @Stage32's @TheHappyWriters - January 24, 2016

Tonight we talked with Joey Tuccio of The Happy Writers about pitching online and Stage 32's screenwriting contests, including their new TV writers' fellowship. Lots of great pitching tips, not to be missed.  Enjoy! @jeannevb

Read below or on the Storify site

#Scriptchat Transcript with Joey Tuccio of @Stage32's @TheHappyWriters - January 24, 2016

#Scriptchat Transcript with Joey Tuccio of @Stage32's @TheHappyWriters - January 24, 2016

Tonight we talked with Joey Tuccio of The Happy Writers about pitching online and Stage 32's screenwriting contests, including their TV writers' fellowship. Enjoy! @jeannevb

  1. #scriptchat Who said I was happy...but l should be, I finished my first draft.
  2. So Joey, can you give us the 411 on @TheHappyWriters? How easy is it to pitch over the internet? #scriptchat
  3. I really need to find a writer's conference near me to attend. It's long overdue. #screenwriting #amwriting #scriptchat
  4. @PeoplesCourt79 I'm going to be updating @scriptmag site with a page for upcoming conferences & contests. #staytuned #scriptchat
  5. Not sure if @TheHappyWriters are having tech difficulties, but let's chat a bit about online pitching while we wait. #scriptchat
  6. I'm still rusty on pitching, so I'm interested in hearing anyone's thoughts about it #scriptchat
  7. Have any of you pitched via Skype? I haven't but I'd much rather talk over Skype than on phone when networking #whitesoftheeyes #scriptchat
  8. @jeannevb Maybe Skype feels more direct because you're both looking at something. #scriptchat
  9. @jeannevb even if you're not Skyping with video, you're both at your computers with the screen in front of you #scriptchat
  10. @blueneumann Pitch tip: Don't memorize a pitch. Talk about your script like you're telling a friend about a great movie you saw. #scriptchat
  11. @blueneumann totally. Not sure if @TheHappyWriters have time limit on pitches, but I'd suggest get your pitch done in 60 seconds #scriptchat
  12. how do you find a good person or company to pitch your script to? #scriptchat
  13. I know at Austin, the pitch competition goes 90 seconds. It goes by in a hurry. @jeannevb #scriptchat
  14. @cecelia_tvshow you can research prod co's on IMDbPro or Hollywood Screenwriting Directory. Make sure your film is genre they do #scriptchat
  15. @jeannevb @blueneumann I've really pitched once to industry people, but I tried to be as relaxed and enthusiastic as possible #scriptchat
  16. Has anyone done business with the script coverage arrive Launchpad? #scriptchat
  17. I'd say that it definitely helps to know your concept, your audience, and to be relaxed yet enthusiastic when pitching it. #scriptchat
  18. @jeannevb #scriptchat I love the Skype sessions. You see the execs reaction and it makes it so personal!
  19. I have a hard time introducing or talking about myself, I wonder if that issue bleeds over into how I'd pitch #scriptchat
  20. @TheHappyWriters is there a time limit to the Skype pitches? Do you help writers find appropriate execs to pitch? #scriptchat
  21. @TheHappyWriters @jeannevb I think for me, I just hope I don't get tongue tied while pitching. I do think on my feet a lot. #scriptchat
  22. @TheHappyWriters I never know what to say, I don't think I'm that interesting. I've never been good at writing my bio #scriptchat
  23. @SarahAlexis4 @TheHappyWriters Know your material. Don't worry about making it perfect! Make it conversational. #scriptchat
  24. #scriptchat try to make sure the exec visualizes ur film the same way as you.
  25. @jeannevb @scriptmag When oh when will Nicholl open for entries? They seem to be running late this year. #scriptchat
  26. @TheHappyWriters @jeannevb I know what I want to say but it sometimes just comes out wrong. That's what I mean. #scriptchat
  27. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters It's 8 minutes. The pitch should be 6 minutes and leave two mins for questions. #scriptchat
  28. @blueneumann @TheHappyWriters The good news is that in pitching the bio should be brief. Focus on the plot. #scriptchat
  29. @TheHappyWriters @jeannevb :) Should the pitch just cover the basic idea and the characters if it was a TV or web series? #scriptchat
  30. Just a guess, but I'd bet the Nicholl won't open until after the Oscars. @jeannevb @JLalliWriter #scriptchat
  31. @jeannevb As of yesterday it showed the 2015 dates. Maybe they update & open for entries tomorrow? They are late this yr. #scriptchat
  32. The point of pitching is to give the potential producers a sense of where the script will go so they can determine the best demo #scriptchat
  33. @jcolinholmes Why do you think that? Nicholl tends to stick to a strict schedule. #scriptchat
  34. @cecelia_tvshow you can also just google movies and see who produced them. That's free. :) #scriptchat
  35. RT @jeannevb: @cecelia_tvshow you can also just google movies and see who produced them. That's free. :) #scriptchat
