SFTV alumni who completed the Film Independent Story Development Incubator Lab, Kathryn Wright ’20, Jonathan Talbert ’16 and Terence Johnson ’16, pitched their projects to a panel of industry professionals during SFTV’s The Art of the Pitch event. Students who attended the virtual event had a rare opportunity to gain insight into what makes a pitch successful while learning tips to use the next time they sell their own projects.
In collaboration with Film Independent, the eight-month-long Story Development Incubator Lab residency enabled participants to develop either a feature-length, narrative screenplay or an episodic series with mentorship from professional screenwriters such as NAACP Image Award winner Shernold Edwards “A Day Late and a Dollar Short,” Jennifer Glickman “The Big Bang Theory,” Emmy winner Mike Makowsky “Bad Education”, Felicia Pride “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Queen Sugar,” Oscar nominee Billy Ray “Captain Phillips” and Rebecca Sonnenshine “The Boys,” “The Vampire Diaries.”
The panel of talented industry professionals, including Yolonda Lawrence (Co-Executive Producer of “Bel Air”), Lauren Wagner (EVP of Development for Long Lake Media), Lucien Christian Adderley (Writer for “David Makes Man”) and Mitchell Peck (Producer of “Priest”), provided valuable feedback on each of the pitches, and answered questions from the student audience. Topics covered included pitching in the era of Zoom, how to balance the content of a pitch, the importance of developing your characters, and writing what you’re passionate about.
The genres, tones and styles of each project differed, from a look into DC private schools in “The District” by Kathryn Wright ’20 to a satirical look at the drug company that developed Oxycontin in “Dope Fiends” by Jonathan Talbert ’16 to a small-town baker’s journey of finding love in “A Taste of Love” by Terence Johnson ’16, no two projects or pitches were the same. Check out their full loglines below.
Kathryn Wright (’20)
Project Title: The District
Logline: Politics and social standing are life and death at DC private schools, but one overachieving Senator’s daughter has an airtight plan for success. Too bad no amount of planning can predict that her father’s been sexting a minor.
Jonathan Talbert (’16)
Project Title: Dope Fiends
Logline: Dope Fiends is the unbelievable true story of Purdue Pharma — the American drug company that developed OxyContin — growing from a family-run business selling earwax remover and laxatives into a multi-billion dollar empire with the hottest painkiller on the market, igniting the national opioid crisis in the process.
Terence Johnson (’16)
Title: A Taste of Love
Logline: A small town baker who dreams of winning a prestigious baking competition to save his business but must deal with gentrification, failing machinery, and a new rival in the form of his high school crush.