42 DAYS: the pitch...
So....one thing we did at the UCI Screenwriting Fest on Saturday was "pitch" our screenplays. Pitching is probably the stupidest concept in the movie industry. It's on the same level as straw voting in politics. Yeah. That stupid. But they have to teach it at UCI, because everyone in Hollywood does it.
Imagine this. You've spent the last 365 days writing a screenplay. You've sweated and bled all over the paper. You've wandered the streets and alleys and byways alone at 3am in a bathrobe blind to all that's going on around you agonizing over every miniscule detail of your script. And then some assclown in a do-rag who smells like a Thai prostitute wants a one-minute or two-minute sound bite summary that "hooks" him into the story? How the fuck does that make sense?
Epiphany! Now you suddenly know why a turkey like Talladega Nights got made. Now you suddenly know how a dumb-as-dirt jerk-off like, say, Adam Sandler gets to be a successful comedy movie guy.
Anyway...regarding the pitch, here's page 250 of David Trottier's The Screenwriter's Bible. Make of it what ye will...
So we each wrote out our pitch and got up and delivered it. Thinking back, I'd say you need hand gestures and eye contact and body English and a lotta schmaltz to make it fly. It's not unlike improv. Okay. Here's mine, dashed off on pages ripped out of my Moleskine. My first pitch...
I will admit that I came up with a semi-usable logline. Here goes. Time me, somebody.
Just around the corner of time, in a future-America blown to bits by war and rebellion, a murdered politician's trophy wife and a disgraced major league baseball player resolve to make a stand at the edge of what's left of the world they knew.