  36. @TheHappyWriters @Al_1701 Yes, they want to know that you're collaborative and can work with their notes. #scriptchat
  37. When you do a pitch, how would you go about opening it, statement wise (other than "my show is about")? #scriptchat
  38. @JLalliWriter @jcolinholmes Just the amount of things the Academy is dealing with this year. Like I said - just a guess. #scriptchat
  39. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters We work with over 550 execs, writers can pitch from their own home via Skype, phone or written. #scriptchat
  40. @TheHappyWriters I have to admit, I like working alone, but being able to talk with someone about edits would be helpful. #scriptchat
  41. I took a public speaking class in college several years ago and I know some people open with a question, etc. In speeches #scriptchat
  42. @filmwritr4 #scriptchat i just say the title and.. show is about a man who discovers the cure for writers block etc...
  43. @filmwritr4 after establishing tone, logline and setting, jump into describing the protag and go from there. #scriptchat
  44. @TheHappyWriters can you speak about writers followup w exec after a pitch or submission? How does that work? #scriptchat
  45. @filmwritr4 opening w a question could be a good way in engaging the exec for sure! #scriptchat
  46. @filmwritr4 Nothing wrong with "it's a show about." You could also say it's SHOW A meets SHOW B but sometimes that can backfire. #scriptchat
  47. @SarahAlexis4 @TheHappyWriters each exec fills out a scorecard and personalized feedback. every writer gets one after a pitch #scriptchat
  48. @ScripTipps @filmwritr4 I keep thinking I should say "it has this COMPONENT of SHOW A" etc to give a clearer picture #scriptchat
  49. I think knowing your opening scene is just as important as knowing your ending in a script. #scriptchat
  50. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters the turnaround time is usually 2 months. Exec replies w/ feedback & if they want to meet. #scriptchat
  51. @jcolinholmes Good guess. I too wondered if they had their plates full these days. Never saw Nicholl delayed before. V. odd. #scriptchat
  52. @mattsjanacone A pitch should be a fuller synopsis where a logline is just one line. #scriptchat
  53. @TheHappyWriters does the followup go through Happy Writers instead of directly with exec? #scriptchat
  54. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters It comes from us. If an exec wants a general meeting we do an email intro and step out then. #scriptchat
  55. @TheHappyWriters since you've "escorted" so many writers through this, what's biggest mistake you see? #scriptchat
  56. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters Writers that try to be somebody they aren't (i.e. robots). You're a human and execs want humans! #scriptchat
  57. @TheHappyWriters That encourages me to keep writing. My trilogy on a guest venue did well, so I have hope. Learning all I can! #scriptchat
  58. Biggest thing I see that kills pitches is getting bogged down in Act Two details. @TheHappyWriters #scriptchat
  59. @jcolinholmes @TheHappyWriters keep each act uniformed. and give away the ending. writers sometimes trail off in act three. #scriptchat
  60. @TheHappyWriters It will be my first one so I'll be shaking in my shoes but hoping my passion wins the effort a reward. #scriptchat
  61. @SarahAlexis4 @TheHappyWriters who they see in the lead/what their brand is/what is the most cinematic set piece in the story #scriptchat
  62. Don't worry about training so much to pitch. Just make it conversational and don't think so hard about it. Honestly. #scriptchat
  63. As much as I've learned about screenwriting while writing scripts, each one has been different & presents it's own challenges. #scriptchat
  64. Don't overthink the pitching process. It's easier than you think. #scriptchat
  65. @TheHappyWriters what's the most unique thing about Happy Writers you want screenwriters to know? #scriptchat
  66. @TheHappyWriters Thanks for that advice! Overthinking can make people do weird things. :) #scriptchat
  67. @TheHappyWriters Can you expand on what the writer's brand is? Is that genre they write? Personal history? Produced films? #scriptchat
  68. Once we get past pitching questions for @TheHappyWriters, we can discuss their contests & coverage too. #scriptchat
  69. @JLalliWriter @TheHappyWriters It's the genre you write in. Horror, sci fi, comedy, etc. What your favorite genre to write is. #scriptchat
  70. #scriptchat a few "industry folk" said the concept is what initially draws them in.
  71. @jgsarantinos I would go further. It's the WRITER that initially draws them. Then the concept. #scriptchat
  72. @TheHappyWriters @JLalliWriter what if you write in multiple genres? You want to show that breadth or base on current project? #scriptchat
