The Pitch Team

Competition Production

Project Director
Luke Walton

Project Manager
Beth Lane


Press and Media

Bridget Batty
Rachel Rounds
Richard Franklin

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Consultants: Film

Footprint Films Ltd – Mark Blaney & Jackie Sheppard

The Pitch has had a long and close association with Footprint Films, an independent British film production company that develops and produces films for a broad mainstream audience which combine commercial appeal and viability with inspiring, entertaining and engaging story-lines. Co-directors and producers Jackie Sheppard and Mark Blaney produced the Footprint feature and international co-production Africa United (Pathe, BBC Films, UK Film council/BFI, in association with Warner Bros Pictures, Canal+, Cine-Cinema & Rwanda Film commission - director Debs Gardner-Paterson). Jackie Sheppard has co-produced with Luke Walton on three of The Pitch winning projects, Derelict, Rahab and The Black Scholes Conspiracy. Full biographies are available on both producers here and further information on the company in general can be found on their website: http://www.footprintfilms.co.uk


Judges

For the current competition judges, click here.


Previous Judges

David Gyasi

Actor David Gyasi was born in Hammersmith, London and has appeared on Stage, TV and Screen. Currently he is filming on Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and previous screen appearances include Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Red Tails (all 2012), and Shooting Dogs. Amongst his many TV appearances are White Heat, Dr Who, Waking the Dead, Murderland and Law and Order, and he has appeared on stage across the UK including War Horse at the National Theatre.

Lucy Scher

A founding director of The Script Factory (1996) Lucy saw success with the first season of Screenplay Readings in London, sourcing talent and finance for unproduced projects. Through innovative development and training programmes over the last 16 years, Lucy has worked with numerous writers on short, feature and documentary projects including writers Paul Fraser (Twenty Four Seven), Alice Addison (The Hunter); and celebrated documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield.

An experienced development mentor; she has devised and delivered courses for numerous production companies; worked for regional production funds; and conducts training for The Script Factory both throughout the UK and internationally. Lucy is author of Reading Screenplays: How to analyse and evaluate film scripts (Kamara Books, 2011)

Nev Pierce

Nev Pierce is Editor-At-Large for Empire, the world's biggest movie magazine. He also contributes to Esquire and Radio Two and has interviewed everyone from Brad Pitt to Jack Nicholson. His favourite film is Fight Club, when it's not It's A Wonderful Life.

Paula Gooder

Dr Paula Gooder is a freelance writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the Apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians), New Testament Interpretation and the development of Ministry in the New Testament Period.

She is Canon Theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, Lay Canon at Salisbury Cathedral, a Six preacher of Canterbury Cathedral, Vice president of the Bible Society, Visiting lecturer at King's College, London, and Associate lecturer at St Mellitus College, London. She is a Reader in the Church of England and a member of General Synod. Paula attended the finals for The Pitch in January 2013, is particularly interested in story form and keen to help the theological development of the competition.

Toby Jones

Toby is currently filming Serena opposite Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence directed by Susanne Bier. He recently completed work as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl with Sienna Miller for BBC/HBO directed by Julian Jarrold.

Toby Jones can currently be seen in The Hunger Games for Lions Gate and director Gary Ross as well as the ITV mini-series Titanic. He will next be seen in the indie Red Lights opposite Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver for director Rodrigo Cortes and the independent film Berberian Sound System for director Peter Strickland. 

He was most recently seen in Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opposite Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, in addition to Marvel's Captain America: the First Avenger for director Joe Johnston. He also starred in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, Simon Curtis’ My Week With Marilyn and Dustin Lance Black's What's Wrong With Virginia.  He also took on the role of "Dobby the House Elf" in the Harry Potter installments. 

Toby's other credits include Joel Amiel's Creation, Oliver Stone's W, Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon and a critically acclaimed role portraying Truman Capote in Douglas McGrath's Infamous opposite Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock for Warner Independent.

Anna Cox

Anna Cox has worked at the BBC since 1993 as a documentary director and producer. Her award winning films have ranged from a fly on the wall doc for BBC2 about an experiment into prayer in the States, to numerous drama docs for BBC1. Her work has taken her from the deserts of Egypt, to the suburbs of New Zealand via the “Hollywood” sets in remote parts of Morocco. She’s currently series producing four hours of TV for BBC1, which will broadcast in the lead up to Christmas this year.

David Oyelowo

David has worked in film, TV and Theatre in the UK and the USA. He played Henry VI with the RSC (d: Michael Boyd) and Prometheus in Prometheus Bound in both London and New York. His work in TV includes Kremlin in No1. Ladies detective Agency, the last work from Anthony Minghella, and Danny in three series of the BBC programme Spooks. Recent film credits include Joe Lightning Little in the Lucas Films epic Red Tails. He was nominated for Best Actor in the 2010 Royal Television Society Awards. David plays the protagonist in The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He is married to the actress Jess Oyelowo and they are currently living in Los Angeles.

David Suchet

Most famous for his portrayal of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, David is also an internationally acclaimed theatrical performer. He took the lead role in the play Oleanna, directed by Harold Pinter, at the Royal Court Theatre. His other TV credits include: Maxwell and The Way We Live Now. He has won two RTS awards and an Emmy.

