Pitching for Film & TV LA


Availability: In-person, Online, VOD
Duration: 4 Monday evenings
October 29, 2018 – November 19, 2018

   – Week 1: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
   – Week 2: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
   – Week 3: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
   – Week 4: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Rough Diamond Productions
1424 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Course Fee: $269.00 
Member Fee (15% OFF): $228.65

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You know you have a great idea or a project but do you know how to pitch it in a way that succinctly, emotionally and powerfully conveys both its artistic and commercial potential? Pitching is one of the most essential skills needed for a successful career in the Film and TV industries. This 4-week pitching workshop is your chance to hone your pitching skills.
With “Pitching for Film & TV,” learn how to pitch successfully in Hollywood as a writer, director, actor, or producer, workshop your pitch during our *Pitch Repair* session, and pitch face-to-face (even if you attend online!) to a group of industry veterans (a director, a producer, and a financier) and get their feedback! 


Week 1: Learning The Pitching Skills

  • Running a pitch meeting
  • The goals of a pitch meeting
  • Crafting your logline
  • Pitching tools explained and demonstrated

Guest Speaker: David A. Weinstein

Week 2 & 3: Workshop & Pitch Repair

During these intensive workshop sessions improve your pitch and pitching skills by testing your pitch out on the tutor, getting his immediate response and feedback, and discussing it with other attendees in the class. 


Week 4: Pitching To Industry Veterans

Now that you workshopped your pitch, you are ready to pitch to a group of industry veterans selected from different areas of the industry: a director (John Penney), a producer (Julia Verdin), a financier (Jason Piette), and get their constructive feedback!



You don’t need to be a movie fan to attend this class – anyone interested in communicating a thought clearly and concisely will benefit with the Pitching Skills Evening Workshop. Writers, directors, producers, actors, filmmakers, cinema lovers, anyone with an interest in how movies are made and who seek a basic introduction to the filmmaking process will benefit from this unique class.




Award winning screenwriter John Penney has had 15 feature films produced from his screenplays to date. In 2011 John wrote and directed the supernatural thriller “Hellgate” starring William Hurt and Cary Elwes. The film was awarded Best Film at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival as well as the Best Horror Film from the Fantasy Horror Awards in Italy, sponsored by Syfy Europe Universal. Prior writer-director credits include the thriller “Zyzzyx Road” starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore, and the family film “Magic” with Robert Davi and Christopher Lloyd. 

Among the other many films that John has written are: “The Enemy” starring Roger Moore, Luke Perry, Olivia D’abo; “Contaminated Man” starring Peter Weller and William Hurt; “A Breed Apart” with Robert Patrick, Andrew McCarthy; “In Pursuit” with Daniel Baldwin, Claudia Schiffer , “Matter of Trust” with C. Thomas Howell. “The Kindred” with Rod Steiger, “Return of the Living Dead 3” with Mindy Clarke, “Past Perfect” with Eric Roberts, Laurie Holden and “Amphibious 3D” with Michael Pare. 

John also served as a producer on his films “Zyzzyx Rd” ,”A Breed Apart”, “Matter of Trust” and “In Pursuit” and is currently Executive Producing the feature “Reborn” (2018) with Rae Dawn Chong, Michael Pare, Chaz Bono and Peter Bogdanovich which is in post-production.

He is also featured in the newly released book on screenwriting by Jose Prendes, “The High Concept Massacre” along with fellow screenwriters Carl Gottlieb (“Jaws”) Amy Holden Jones (“Mystic Pizza” “Indecent Proposal”) and Doug Richardson (“Bad Boys” “Die Hard 2”)

In addition to his feature film screenplays, John has written short stories that have won him an award from the Adelphi Academy in New York, and have been published in the “Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.” In 2012 John wrote his first published novel “Truck Stop” and followed that up in 2013 with his second novel, “Killing Time.”

John currently teaches writing and directing at the Los Angeles Film School as well as the Directing Certificate Course and Pitching Certificate Course at Raindance, Los Angeles. 



