Making the Film, Television Pitch

University Communications
Sept. 25, 2013

The idea for the next great television show or movie could come from the local Tucson community.

The UA Hanson Film Institute and the Tucson Film Office are partnering again to host Pitch Fest Tucson, enabling UA faculty and students, along with members of the general community, to pitch their ideas to film and television entertainment industry professionals.

Pitches will be made one-on-one during the Sept. 28 event, and the the professionals will select the top three pitches for prizes.

The top winner will get to pitch to talent manager and movie producer, Matt Luber (right), a 1993 UA alumnus and president of Luber Roklin Entertainment, either in person or via Skype.

Luber is a talent manager and movie producer who has gained a reputation for cultivating and representing some of the most emergent actors, writers and directors while maintaining a focus on producing major projects. His clients include actors Paul Walker of the "Fast and Furious" franchise, Stephen Moyer of "True Blood," Sean Astin of "Lord of the Rings"; also, directors Walt Becker of "Old Dogs" and David Rosenthal of "A Single Shot." 

UA alumnus Josh Weisman was last year's winner. Weisman currently works in development at Pilgrim Studios in Los Angeles.

In advance of pitch day, the Improve Your Pitch workshop will be held on Sept. 27 informing people about the dos and don’ts of pitching to professionals, how to improve the pitch and how to avoid the pitfalls of pitching. The workshop will be taught by Hanson Film Institute Fellow Lorna Soroko, an award winning writer, producer, former television development executive and entertainment lawyer.

The workshop admissions fee is $40 and the Pitch Fest Tucson cost is $15, but both are free to full time students with valid identification. Both events take place on the second floor of the UA Marshall Building, 845 N. Park Ave.

This year, two of the Pitch Fest judges are UA alumni: Andrew Lear and Josh Murphy. Also, Shane Riches is a UA professor of practice and Larry Estes is a former professor of practice at the University.

Other judges include:

Will Conroy (left), a screenwriter whose credits include "Transsiberian" and “5 Minutes, Mr. Welles." Conroy has two feature film scripts in development and is represented in Los Angeles and London.

Larry Estes, who served as senior vice president of feature film acquisitions at RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. Estes operated an acquisition program at Columbia TriStar Home Video. Many of those films were successful and groundbreaking. He also has produced science-fiction films for Showtime and the landmark Sherman Alexie film, "Smoke Signals."  For five years, Estes served on the UA faculty and as a professor of practice, teaching feature film producing. Estes is currently a producer for Seattle’s ShadowCatcher Entertainment.

Andrew Lear is a producer and manager and packaging producer at  Authentic Talent & Literary Management in Los Angeles, representing talent for unscripted cable, primetime network and syndication programming. He has more than 12 years of experience in this area and represents major talent in some of the most successful unscripted series. Lear graduated from the UA.

Victoria Lucas started in the business at Imagine Entertainment. She has 20 years of experience as a development and production executive at major studios and independent film companies. Lucas has developed and produced diverse award-winning projects such as "The Island on Bird Street" and "The Black Dahlia."

Lorna Soroko (right) is a writer and producer and shared a national television movie writing award. She was formerly vice president of development for a top television production company based at Warner Bros and Twentieth Television. She has credits on HBO, Showtime and Fox. Soroko is a graduate of Harvard University and started her career as an entertainment attorney.

Contacts: Vicky Westover, director of the UA Hanson Film Institute, at 520-626-9825 or vwestove@email.arizona.edu; Shelli Hall, the Tucson Film Office director, at 520-770-2126 or shall@visittucson.org.

 

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