Angelo Bell: Writing and Pitching Practice Makes Perfect

by Angelo Bell

Team #RCWD has been working hard, brainstorming concepts to pitch to NBCUniversal. In the past 8 months, instead of just talking about pitching, we’ve pitched in-person to executives at NBC Drama, NBC Comedy, USA, Bravo, and E!. We have two more pitch meetings coming up, one at Style and we’re going back to USA.practice-makes-perfect

I continue reiterating this because pitching is partly a numbers game. Out of fifteen written proposals we managed to get two requestes for MOW treatments from Syfy. From 35 or so concepts we’ve leveraged eight pitch meetings. From the outside looking in it might be easy to assume that “nothing’s going to happen.”  But when you fully comprehend the dynamics and that mathematics of what we’ve done, and are doing, you’d probably deduce correctly that, it’s just a matter of time.

With one idea you’ve got one shot. With twenty ideas you’ve got twenty chances to hit the “big idea” or form a relationship with people who can do something for your writing career either now or in the future.

But now it’s time to write.

The last script I wrote was At-Will, my “slice of life” comedy drama about workplace harassment and ‘sticking it to the man!’ I started writing it soon after I returned from NYC, after I got delayed by Hurricane Sandy. But it wasn’t a brand new concept. The idea is based on real life incidents and was marinating in my brain for months. I wrote it in seven or eight days. I like it. The script isn’t 100% done, but it’s in a good place.

Now, I want to do something big again. I’ve got my action script. I’ve got my comedy. I have my fantasy. Now I want to write something utterly dramatic. I need to get back into the practice of practicing my screenwriting. Drafting pitch concepts is cool because it’s a short process. The script I recently optioned was completed, rewritten and retooled over five long years.  My screenwriting muscles require constant training if they are to achieve the best condition possible.

#RCWD’s pitching muscles are ultra-strong. Justin, Marcus and Ramona have been in the fire, seen the flames and survived without a scratch. We’ll pitch to any person, any place, at any time. But screenwriting is an excruciatingly solo vocation.

In this case, practice is like shooting free-throws alone, after a scrimmage game. Sure, you are a part of the collective team. However,  when you stand at the line, it’s not about the team, it’s all about you.

Have you been practicing?