Pitching Hollywood & The Pitch Deck

The vast majority of screenwriters never achieve the minimum amount of success required to join the Writers Guild of America, and the majority of those who do get into the Hollywood writer’s union only qualify once for membership status. Though people would love to believe it’s pure talent that allows Michael to be a 15-year, current and active member of the WGAW, we all know that’s not how Hollywood works.


If the entertainment industry is all about whom you know, and Michael has no family in show business, it becomes clear that Michael knows how to get important people’s interest. Given his experience, it is clear that he understands the system, how it works, and what it takes to get producers to open their wallets. Having been pitching Hollywood for over a decade, Michael is thrilled to share with you how he does it. This lecture explains what to expect from meetings with producers and studio executives as well as how to handle those meetings like a pro. 

Topics covered:

  • Meet & Greet versus the Project Pitch meetings

  • How to present yourself as the writer (personal branding)

  • How to present pitch material

  • What to look/listen for and how to read the room

  • What to expect in the room

  • The one question writers always need to ask in the meeting

  • Proper follow up procedure

  • The Pitch Deck

Everyone sees doing these things in a certain way. Now, hear them from a decade-long WGA writer.


Michael Tabb is a working screenwriter, decade-long current and active member of the WGA, a multiple-award-winning screenwriting educator, and author of a film-festival-winning Best Screenplay. His new book, Prewriting Your Screenplay: A Step-By-Step Guide To Generating Stories, explains how he develops great, cohesive script ideas that continue to get him work, released by Focal Press, the entertainment-business division of Routledge, America’s #1 textbook publisher and a subsidiary of Taylor & Francis, the #1 textbook publisher on Earth.

Michael has written two produced screenplays for Universal Studios and is currently writing a new project for a brand new WGA-signatory production company. Recent collaborations include a new one-hour television pilot with Hivemind (The Expanse, The Witcher), fellow writer Evan Spiliotopoulos (Snake Eyes, Charlie’s Angels, The Huntsman, and Disney’s Academy-Award-nominated film, Beauty & The Beast), and Director Thor Freudenthal (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, TV’s Flash and Green Arrow), taking his first steps into television. He has three new, original TV pilots, one with Endgame Entertainment.

He has developed feature film and episodic projects for and with Disney Feature Animation, The Canton Company at Warner Brothers, Imagine Entertainment, Mandeville Entertainment, Intrepid Pictures, Paradox Studios, newer WGA-signatory companies like Paragon Pictures and Mystery Road Films, Producers Lawrence Bender, Branko Lustig, Paul Schiff, Sean Daniel, writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh, Director Mike Newell, actor/producer Dustin Hoffman, and legendary comic book icon Stan Lee. He also served for several years as a reader and script analyst for Alcon Entertainment (put deal at Warner Brothers) for three years after college.

In his spare time, Michael is dedicated to giving back to fellow filmmakers, from novice to career professionals. He serves on the WGA’s Writer’s Education Committee, formally served on the New Members’ Committee, co-created the screenwriter’s union’s first ever Mentor Program, and has assisted the Writers’ Guild Foundation Community Outreach Program by guest instructing on his craft to underprivileged youth in the Los Angeles area. He serves as a mentor for fellow NYU TSOA alumni, the Missouri Film Office’s Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship. has lectured on screenwriting at The Screenwriters World Conference, StoryExpo, east and west coast writer conferences, the 2021 Next Generation of Visual Storytellers Conference, FSU, UCLA, and USC, invited by institutions, friends, instructors, and associates.

He is a multiple-award-winning, graduate-level, online professor of screenwriting now teaching internationally at EEI Creative Arts: School of Film and Entertainment whenever he can. Michael has spoken on and moderated industry panels for San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Story Expo, local Los Angeles film festivals, film schools including New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and the Writers’ Guild of America, West.

His education includes two years as a USC undergrad, a B.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and graduated from UCLA’s School of Film and Television, professional screenwriting program.  

Other classes at Story Expo by Michael:

Editing Your Screenplay (Tricks For Getting A Good Screenplay To Read Great)

The Art of Adaptations

Writing The Episodic TV Show Bible

Writing Episodic Content for Streaming