What’s the best way to pitch a film? It’s something Lifetime executives Tanya Lopez and Tia Maggini know a lot about and they shared their knowledge at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit 2021 panel on the inaugural Pitchfest.
Pitchfest is a partnership between Lifetime and TheWrap inviting emerging screenwriters to pitch their version of a Lifetime movie, specifically “women-themed thrillers.” Of the finalists, one winner will have the opportunity to have their project developed into a script.
During the discussion, Lopez who is Lifetime’s EVP of scripted content and Maggini, the network’s SVP of scripted content, offered advice on what it takes to get your pitch past those initial stages and closer to production.
“It’s telling us a great story, one that we’re going to connect with and one that we’re going to be excited about,” Maggini explained. “The thing that people don’t put as much priority on as they should, the #1 thing is always doing your research. What is the company you’re looking for actually programming?”
She gave the example of someone pitching a Western to Lifetime, without even considering the network is geared toward women.
Maggini suggested keeping pitches tight. “Short, great pitches are always the best,” she said.
Judging by her laughter, Lopez agreed. “It’s key to be able to state your thesis and your overview upfront. Tell me what your genre is, tell me what your logline is. The quicker you can do that, the better,” she said. “If you have a rambling pitch that requires a lot of additional explanation, you’re not doing yourself any favors.”
To find out more about Pitchfest, watch the rest of the Power Women Summit Pitchfest panel here.
The Power Women Summit is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provided three days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote the theme, “Represent.”