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This is my comment about the usefulness of VirtualPitchfest. The service can definitely put a writer in touch with a producer, if the producer responds positively to your query letter, but the is a BIG BUT to the service. Once a producer requests a script, he or she is not under any obilgation to respond at all. The producer can simply walk away and they do. There's no guarantee or effort on the part of VPF to ensure a professional, ethical response. This is not like having an agent or attorney make the contact for you. The contact here is not necessarily genuine or productive. My conclusion is the service has questionanble value and would be highly unlikely to lead to an offer to make a film.
I agree. I submitted two projects to producers on this sight and in both cases the producers walked away with my work, leaving me with the feeling that I have been exposed to possible literary theft. There are no safeguards in place on VPF to protect writers and their literary property from unscrupulous people. In my humble opinion, VPF is a waste of time and money.
If a producer requests your project and steals all or part of it, you have documented proof it was legitimately placed in their hands and firm legal legs to stand on if action is necessary. You can't expect VPF to do what you're asking. It's sheer paranoia.
Wrong! Simple safeguards could be as follows: A professional, very simple, response in writing, is due the author in a reasonable timely manner. For example: A treatment: 3 weeks. A script: 6 weeks. A simple statement can be: "We take a pass," or "Still under consideration, " or "We are interested and want to pursue further talks." In addition to being professional, it's common courteousy and good business. Virtual Pitchfest can make this super-simple demand on all participating producers, to filter out unethical, rude behavior, and those with bad intentions. A paper trail encourages professional behavior, discourages unscrupulous people, and advances the interests of the writing community and the producers. The whole idea is that VPF, with easy changes, can address these problems. The thought that VPF can not make these simple adjustments is absolutely ludicrous.
Wow, a debate. This is not about theft. It's about ordinary, very common courtesy, a professional response. I agree with the author above, the idea that VPF can't establish a policy of a professaional response for solicited material is ridiculous. Are they babies that they can't establish a policy? If they did, they might find that probably all the companies in their data base would agree and welcome such a policy, for the purpose of good relations with the writing community. Let's get it together and find the best ways to do business on the net.
Have any of you people actually used VPF? If you have, you'd know that you're guaranteed a timely response by whoever you query. When a producer, manager or agent agrees to take queries, they're given a specific selection of standard responses. I happen to know numerous screenwriter's who have had great success on that site and not one of them had to wait more than a week for a response from their chosen target.
Here's an idea, know what you're talking about before you post negative criticism online.
You are ignorant of the facts. Repeating: VPF only requires a 5 day response on an inquiry, not on submitted material, treatments or scripts. Producers can and do walk away from any response to submitted and solicited material. Don't be in denial; this sight has major problems that make it a joke, in my humble opinion. This point was made clear if you bothered to read the comments carefully.
Apparently you have no idea how Hollywood works. VPF provides a direct line to a producer, manager or agent. You're dreaming if you think any credible Hollywood professional will agree to your demands. Welcome to the real world. If you want an answer, contact the producer, manager or agent yourself after a reasonable amount of time. For ten dollars a pitch, you're expecting way to much.
I've used VPF for about 2 years now and i think it's great! A lot of the contacts I've made in Hollywood have been because of VPF.
You have to take a few things into consideration:
1) You have to have a good pitch 2) You have to have a good script 3) It's a numbers game
When I pitch on VPF, I submit to about 20 producers at a time. Out of the 20 I've usually get about 10 that respond with a "Yes!". That percentage is better then cold-calling or blind query letters/emails.
Out of the 10 that say "Yes!," I keep in touch with at least 5-7 of them (I probably keep in touch with about 20 or so all together). Companies may not think your script is a good fit for them, but they may like your writing and even one of the people passed my script on to an agent at one of the Big 5.
This service is to not only to get you material in front of the right people, but to make long term contacts for future projects as well.
I've tried a few different places, and hands down, VPF rocks! You get access directing to production companies without having an agent or manager. It doesn't get any easier than that.
No it's not a dream to expect a professional response. It's a simple improvement and extremely easy for VPF to establish a policy of a professional response for material that is solicited. They manage to get an agreed response to a query; was that a dream? No, just a little effort and creative imagineering. No big deal to make this improvement, and I suspect most production companies would enthusiactically agree to such a policy. There's no reason not to improve VPF, not to find better ways to communicate, make business more productive for writers and producers. I was a producer and I don't see anything wrong with providing the writer with a professional response in a timely manner. Why not?
