Hollywood insiders hear script pitches this weekend


Danny Manus holds Saturday prepitch seminar

Writers who said what they wanted most to have from their Chicago Screenwriters Network membership was direct-Chicago-to-Hollywood access will get their wish Sunday, when the first-ever Chicago Pitch Weekend to Hollywood insiders takes place this weekend.

Only a few slots out of 50 available remain open for writers to pitch their winning movie idea to four top Hollywood development execs and three local producers seeking screenplays, July 14-15 at the Holiday Inn, 506 W. Harrison, starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

CSN’s special guests are Danny Manusm CEO of No Bull Script Screenwriting, ranked as one of the top 15 best script consultants by Creative Screenwriting magazine in 2010, and former development director at Clifford Werber Productions (Sydney White, A Cinderella Story).

Charisse Nesbit, former Lions Gate director of development turned producer (Why Did I Get Married, My Bloody Valentine); Janet JeffriesLawrence Bender Producers (“Inglorious Basterds, Plup Fiction); Ryan Cunningham, manager, Madhouse Entertainment (The Bounty Hunter, Deadfall).

Kyle Thomas, director/producer and producer Jane Morson of Hesperidian Productions (Stiletto) and Nate Grant, producer/director of Lakeshore Film & TV Productions are the interested Chicagoans who will be listening to pitches.

The Pitch Weekend will be crammed with information and straight from the horse’s mouth success tips, starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday when guests check in and sign up for the script pro to whom they feel is best suited to evaluate their work.

Each executive says they are open to all genres, with a few exceptions: broad comedy isn’t on Jefferies and the Hesperidian producers agendas; Nesbit is especially attuned to horror, thrillers and comedies; Cunningham is also open to TV shows and Grant seeks African American stories.

From 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Manus will hold three 90 minute courses holds on How to Write Successful Loglines, Query Letters and One Sheets, 12 Steps to a Screenworthy Script and the No B.S. Guide to Pitching workshop.

Sunday’s Pitches start with a 10:30 a.m. checkin and through 5 p.m., with an hour off for lunch.

“Pitches will be made in 8-minute segments,” says CSN president and successful screenwriter Colin Costello.  “Bring one sheets and contact information, but please don’t bring your scripts.”

Members pay $99, non-members $149 ($199 at the door the day of the meeting) for Manus’ three Saturday classes, Sunday pitches to the Hollywood insiders and CSN’s regular Sunday night meeting at Porkchop restaurant, where, Costello warns, “Absolutely no pitching.  The guests were gracious to hear pitches the entire day.”

Attendees may register here for Pitch Weekend.