David Weinstein is a true journey-man TV writer.  Born in Brooklyn, NY – David came out to write for film and ended up in television based on advice from an agent who read his work and thought his sensibilities lent themselves more to continuing drama than to screenplays at the time.  Starting with an episode of SILK STALKINGS, David has written for almost every TV genre there is.  His first staff-writing gig was on a show called SLEEPWALKERS for NBC, and then he stayed in drama writing for such shows as SOLDIER OF FORTUNE , KYLE XY and THE CLOSER.  After deciding that he wanted to try other avenues in the business, he took a job writing for JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE that lead to gigs on Chelsea Handler, The Stevie Ryan show and Death Valley for MTV.  At that point David headed east and took the WWE up on an offer to write wrestling in CT. for a year, until realizing that drama was his true love and returning to LA for runs on LUCKY 7, UNREAL and CHICAGO MED.  David lives in North Hollywood with his two cats, Misty and Munchie.  He’s currently working on a one hour pilot as well as teaming up with a well-known animated comedy writer for a half-hour pilot – meaning that David is still straddling the fence on genres.  He’s also managed to sell six different pilots in the last few years and is ready to share some of his know-how.


Julia Verdin is a British film producer and founder of Rough Diamond Productions, established in 1994. She has established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading producers with over 30 feature films. She is best known for producing the Sony Classics release The Merchant of Venice, directed by Michael Radford, and starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, the Newmarket release Stander, directed by Bronwen Hughes, and starring Tom Jane, Deborah Unger, Dexter Fletcher and David O’Hara, and the Breaking Glass release 2 Jacks, based on Leo Tolstoy short story “Two Hussars,” directed by Bernard Rose, and starring Danny Huston, Jack Huston, Sienna Miller, Jacqueline Bisset and Billy Zane.

Verdin has recently executive produced Lionsgate release Born of War, directed by Vicky Jewson, and starring James Frain and Sophia Black D’Elia. This year she has just directed her first film Lost Girls staring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols and Jamie Harris, and produced The Unwilling directed by Academy Award nominated director Jonathan Heap, and starring Dina Meyer, Jake Thomas and Lance Henriksen.

She is currently developing various projects with writers and directors including Academy Award and Palme d’Or nominated writer/director James Dearden; acclaimed festival award winning writer/director Éva Gárdos; Academy Award Nominated director Jonathan Heap; WGA Autumn Stories 2010 winner screenwriter Cynthia Riddle, and director Vincenzo Natali.

Verdin is a top film consultant having provided consulting services on development and production. She also wrote the critically acclaimed book, Success in Film, a detailed guide to funding, making and finishing independent films.

Verdin served on the board of BAFTA LA for 12 years. She is based in Los Angeles, and still maintains a base in London. Julia is also a graduate of the Raindance Postgraduate Degree in Independent Film.
We are honoured to include Julia on the Pitching Skills Evening Workshop.


Jason Piette is a producer and film financier with over 50 movies and TV series to his name, including the $25M The Merchant Of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons; Head In The Clouds ($20M) starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, (both for Sony Pictures Classics); the $33M Napoleon TV series for A & E in the United States; Perfect Creatures ($11M) for Twentieth Century Fox; independent American features such as Mark Pellington’s I Melt With You for Magnolia Pictures and cult classic, part crowdfunded Iron Sky for Entertainment One. Before co-founding Disrupting Influence Jason also worked on the $300 million Movision Film Fund. Jason is a graduate of Cambridge University. We are honoured to include Jason on the Pitching Skills Evening Workshop.



Do you want attend the first class in person and online on other weeks or the four-evening Pitching Skills Evening Workshop? Or, do you want to attend online on some weeks and watch other weeks on VOD?  You have the freedom to attend this course in person, online, or by watching it on VOD without making any prior selection. 

LIVE ONLINE: Every attendee gets an email invitation for the online classroom 30 minutes before class start times. All you need to do is to click the link provided in that email and watch the class on your computer’s web browser without needing to download any special software. If you are attending on your smart phone or tablet, please download the ClickMeeting app.

VOD: Video on Demand is a great option if you want to repeat what you learned in the class or you didn’t have time to attend the class in person or online. Each attendee gets a Vimeo link 24-48 hours after each week’s class. 

Additional information