I found my manager through Virtual Pitchfest, and I've gotten optioned after producers asked to see my scripts through Virtual Pitchfest. The company is a pitch site, and as others pointed out, they guarantee a quick response to your query letter. They give you access to people in the business that you would not be able to reach easily, let alone get a reply from. Once a manager, producer or agent asks to see material from you, they give you an email or mailing address in their reply, and all that follows takes place outside the domain of Virtual Pitchfest. You don't submit your script or treatment through the VPF website, so why would VPF want to get involved in guaranteeing how quickly your script might get read or responded to by the professional? The fact that VPF "could" demand that Hollywood pros follow a strict new set of rules seems silly to me. Each company has their own method and time frame for reading submissions and getting back to writers. If someone asks to see your script, you send it to them. Then it's up to you to be responsible for your own career and also understand that Hollywood pros get hundreds of scripts to look at on a regular basis, in a steady flow. If the agent or producer doesn't respond in a couple of weeks, then you do a polite followup email to ask the status. If you still don't hear from them, that's a pretty good indication they took a look and are passing on your project, as they do most projects. I don't get the flaming of VPF going on at this board. Maybe the people involved work for another pitch site and are trying to undermine Virtual Pitchfest's good reputation.
Here's my problem with this debate: This shouldn't even be a debate. VPF is allowing unknown writers to pitch their scripts to producers, agents, and managers -- period.
If you were to go out and cold query these same people, and you were lucky enough to get a response from them (other then they don't accept unsolicited material), they are under no obligation to get back to you at all after you send it to them.
You have to understand that these agencies, managers, and producers have thousands of scripts coming their way all the time. They don't have the time to respond to every single horrible script submission.
If you're worrying about somone steeling your idea register is with the WGA or get it copyrighted.
You should feel LUCKY to get a response. There should be no sense of entitlment here. Hollywood is a different business then any other business out there. They play by their rules. It you don't like the game, then don't play.
I'm not trying to sound harsh here. I've had agents, managers, and producers from VPF never get back to me after they requested my script and I sent it to them. I never heard from a few of them again. But you know what? BIG DEAL! Move on to the next agent, manager, or producer. It's a numbers game.
I agree it's not a big deal for VPF to establish a standard reponse to solicited material. I look at it this way: Rather than accept the status quo, the internet has invented news ways of conducting business, communicating, selling products. New net companies have a chance to change the way business is conducted, including Hollywood. Companies that want to use the net should adapt to the way business is done on the net. Gone are letters, phone calls, stamps, etc. So sites like VPF have a great opportunity to establish new concepts, new standards, new ways to respond to writers. It's a perfect opportunity to set a standard of a professional reply apart from Hollywood. And Hollywood can follow the net just like everyone else. Establishing standards for replies would make VPF so much better and it's something they can do very easily, making the site more productive for both writers and producers. Sending off a four word response by e-mail is certainly no big deal. It's silly to argue against such a modest demand. You'd think they were being asked to write a book.
As for me, until the above changes are made as recommended by MD above, I will never use VPF again. I will continue using my entertainment attorney for contacting producers and receive normal responses as I have in the past, and gain the enhanced protection from people seeking to rip off others works and, of course, a degree of protection from completely rude narcistic people. Obviously, not all people in Hollywood are deviates, but there is a portion of those in the industry who are absolute predators who do use the internet for their mischief. There are all kinds of schemers on the Net, scamming writers; I want none of it.
The bottom line like the others who have responded before me, VPF is another version of a query service such as inktip, script blaster etc. The only difference is that they guarantee you a response.
What you two want is to change the system. We all do. We'd all like to see a little more professionalism in this industry. But unfortunately, the players are just overwhelmed just not just with new talent but their current clients as well. So a no response is a no.
As for no response on scripts, I too expect that. In fact, check Zero Gravity. They'll request scripts but will tell you specifically not to follow up. If they're not interested, they're not interested.
I am currently using VPF and it is nice to see a response right away instead of waiting six weeks or so. No successes yet. But then again, it still hasn't stopped me from writing.
BTW Theo, wish you luck using ent. lawyers. Some companies won't even respond to them either.
