Students, Alumni Pitch Their Way to Success
THREE STUDENTS WIN ELA PITCH COMPETITION
NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Nine Emerson College Los Angeles students and seven alumni spent 90 seconds trying to pitch their television, movie, and web series ideas to a panel of three alumni judges. Winners of the inaugural pitch competition, sponsored by the screenwriting software company Final Draft, were Dondre Taylor-Stewart ’15, Elizabeth Ruddy ’16, and Evan Yee ’16.
The evening began with a panel discussion featuring judges Liz Alper ‘08, a staff writer on Chicago Fire, Sean Barclay ’99, senior vice president of television at The Gersh Agency, and Thomas Pettinelli ’13, director of development at Branded Pictures Entertainment. Zach Ehrlich ’11, who won the Austin Film Festival’s pitch competition in 2011 and works as a writer’s assistant, moderated the panel.m Ehrlich ’11.
As a writer, Alper advised the audience to think of more than just a great pilot and pitch ideas that have legs. When it comes to actually making the pitch, she told the audience to speak with clarity.
“It’s the writer’s job to figure out the cleanest way to pitch an idea as concisely as possible,” said Alper.
Barclay gave the audience advice on what makes a good pitch work.
“What makes it current and why are you the one person on the planet able to tell this story?” said Barclay.
Pettinelli emphasized how you carry yourself in a pitch meeting. As talented as someone is, he said, if you can’t articulate your pitch, it won’t get sold.