Atlanta Pitch Summit “Southern Hollywood Edition” Recap
The Atlanta Pitch Summit has returned for its 2nd annual conference, November 1-3, 2012 at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center. The Atlanta Pitch Summit was for all writers, producers, directors, and actors to pitch their ideas to prominent film studios and television networks. The conference was filled with famous networks such as BET Networks, GMC, Aspire TV, and Monami Entertainment just to name a few. There were multiple panels and workshops tailored to specific interests including: marketing, print and advertising, acting, pitching, and how to financing projects.
The President of The Chicago Screenwriters Network, Colin Costello, conducted a workshop called Son of a Pitch. Costello described a pitch as “a conversation to discover if there’s a match between what the listener is looking for and what you had to offer”. Costello said, “Your pitch is what’s gonna make people say you’re talented or not talented”.
The Women in Entertainment Panel was an all-female panel representing different genres of the entertainment industry. The panel featured Tracey Edmonds—CEO of Edmonds Entertainment and Our Stories Films, Actress—Keshia Knight Pulliam, Connie Orlando—VP of Original Programming at BET, April Love—Ask April Love LLC., Tracey Christian—Agent from TCA Jed Root, Denene Millner—Author of Think Like a Man, Shay Griffin—CEO if the Chez Group, and Tami Reed—Celebrity Blogger. The moderator of the panel was Fran Burst-Terranella—Professor and film maker.
When asked what your first pitch was, many of the panelists stated that they had to pitch themselves. In particular, Tami Reed, April Love, Tracey Christian, and Keshia Knight Pulliam, emphasized how important it was to pitch yourself to professionals in the industry you wish to work in. The VP of Original Programming at BET, Connie Orlando is the woman behind creating Black Girls Rock, in which she stated as being her first successful pitch. Following, the panel was asked what it is about women that give us a specific voice in the industry. Both Tracy Christian and Denene Millner agreed that women bring balance to any room.
The Women in Entertainment panel gave a woman’s perspective on making it in a very male dominated industry. Shay Griffin said, “Women are making a difference.” The panelists are all successful women in their specialized field and had the credentials to speak on such. Given the variety of professionals on the panel, the audience was able to take some form of knowledge from each panelist. In the conclusion of the discussion, the panelists gave out motivational words when handling rejection. Tracy Edmonds said, “No means find another way.” Moreover, Connie Orlando said, “Listen to the no.”
~ Chauntel Toomer, Contributing Author