I think that VirtualPitchfest is a great service. You can deliver your synopsis/resume directly into the hands of an established producer/agent and get a response within 2-3 days. What more could a writer ask for!
Has anyone SOLD a script through this service? If not, buyer beware.
I am so confused. How is this "buyer beware"?
If you don't sell your script, it wasn't right for the people you queried, for any number of reasons.
Query more. Or write a new script. But don't blame VPF. That doesn't even make sense.
So many of these companies promise you access. To who? Some intern at Warner Brothers? Even if the intern loves your work, so what?
There comes a point, also, where the law of averages kick in. If 1000s of people use a service, at least a handle of the scripts should be salable. If a company has no track record of selling anything, it's them, not you.
I'm not saying VPF is not legit, I have no idea, but I've been ripped off enough times to be rather bitter about it and honestly, anything I can do to help someone else not get ripped off, I'll do. Hence, buyer beware.
Nick, you are so right. You have absolutely no idea. If you did, you'd know that VPF offers access to the real players, not nameless interns. Try doing some research before you add your two cents or that's all your opinion will ever be worth.
I'd love nothing more than to hear of spec writers making sales via VPF. I'll be the first one to say, I was wrong.
Now, if, after a couple years of giving your money to VPF, you realize it was money wasted, I hope you will be responsible enough to admit you were wrong.
All I'm really saying is, watch out for snake oil salesman. We spec writers are their number one prey.
This is copied from the VPF website.
ScriptCoach client Veny Armanno's script "Burning Down" has reached the semi-finals in the Scriptoid Writer's Challenge comp. VPF client Hallie Tassin was signed for representation by VPF manager Stephanie Rogers. VPF writer Leena Pendharkar wrote and directed the feature "Raspberry Magic" which was produced by Leena connecting with manager Heidi Ifft on VPF! Heidi said "yes" to Leena's pitch via VPF, liked the script, and then sent the project to her client, actress Meera Simhan who loved it, and then showed it to her husband, actor Ravi Kapoor, who also loved it. With both actors attached, the funding for the project came within six months! The film is now doing well on the festival circuit! VPF clients Todd and Tim Wynn's feature "very_little_time" was picked up for distribution and released to Walmart, Best Buy, Borders, Barnes and Noble, and fye. Literary manager Kailey Marsh has signed VPF client Dustin Benson for representation. ScriptCoach client Bob Huffman optioned his script "A Canoli for Nona" to Triboro Pictures. ScriptCoach client Craig Bottrell's script "Stutter Punch" was just optioned by producer Jeff Wald's AIRA Entertainment. VPF client Matthew Altman optioned his script "Djinn" to VPF's Film Engine. VPF clients Todd and Tim Wynn's scripts "Inventor's Day" and "The Perfect Deal" both won Silver Ace Awards at the 2010 Las Vegas Film Festival. VPF client David Santo was signed for representation by VPF's 100% Terry Cloth. VPF client Linda Andersson's script "This Christmas" was optioned by VPF's Minor Distractions Entertainment. VPF writer Curtis Ray optioned his script "Jenny/Jennings" to VPF's Creative Entertainment Group. VPF client Karen Mueller Bryson's script "Monsoon Season" was optioned by VPF's Minor Distractions Entertainment. VPF client Davin Affrunti has partnered up with producer David Marchetti of Orange Universe Films to pen an original comedy script called "Retired." ScriptCoach/VPF client Jim Croke was signed for representation by Caliber Media's Julian Rosenberg. Creative Entertainment Group has optioned VPF client Jennifer Green's script "Ana Boy." Creative Entertainment Group has optioned VPF/ScriptCoach client Sandy Greenberg's script "An Uninvited Guest." VPFer David Erickson's script "The Country On The Corner" was one of six finalists for the $25,000 2009 McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship award. VPFer Brian Hill's script "Fort Defiance" was a Finalist in the 2008 Screenplay Festival comp. VPF client Brian Hill's script "Lightning and Shadows" (co-written by Dee Power) has been optioned by Road's End Films. VPFer Paul Byrne's script "Precious Second" won September's Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute's screenwriting contest. VPFer Ryan Schube was picked up for representation by Polaris Entertainment's Nyle Brenner. The Johnson-Roessler company