Why the London Screenwriters Festival is necessary for London and Screenwriters

It's been one week since I journeyed from deepest, darkest Wales to attend the London Screenwriters Festival. I was nervous, I was anxious - what if I forget my loglines? What if I meet proper writers and clam up? What if nobody likes me? Thankfully, while I did ramble at one poor producer, I did meet proper writers without mishap (they had been drinking) and some people seemed to like me okay, or well enough to chuck their business cards at me. So, why the grandiose title, London and Screenwriters? Am I being absurd to call LSF vital to the hearbeat of the city and the screenwriting community? No, and I'll tell you why. I can honestly say LSF consisted of the three most valuable and positive days of my writing life. I gained practical, insightful advice from writers, producers, agents and readers - from those who attended as speakers and from those who were attendees. I honed my pitch in the sunshine...
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Pitching In Sixty Seconds (without bunnies)

If you're attending the London Screenwriters Festival Speed Pitching and you're not flailing in panic, it's either because you have nerves of steel or are, in fact, an alien robot. Condensing your beloved work of art into one or two pithy sentences and then selling it in five minutes sounds impossible and terrifying (moreso because, until about thirty seconds ago, I thought it was ten minutes. ARGH!). Thankfully, people have done this before and SURVIVED! Some have even SOLD THINGS! The mind boggles. How does one conquer this hill of terror? I asked this same question before the London Comedy Writers Festival earlier this year, and Phill Barron and Laurence Timms provided excellent tips here (also in PDF). But what about Speed Pitching specifically? How does one not die in a five minute conversation with A Really Important Person? Jared Kelly's blog about Speed Pitching at LSWF is a Survival Handbook - and the most important (and scary) thing I gleaned from it is this:...
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Pitching with Brits

Ahead of the LCWF, I asked Twitter for advice about pitching. Firstly, Lucy Vee has a post with 5 Pitching Tips. Then, we have advice from the wondiferous Phill Barron: Keep a check on your breathing; if it's too fast you're panicking. Force yourself to breathe slower and you'll calm down. Same goes for posture, if you're tense, your shoulders rise. Keep them low and relaxed - it'll help you relax. Eye contact, but not too much. Smile, but not too much. Rehearse, but leave enough space for improv if the mood strikes. Start with basic info, like lead paragraph in a newspaper. Genre, who, where, what ... etc. As interesting as possible. If it's a single, cover ALL the beats. If it's a series, try to make the possibilities seem endless. Most important: believe your story's awesome, only you can tell it and they HAVE to make it Excitement generates excitement Lead character and plot should be as intertwined as possible: it's a story about someone who must...
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