Pitch Perfect: pitch observation and panel discussion

For most of us the idea of pitching is as daunting as exams or job interviews. But the truth is that without a good pitch few projects will ever find their way onto a screen. 

If you want to get the inside track on what a panel of buyers, funders and industry decision makers are looking for in pitches, and judge for yourself what approaches will and won’t work for you, then join us for a one-off live pitch observation and panel discussion, as the participants in Paul Fraser’s screenwriters’ workshop pitch their projects to a panel of key decision makers. The pitching will be followed by a discussion, chaired by Ed Barratt (Hook Pictures), drawing together the panellists’ various perspectives on pitching and advice to the audience.

This is one not to miss if you want to get closer to the answers we all need to key questions such as: What are the dos and don’ts of pitching? What makes a pitch effective? What are the decision makers who listen to pitches looking for and what’s going through their heads when they’re being pitched?

The panel:

  • Carey Fitzgerald OR Piers Nightingale (High Point Productions)
  • Jess Loveland (Creative England)
  • Anna Seifert-Speck (freelance Script and Story Editor/Development Executive)
  • Henry Swindell (BBC Writersroom)

Unfortunately Rebecca Hawkes from Schedule 2 has had to withdraw from this event. See below for fuller biographies of the other participants.

When: Friday 28 March, 12.00pm – 3.00pm (registration from 11.45am for a prompt 12.00pm start – latecomers will not be admitted).

Where: Toffee Factory, Lower Steenbergs Yard, Ouseburn, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 2DF.

For a map and travel/parking info please click here. Please note that the entrance to the Toffee Factory is opposite the Tyne Bar, off the Quayside/Maling Street, and not on Ouse Street next to Hotel du Vin.

Only 30 places only are available at this event so you are advised to register promptly. Tickets are priced £7.50, though thanks to the support of the European Regional Development Fund this will be refunded to eligible creative industry professionals on completion of the event. Those who are eligible include delegates working professionally as freelancers or employees/owners of smaller companies in the creative industries in the North East of England; to check your eligibility in detail please click here.



Payments are processed via PayPal and may be made either with a PayPal account or with credit/debit card. We regret that we are unable to invoice or take payment by cheque. Please note that we cannot make cancellation refunds. 

The ticket price covers the cost of classes, any printed handouts and teas/coffees during breaks but please note that lunch is not included.


About the panellists:

Carey Fitzgerald, Managing Director, High Point Productions

Carey Fitzgerald started her production career, working with a full range of producers, including the infamous Monty Python team. Over the 22 years she has run High Point Carey has help raise production finance and put together co-productions for over twenty five BBC prime time TV movies, including the BAFTA nominated modern day Shakespeare films starring the likes of James McAvoy, Imelda Staunton, Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson and feature films such as The Race and The Front Line. With offices in London, Dublin and Sydney, Carey is well positioned to facilitate international co-productions through the High Point brand. On top of this Carey gives lectures and seminars at such internationally renowned events as London's Producer Film Passport Programme, Women in Film, The Media Business School as well as at the various film festivals around the world including the International Film School in Cuba and FICCI Frames in Mumbai. (Click here for more about High Point Productions.) PLEASE NOTE THAT EITHER CAREY OR PIERS NIGHTINGALE WILL BE ON THE PANEL.

Jess Loveland, Development Executive (Talent), Creative England

Jess Loveland works in Creative England’s Sheffield Talent Centre, scouting upcoming talent, assessing submissions and providing bespoke support across feature film development, shorts and pilots. Jess is also a freelance script reader and editor with extensive experience reading for the industry. She has undertaken work for The Script Factory and BBC Writersroom, as well as for competitions such as the British Feature Screenplay Competition in association with Kaos Films and Rankin Films Collabor8te. She also reads for the Bush Theatre and The Old Red Lion Theatre in London as well as working with a selection of independent film and television production companies. Jess enjoys reading scripts of all genres but particularly enjoys drama and thriller narratives. (Click here for more about Creative England)

Piers Nightingale, Head of Development and Director of Acquisitions, High Point Productions

The first port of call for producers at High Point, Piers sources and assess scripts, projects and finished films for international sales. In addition, he oversees festival strategy, regularly liaising with key programmers. Over the years, his experience of the industry has been drawn on by a variety of institutions, including the National Film and Television School, London Film School, EICTV in Cuba and the Media Business School in Ronda, Spain. (Click here for more about High Point Productions.) PLEASE NOTE THAT EITHER PIERS OR CAREY FITZGERALD WILL BE ON THE PANEL.

Anna Seifert-Speck, Freelance Script & Story Editor/Development Executive

Anna Seifert-Speck is a script and story editor with a background in talent development and experience as an executive producer. She works with production companies, public funds and individual talent during all stages of development.

Anna has worked as Development and Talent Executive for independent producers and regional film funds such as Creative England, EM Media and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Recent credits include Nick Whitfield’s Skeletons and Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, as well as a number of highly successful shorts. 

Henry Swindell, Development Producer, BBC Writersroom North

Henry Swindell is currently Development Producer at BBC Writersroom North where he works across film, TV and radio, finding and developing writers for the BBC.

For BBC Writersroom, working out of MediaCityUK and across the North of England, he oversees writer development, talent partnerships and development projects. He also gives seminars across the country on screenwriting and runs writers’ development residentials for all fiction departments of the BBC. He acts as an internal agent, connecting writers at any stage of their career with producers.

Henry’s background is as a TV, Film and Theatre Producer. As a TV producer he has worked for the BBC, ITV and Channel Four on shows including Casualty, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street. In 2011 he script edited over 50 episodes of Coronation Street and oversaw their trial script scheme looking for new writers for the show. From 2008 to 2010 he produced the teen soap opera Hollyoaks made by Lime Pictures for Channel 4. As a Feature Film Producer Henry is developing a slate of projects with Co-Producer Oliver Royds and Director Henry Mason. (Click here for more about BBC Writersroom



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