has optioned VPF writer Andrew Tonge's script "The Bordwells." VPFer Evelyn Brooks' script "Boomerang Kids" is being repped by VPF pro Stephanie Rogers. VPFer David Doyle's script "The Reckoning" was a semi-finalist in the 2nd Annual StoryPros Awards comp. VPF clients Tim and Todd Wynne's scripts "The Perfect Deal" and "Pants" are both finalists in the WriteMovies.com International Screenwriting comp. VPFer Joany Kane was signed for representation by Imprint Entertainment's Michael Becker. VPF clients Todd and Tim Wynn's script "The Perfect Deal" has been selected as a semi-finalist for the Spring 2009 VisionFest Feature Screenwriting comp. VPF client Mark Winzer's script "Dressed in a Black Flag" won first place in the ReelHeart International Film Festival. VPF client Mark Winzer's script "The Interview" was the winner of the Cinema City International Film Festival screenplay comp. VPF clients Todd and Tim Wynn's script "The Perfect Deal" is a Finalist in the WILDsound Interntional Film Festival. ScriptCoach/VPF writer Georges Salo has optioned his script "P.A.T.U." to Select Services Films. VPF client Davin Affrunti optioned his script "Strung" to Filmplane Entertainment, with Director/Producer Austin Anderson attached. VPF writer Richard Dane Scott's script "From Here to Virginity" is attached to producer Danny Manus. VPF client Mark Winzer's "Dressed in a Black Flag" was the winner of the 2009 winter screenplay comp at the WILDsound International Film Festival. ScriptCoach/VPF client Jay Lombard's script "Mark of Cain" is attached to VPF producer Howard Rosenman. VPF client Amy Biven was signed for representation by VPF company Principal Entertainment. VPF client Karen Steele's screenplay "The Perfect Gift" garnered the the only Honorable Mention award in the 2008 Holiday Screenplay Contest. ScriptCoach/VPF client David Birkenhead's script "Soulmates" was a runner-up in the 2008 Scriptapalooza comp. VPF writer Chrissy K. McVay's script "Souls of the North Wind'" placed in the top ten in the action-adventure category of 2008 The Movie Deal! contest, while her script "Only Eagles Know My Name'" won an Honorable Mention Award. VPF client Jason Melby's script "Shark Tank" has been optioned by VPF's Select Services Films. VPF client Steve Hochman's script "Artifice" won honorable mention in the August, 2008 Script Savvy comp. VPF client Paul Byrne's script "Chasing Lucifer" was a finalist in the 2008 One in Ten Screenplay comp. ScriptCoach client Bob Huffman's script ''A Canoli for Nona'' won the 2008 Golden Brad screenplay comp. VPF client Michael Eging's script ''Song of Roland'' was optioned by VPF's Cine L.A. Scriptcoach/VPF client Pete Ferrari's script "White Boyz" has been optioned by Sinovoi Entertainment. VPF client Brian Hill's script "Dog Magic" was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Scriptapalooza comp as well as the 2006 Screenplay Festival Competition. VPF client Davin Affrunti's script "Strung" won Honorable Mention in the July 2008 Script Savvy contest. VPF client Jim Croke's script "Super Scout" is being developed by Mayhem Pictures. VPF client Malik Evans was signed for representation by Magnet management and Paradigm Talent Agency. VPF Paul Byrne's script "Between Two Worlds" was the winner of The Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute's 2008 comp. VPF client Todd Luongo was signed for representation by VPF's Barry Krost Management. ScriptCoach client Shamim Sarif recently wrote and directed the films "The World Unseen" and "I Can't Think Straight." VPF client Kevin Crawford's script "The Quantum Effect" was recently produced. VPF client Rod Spence optioned his comedy spec "Going Bridal" to VPF company Clifford Werber Productions. VPF client Jerrad Buford was signed for representation by The Muraviov Company. VPF client Bryan Murray optioned his script "Comanchero Moon" to Larry Levinson Productions. VPF client Bob Heske was signed by VPF company Rebel Entertainment. VPF client Kathy Deters was signed for representation by VPF company Little Studio Films. ScriptCoach client Dan Smith's script "The Phoenix" has been optioned to star actor Nick Cannon's production company, Mr. Renaissance. VPF client Sandy Greenberg optioned her script "Aged to Perfection" to VPF company Michael I. Levy Enterprises. VPF clients Cathy and Paul Bruno were signed by Max Freedman Management. VPF client Joseph Panicello was signed by The Stuart M. Miller Company. ScriptCoach client Dan Hart's script "Road Hog" won a gold medal at Worldfest-Houston's 2007 screenplay comp (in the action-adventure category). VPF Paul