  73. Are Considers just as good as Recommends when submitting scripts to studios, agents or managers? #scriptchat
  74. Remember, execs are also looking for writers they can potentially hire down the road. It's not just the sale of your project. #scriptchat
  75. @TheHappyWriters #scriptchat OK. if the writer is cool but the concept sucks they may work with them later.
  76. @SarahAlexis4 @TheHappyWriters They usually just request the script but sometimes the one sheet. Have a one sheet prepared! #scriptchat
  77. @jgsarantinos @TheHappyWriters It has happened many times where the concept wasn't for the exec, but they liked the writer. #scriptchat
  78. As a writer you have to get used to pitching verbally. You have to be proactive. You can't hide behind a computer. #scriptchat
  79. @mattsjanacone @TheHappyWriters #scriptchat great. now we know what ur about and the sort of material to expect from you.
  80. @heatherAtaylor IMO, pitch comedy to comedy enthusiasts, thrillers to thriller fand etc. Be clear about what you do "best" 😉#scriptchat
  81. When pitching comedy verbally your personality must shine through. It's as much about YOU as it is the material. #scriptchat
  82. Know your writing peers too. What are some of your favorite writers? Know the business you are in. #scriptchat
  83. @jgsarantinos So, we help those listening see the experience our brains are producing on paper more than hear it? #Scriptchat
  84. @JLalliWriter I think about this a lot as I've done writer for hire stuff in other genres -that's a gd way of thinking about it #scriptchat
  85. In pitching, don't include graphics, pictures or sizzles. Crutches aren't necessary. #scriptchat
  86. What if it's animated? RT @TheHappyWriters: In pitching, don't include graphics, pictures or sizzles. Crutches aren't necessary. #scriptchat
  87. @TheHappyWriters if a script gets optioned, does your co have any claim to it or get a cut? Or is it all the writer's deal? #scriptchat
  88. I just know 96% of scripts are Passes, 4% are Considers, and less than 1% get Recommends. #scriptchat
  89. Guess I'm just wondering if it's worth it to stress over getting a Recommend. #scriptchat
  90. I would hire one to for your pitch package. RT @Al_1701: What if you're not an artist? #scriptchat
  91. #scriptchat I've just finished writing a book that I want to be a script. Advice please?
  92. In a general meeting you can talk more about yourself, other projects, aspirations, etc. In a pitch, just focus on one story. #scriptchat
  93. @blueneumann @TheHappyWriters @jeannevb I was going to ask about what you guys feel is the "ideal" pitch (if there is any)? #scriptchat
  94. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters Sure! We have a Comedy Contest now where the winners meet with Jerry Zucker and Scot Armstrong! #scriptchat
  95. We also have our TV Fellowship Contest where 2 winners will win seats into a writers fellowship overseen by 13 execs. #scriptchat
  96. @Jill_Sinclair What if you just started pitching the book to companies? You might not even have to write a script! #scriptchat
  97. @TheHappyWriters writing scripts is VERY different than writing novels. You can learn it though. Totally diff't skill set. #scriptchat
  98. 5 more min with @TheHappyWriters, so please stay on topic & get your questions in while you can. #scriptchat
  99. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters Thanks so much for the great advice and insight you've given us on pitching. Really appreciated! #scriptchat
  100. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters agreed! You really need to shift gears and tell the story externally vs an internal fiction world #scriptchat
  101. @TheHappyWriters How do you feel about using "it's THIS meets THAT" in pitches? Like "it's GODZILLA meets NOTTING HILL"? #scriptchat
  102. @SarahAlexis4 @TheHappyWritersScripts that aren't too wordy, character driven and that don't try too hard often place high. #scriptchat
  103. @jeannevb @TheHappyWriters Jeanne, thanks so much for inviting them, and for having this chat, as always! #scriptchat
  104. #scriptchat once i find someone i would like to pitch to, how do i go about contacting them?
  105. @cecelia_tvshow feel free to email us at with any specific questions! #scriptchat
  106. Great chatting with you all. Follow me for 140-character screenwriting tips. #scriptchat
  107. @TheHappyWriters So our word quality has to paint the picture and draw the emotions for the best result? I think I like that. #ScriptChat
  108. @TheHappyWriters thanks for being here, Joey! You did great! I'll ping you when the transcript goes live. #scriptchat
  109. Thanks, everyone! Now get back to the football game, or writing, or drinking, or pouring me a drink... transcript up soon! #scriptchat
  110. Following up my first ever #scriptchat with my first #TVwriterchat - I'm going to be looking forward to Sundays from now on...

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