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wif entertaiment forum 2008
Saturday Panels



PITCH LIKE A PRO: Part 1 - Presented by HBO
In the entertainment industry everyone has a great idea, a killer television show, a knockout script, an addictive new video game, a must-see game show concept. Getting someone to listen to these ideas, let alone getting them made, however, is another matter altogether. Your livelihood in the industry depends on the presentation of your ideas in a short, concise but entertaining way. This panel will take you through the practicalities of how to pitch, who to pitch, pitching techniques, how to work the pitching room and post-pitch strategies.

The Film Festival panel will focus not only how and which film festivals to attend but also look at the issue of selling films at film festivals in a down market. Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • How has the market effected the types of films and how films are being bought at the festivals;
  • What film festivals provide the most exposure for the least amount of money; is it more fruitful to attend genre film festivals over larger more mainstream festivals (is there a fear that smaller genre festivals will not wear the storm);
  • Attending festivals on a budget (what can be done to cut costs, who of the cast and crew’s attendance is essential);
  • How can you cost-effectively market your film in anticipation of attending a festival; are film festivals becoming an unnecessary extravagance or thinly-veiled spotlight for bigger budget, major studio films; and other relevant concerns.

Online Storytelling & Production. Why is it different?
Instead of just reading about it in the press, come join us to take a look at some of the best content currently available on the web. We’ll give you an overview of what’s happening in this nascent industry, and hear directly from the creators about the thrills and challenges of creating short format and interactive programming for digital platforms.

11:00am-11:15am - BREAK - Presented by Entertainment Partners


Writers Boot Camp, which has trained professional film and TV writers for the past 19 years, will host a Mini-Camp revolving around the most challenging aspect of writing: conceptual development. Founder Jeffrey Gordon provides an introduction to potent tools designed to facilitate conceptual brainstorming and follow-through. Boot Camp alumni have been staffed as writers on more than 70 different TV shows, and have won Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Awards.

As in the world of traditional programming, agents are driving the business for digital programming and games. Come join us to hear an overview of emerging deals in the space, and how content creators are making money.

Hot Button Issues in Reality Television Deal Making and International Franchising
This panel will cover:

  • What and whys of reality television license fees, budgets and back end deal structures.
  • The pitfalls in making your host or executive producer deal.
  • How do you tell if a format is protectable and how does that format get sold and repackaged internationally.
This panel has all the answers



Lights, Camera, Social Action!
A discussion on how a documentary and/or narrative film can stay true to a compelling story and its character¹s and still emphasize a social and/or political issue without pandering. How can the filmmakers then take the film and create a successful and affective distribution/marketing campaign that brings in an audience and social action.

International distribution - Presented by Comerica
You've made your film, or it's in development and now what? How do you get distribution? Would a studio be interested? Can it play on TV or makes lots of money on DVD? And does the buck stop in just the U.S? What are your chances in the international arena if you don't have a major domestic distributor. And what kind of film or TV show is the world looking for and why? And at what stage in your production should you try and line up distribution?
Join industry professionals that have the knowledge and expertise to what is working in the domestic and international marketplace. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity and join us for a powerful panel.

Showrunners - Presented by Endeavor
The showrunner panel will give you a window into the process of becoming a successful television writer/producer. How to get in the door, how to rise through the ranks, how to play the game

4:00pm - 4:15pm - BREAK


How To Package Your TV Project
What happens when a pitch alone isn’t enough? This panel will discuss the art and science of packaging your great idea with the writers, producers and talent the networks want to be in business with. Learn what it really takes to get a project off the ground from two power agents and an A-list producer.

Get a job! (Breaking into the biz)
Everyone talks about how to make it in Hollywood, but how can I get in the game?
All roads to success start with a first step, and this panel is all about taking your first steps in Hollywood. “How do you ‘roll” a call?” “What if I have a documentary that I know will win every award?” “Do I have to be an assistant?” We’ll discuss the basics that everyone needs to know and how your first job leads to your second job in creating the career you want.

The Power of the Actor - Presented by Patricia Barry
Every actor knows that discovering and understanding your personal pain is an inherent part of the acting process. This has been true since Stanislavski. The difference between The Chubbuck Technique and those developed in the past is that I teach actors how to use their emotions not as an end result, but as a way to empower a goal. My technique teaches actors how to win.

6:00pm - 7:00pm - COCKTAIL CHAT

Join us for a Cocktail Chat featuring the Executive Producers
& Cast Members from the hit TNT series!

Sunday Panels



PITCH LIKE A PRO: Part 2 - Presented by HBO
In the world of Hollywood movies, the most important 20 minutes of a film may take place during the pitch meeting. What makes a studio executive or producer bite on an idea? And what makes a successful pitch? In this hands-on panel, you’ll get the opportunity to pitch your idea to industry veterans and put into practice the skills you learned from Pitch Like a Pro – Part 1.

ShoW ME THE MONEY- Presented by The Private Bank of California
A primer on the economics of the film industry and how money gets from the kid at the box office or from your cable bill through to a profit participation statement.

11:00am -11:15am - BREAK


Reality Bites! Production Challenges of Reality TV Shows
Production of reality television programs presents unique challenges. The scope of guild jurisdiction is hotly contested. There are pitfalls for producers under state labor law as well, especially when minors are involved in a production. Producers must also be careful that necessary releases and clearances are in place, and sufficiently broad to cover every eventuality. Our expert panel will address these issues from legal, contractual and nuts-and-bolts standpoints.

Women's Voices in the Film Blogosphere - Presented by Variety
Recent statistics from the Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film at San Diego State University confirm what many people working in the business already know -- that women represent only 30% of the reviewers writing for the top papers in the country. The report states: "that film criticism in this country’s newspapers is largely a male enterprise, echoing the heavy male dominance behind the scenes and on screen in the film industry."

As the blogosphere grows and takes up the slack of a consolidating news business, bloggers in all areas are gaining more respect, fear, and access to their subjects.
Yet even in the web's infancy, male film bloggers already dominate the business and the discourse. Sites that break news, relay gossip and enhance the studio system mostly all dominated by male centric films.

The panel blogging about women and film will ponder the following questions:

  • How do we get more critical women's voices writing about film?
  • How can we make it safe for women to write about women without being ghettoized?
  • Should women writers feel compelled to support women filmmakers?
  • How can you be supportive of women filmmakers yet critical of films that don't live up to expectations?

Domestic and International Incentives: Overview and Realistic Applications
In the current economic climate, are Production Incentives secure, or are they at risk of reduction or elimination? Which types of Production Incentives are currently available? Come learn the answers to these questions and more, including practical tips, pitfalls, and potential traps for the unwary.

1:00pm - 2:30pm - NETWORKING BOX LUNCH


Producing short films for the Web
Producing and Distributing Movies for the Internet: How the Internet can Make or Enhance Your Career as a Filmmaker.

  • Low-ish barriers to entry (i.e., it is inexpensive to produce, or to start producing and inexpensive to upload)
  • The benefits and burdens of short-form story telling
  • Viral lives of product
  • Personal promotion
  • Sourcing Income

Screenwriting - Presented by Paradigm Agency

411 on Sales Agents – How they make all the difference for you and your film - Presented by XYZ Films
These days, unless you have a tent pole film or a list filmmaker, you need to get to know a great sales agent and these people are the best of the best:

  • Rena Ronson
  • Jeff Dowd
  • Sarah Lash
Sales agents not only can help you find financing they are also key to selling your film when it's done.


4:00pm - 4:15pm - BREAK

4:30pm - 5:30pm - COFFEE CHAT

Meet some of the ladies from the hottest dance show on television!

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morgan stanley