Byrne's script "Blood Trail" was a finalist in the 2007 All Access Screenwriting Competition. ScriptCoach client Kathi Wahed's script "Season's Greetings" was a semi-finalist in the most recent BlueCat Screenwriting comp. ScriptCoach client Peter Lancucki's screenplay "Carthage" was a finalist in the 2007 Script magazine Open Door Contest. VPF client Lynne Logan's script "Dying For Emily" was a finalist in the 2007 Writer's Place comp. VPF client Jenny Copeland's script "Tiananmen West" was an Honorable Mention winner in the 2007 Screenplay Festival Comp (in the action-adventure category). ScriptCoach client Rick Tobin's "Interrogation" won second place at the 2007 Terror Film Festival. VPF client Chrissy K. McVay's scripts "Only Eagles Know My Name" and "Souls of the North Wind" were semi-finalists in the 2007 Screenplay Festival competition. VPF client Kevin Crawford's thriller "Eden Valley Rain" was a finalist in the Second Annual FirstGlance screenplay comp. VPF client Kelly Parks script "Howard's Cross" won the 2006 International Horror & Sci-Fi Screenplay comp. ScriptCoach client Skin Mead's script "Hope Now" won the 2006 Revolution Media Screenplay Contest. VPF client Paul Byrne's script "Midnight Child" won the 2006 Hollywood Screenwriting comp as well as the 2006 Extreme Screenwriting contest (in the action-adventure category). VPF client Ashia Chacko's script "Black Box" was the winner of the 2006 Moondance comp's "Spirit of Moondance" award. ScriptCoach client Pete Ferrari's script "White Boyz" finished in the top 10% at the 2006 Austin Film Festival's screenplay comp. VPF client Danny Sheehy's script "Roses & Thorns" was a finalist in the 2006 Moondance screenplay comp. ScriptCoach client Clint Braly's screenplay "Zero Handicap" won 1st Place at the 2006 Hollywood Screenwriting Institute Contest. ScriptCoach client Steve Davis' script "Double or Nothing" made the top 66 out of 2600 scripts at the 2006 Fade In screenplay comp.
I'm sure there are plenty more that aren't listed.
The defense rests.
LOL. None of those "successes" makes me want to run out and join VPF.
Some people just can't admit when they're wrong. Eliminate the contests and there are some very impressive results. Unless reps, options, sales and productions don't mean anything to you.
Options mean nothing. Rep means something, but it depends on who is doing the representation. Sales. That's everything.
My last word on this: I sincerely hope you and everyone who uses this service get your money's worth.
My biggest complaint about VPF is the update on what the producers are looking for.
I've pitched them to only receive a reply they are not interested in looking for that genre even though it stated they were.
The complaints about VPF on this thread seem to me to be a bit ridiculous. The producers, managers and agents that you can query through the site do not work for VPF. To suggest that the VPF staff somehow demand that they change their schedule to accommodate unknown writers is just silly. Frankly it's miraculous that VPF has managed to get these busy individuals to agree to a response to a query within a week's time. These executives have rooms full of scripts, many from agented writers, and to expect that they will somehow toss those aside to make sure to get you your answer in six weeks is unrealistic and childish. If you have an agent or an entertainment attorney that is working for you, more power to you. If not, VPF provides a level of access and a response time that there is no way you will get anywhere else. Frankly, if you got the opportunity to take an exec out to lunch to pitch them it would cost you more than ten bucks and you probably would have less of their attention. Yes, people get burned in this game by unscrupulous companies that don't really provide a useful service. VPF is not one of those companies and I challenge you to find a better value for pitch opportunities.
As a screenwriter in Calgary, Canada with no direct access to producers and managers I've recommended Virtual Pitchfest on my blog - Screenwriting From The Moon http://t.co/2v1NxU4
It's a way to target query letters to companies that are actually looking for your genre of screenplay. It forces you to hone your pitch - which is excellent training in the long run.
Virtual Pitchfest is an online business, like inktip, etc. Few, if any real or major producers would actually take interest in a new writer or a script from an unknown writer off sites like these. I frankly wonder what they are doing on sites like VPF. I'm very skeptical.
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