Ally Kornfeld, (Baby Shoes), one of the Magnet’s sketch writers, got a chance to take her idea for a TV Show, Cracking Royalty, to Austin Texas. She was one of the ten finalists in the ATX Television Festival’s Pitch Competition this past weekend. What is the Pitch Competition? It’s a chance to pitch an idea for a TV show to not only a live audience but to a panel of industry judges including Paul Scheer, Bryan Seabury, Julie Plec, Kyle Killen, Katie Krentz, and David Semel. Oh and get this: SHE WON.
“This winner will receive a meeting with one of our judges (based on the shows genre/judges availability) to explore the idea of his/her series and gain notes to better develop the series. After the pitch is honed, the winner will then get a pitch meeting in front of one of our studio/network partners (again, dependent on the shows genre and style) to try and sell his or her pilot for production.”
I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller) grabbed Ally after our weekly Baby Shoes meeting yesterday to get a quick word about her awesome writing triumph.
How long have you been writing?
For sketch writing? At least 2 years. I have written spec scripts though for longer.
How’d you hear about the festival?
I listen to Ben Blacker (@BenBlacker) on the Nerdist Writer’s Panel Podcast. And he talked about how great this festival is. It’s pretty new. This is the third year. Its great for people who love TV and love writing for TV. There’s a lot of writers, show runners and actors on the panels. It was a great opportunity to ask a lot of questions. It didn’t feel too big either, so it was nice and intimate. I met a lot of great writers. A lot of people from L.A. and a lot of Austin people there. It was really fun!
What did you learn about pitching comedy?
This was my first time pitching a TV show. It helps if you can make people laugh. 10 minutes before I was about to pitch I went to the bathroom left my pitch material by the door and when I got back it had disappeared. No one knew where it had gone. Apparently the hotel staff had thrown it out so I was running around like a mad woman checking rubbish bins before I had to pitch my idea. And I lead with that story which helped break the ice. I nearly vomited twice on the way to the thing because I was so nervous.
Can you tell everyone a little bit about Cracking Royalty?
It’s a 30 minute comedy about a heightened version of the Royal Family.
Did you hear the other pitches?
Yeah there were a lot of great ideas. The judges were looking for the most sellable I believe.
Did you develop this alone or on a team?
I work-shopped the pitch with a group of writers on a writers retreat this time last year.
What influences your writing both in writing for TV and for sketch?
Im such a huge fan on the sketch comedy scene in New York, and find it so inspiring. I try to watch as much as possible. The Magnet sketch program is particularly good and the shows are just getting better and better.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
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