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Pitch (1997)

 -  Documentary
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 474 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

Two young writers try to pitch their script to the big and famous.

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Title: Pitch (1997)

Pitch (1997) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himself
Spencer Rice ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Jay Bergeren ...
Himself
Kit Carson ...
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Will Devine ...
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Duvillier ...
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Gregory Finkell ...
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Ben Gibson ...
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Johnny Grant ...
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Storyline

Long time friends and aspiring Toronto-based filmmakers, Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice (who Kenny calls Spenny), have written a movie, a transgender mob comedy called "The Dawn", the script which they are trying to sell to get produced. They envision the movie to be a big budget Hollywood production with an all-star cast, rather than a low budget flick. Through cold calling, they quickly learn that they will need one piece of the movie in place - whether it be financing, or a major star or director signed on - before anyone else will really listen to them. More importantly, they need a reputable agent to do the leg work for them. They take the opportunity of the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival - a festival where many of the Hollywood elite attend - to pitch the movie to whomever will listen. Some people do give them advice, as well as advice concerning the making of this documentary, however they garner no solid leads. Thus, they move to the ultimate step in trying to get their... Written by Huggo

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Included in the credits is Kenny's mother's recipe for hummus. See more »

Connections

References The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Brother K
Written by Shawn Nykwist
Composed by Ken Skinner
Performed by Ken Skinner and the Jazzmongers
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User Reviews

A necessary first step...
28 November 2009 | by (a world partitioned by petty, squabbling nation-states) – See all my reviews

Hotz and Rice obviously have enough friends who are willing to come to IMDb to regale the quality of their earlier work. But if you are just an average film viewer like me, chances are you decided to view this film after stumbling upon it, because you thought it might be promising after having seen at least a few episodes of "Kenny and Spenny"--and you would likely be disappointed by this film.

Hotz and Rice have written a script and are attempting to "pitch" the script to a string of Hollywood producers, agents, actors, and scouts to help make it into a movie. The first part of this documentary demonstrates the difficulty they encounter in even finding an audience to pitch the script. The second part shows the difficulty they encounter in convincing the aforementioned "industry types" at film festivals to accept their script (and thus enable them to "break" into the industry). Based on their descriptions of the script, it promises to be a really bad film, so a series of rejections coupled by increasingly desperate pitching methods make up the bulk of the documentary. At this point, you might say: "well, these people are not giving you an opportunity because, quite frankly, your script sucks." If you say this, you would right, except for the fact that countless bad scripts are turned into screenplays for over-budgeted Hollywood trash every year, so a bad script is hardly the reason why someone cannot get their "big break" as a screen-writer or producer.

A superficial viewing would suggest that the point of the film is to educate and highlight an aspect of the film industry with respect to its treatment of new writing talents. But a few of the notables who appear in this film, like Roger Ebert, are more attentive to the subtle purpose of the film, which is that the actual "pitch" is not the script, but the documentary itself. Here we see some of the elements in the Hotz and Rice collaboration that made "Kenny and Spenny" such a hit: the contrast between their personalities, the constant jabs between them, and the drama/antics that unfold as a result. Except here, they have not yet realized how entertaining it would be if they were to take these elements to their extremes.

This film is thus, in many ways, a failure. The antagonistic friendship between Hotz and Rice is subtle and contained, and none of their antics are particularly creative or funny. Moreover, it is the subject matter, not their relationship, that is the focus of the film. It attempts to highlight something so obvious, with a straight-forward documentary style that is far too serious to be taken seriously. On the other hand, Hotz and Rice have clearly learned from it and polished some of the elements of this film into the cornerstone of their successful television series.

So unless you care about the "evolution" of the ideas that made "Kenny and Spenny", it is unlikely you will find this film particularly entertaining.


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