Selling the dream, part 1, as artists pitch their ideas for screenplays

Pitching in: Warrnambool’s Shea Russell (left) with the outline her documentary, Treasures of the Victorian Coast, Sid Sprague, also from Warrnambool, with his show The Man Cave, winner Rachael Butterworth from Castlemaine with her show Fat Chance, Jacob Colliver from Warrnambool The Implanters and Simon Boyd and his show Guns. 140807DW43 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Pitching in: Warrnambool’s Shea Russell (left) with the outline her documentary, Treasures of the Victorian Coast, Sid Sprague, also from Warrnambool, with his show The Man Cave, winner Rachael Butterworth from Castlemaine with her show Fat Chance, Jacob Colliver from Warrnambool The Implanters and Simon Boyd and his show Guns. 140807DW43 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

WRITING a screenplay is one thing, but pitching it to the people who can make it come to life is a whole other kettle of fish.

The art of the pitch was on display at the WAG last Thursday night, with the return of the Short & Sharp Pitching Competition.

Five prospective filmmakers and screenwriters put forward their ideas for films, TV shows and web series to award-winning writer Chris Thompson and producer-director Marc Gracie as part of the competition, which is run by Victorian screen industry training organisation Open Channel.

Organisers said the Warrnambool heat of Short & Sharp received about a dozen entries this year, with the winner being Castlemaine’s Rachael Butterworth, who made the six-hour round trip just to make her pitch.

An RMIT screenwriting student, Butterworth’s winning pitch was for a feature film called Fat Chance about an overweight woman desperate to lose weight before the wedding of her beauty queen sister.

She said she was inspired by films such as Bridesmaids and Muriel’s Wedding and the way the characters in those films “struggled with the feeling that they’re not good enough”.

An honourable mention went to Warrnambool’s Jacob Colliver, who pitched his idea for a web series or TV show called The Implanters about two friends roped into working for an evil organisation.

Gracie, whose directing credits include TV shows Full Frontal and Jimeoin and the film You & Your Stupid Mate, said he was impressed by the calibre of the pitches.

“They’re getting better and better every time we come down here,” he said.

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