Nick Park CBE

Mention Wallace and Gromit to almost anyone and they’ll automatically smile. The cheese-obsessed inventor and his trusty dog have become part of the national consciousness and – along with the Creature Comforts animated series – have won Nick four Oscars and six BAFTAs.

Stuart Hazeldine

Stuart Hazeldine is one of a select number of UK-based screenwriters who write exclusively for the major Hollywood studios. His first credit was the sci-fi TV movie ‘Riverworld' in 2003. In 2007 he rewrote ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still' (directed by Scott Derrickson, starring Keanu Reeves & Jennifer Connelly) and the thriller ‘Knowing' (directed by Alex Proyas, starring Nicolas Cage).

He recently adapted John Milton's epic religious fantasy poem 'Paradise Lost' to be directed by Alex Proyas in January 2011 starring Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker and Casey Affleck, and has just written ‘Gods and Kings', an epic retelling of the story of Moses, for producer Dan Lin (‘Sherlock Holmes') and Warner Bros.

Stuart made his directorial debut with the British psychological thriller ‘Exam', which he also wrote, produced (with Gareth Unwin) and financed. It won the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Bronze Hitchcock award at the Dinard Film Festival. He was nominated for a 2010 BAFTA for Best Debut.

Martin Kiszko

Martin has composed and orchestrated over 200 scores for film and TV. Amongst these were the landmark natural history series Land of the Eagle and Realms of the Russian Bear, in which he pioneered the recording of music samples on film locations. The diversity of Martin’s material also embraces BBC, ITV and C4 dramas including: Black Hearts in Battersea, The Levels, and The Uninvited. His TV signature tunes include: BBC’s Newsround; Food and Drink; Omnibus; Wildlife on Two and The Natural World.

Yvonne Deutschman

Yvonne produced and directed the feature film One Love in Jamaica where she grew up and first dreamed of working in the film industry. She worked for twelve years at the BBC as a producer and director, working on a variety of dramas and documentaries. She was the series creator and producer for the long running Afro-Caribbean music and arts series Ebony as well as working on shows such as Secret Services, Antiques Roadshow, Crimewatch UK, Casualty, Let the Music Talk, Under Sail, Paying the Piper, Calling the Tune, Collecting Now, Looking Good, Black Roots, and others.


Coaches

Jackie Sheppard
Following collaboration with Mark Blaney and Footprint Films on projects in development over several years Jackie joined Footprint Films as Joint Managing Director of the company in June 2004.

At Footprint, Jackie has produced the feature film Africa United, with producing partner Mark Blaney, and Rwandan producer Eric Kabera. She has also produced the funded shorts, Home (Reel Issues Films), Curfew (Screen South/UKFC), and Supraman and the School of Necessity (The Doorpost) with Mark Blaney. Together they Exec Produced four short films for the UKFC/Screen South’s Digital Shorts programme (Hammer and Flame, Out of Water, Plenty of Spoons, The Karmic Wheel of Doo Doo).

Away from Footprint Jackie produced the short films Unscripted, Derelict and Rahab (all for Reel Issues Films), the latter as part of Footprint’s work on The Pitch film competition.

Previously, Jackie had overseen the technical and creative production at large-scale events, including broadcast events, in many venues including Wembley Conference Centre, the NIA in Birmingham, Leipzig’s Fair Trade Centre, the Hawaii Convention Centre and in Hong Kong at the prestigious Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Laurie Hutzler

Formerly based in Los Angeles, Laurie Hutzler has recently moved to the UK and is a good friend and supporter of The Pitch. She assists entertainment industry professionals develop feature films and television programme formats for both the domestic and international markets. She created the Emotional Toolbox®, a unique method that offers a set of specific techniques, exercises and tools to create and strengthen emotion-based creative content.

Laurie has worked as a consultant to the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, talkbackTHAMES, Mersey Television/Lime Pictures and Aardman Animation Studio (UK), for Pixar University, Disney and Dreamworks (US), Endemol Netherlands (NL), RTL, Weidemann Berg and Grudy UFA (Germany), GloboMedia (Spain) and TNT (Russia) among others. She is a consultant for Endemol and for FremantleMedia across a variety of formats in the UK, Europe and Australia. She is currently the Head Writer and Executive Producer of the forthcoming FremantleMedia original online drama “Beyond Lemonade.”

Laurie Hutzler has had several plays produced in theaters across the US, winning two Madoline Cervantes Awards at Lincoln Center in New York City. She was a staff writer and story consultant on Oscar-winner Paul Haggis’ NBC series, The Black Donnellys.  She also worked with Haggis on his recent films: In the Valley of Elah and Quantum of Solace. She consulted on two Oscar-winning foreign language films, as a story advisor on Tsotsi (South Africa) and on The Counterfeiter (Austria), as an eQuinoxe script advisor.

Laurie taught screenwriting in the MFA program at the UCLA Film School for 10 years, and was recently an Artist-in-Residence in Television and Digital Entertainment at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  She has taught for the Royal Literary Fund in Cambridge, England; The Sorbonne in Paris, France; Royal Holloway College, University of London, London England; DFFB film school in Berlin, Germany and IFS film school in Cologne, Germany.

Martin Kiszko

Martin has composed and orchestrated over 200 scores for film and TV. Amongst these were the landmark natural history series Land of the Eagle and Realms of the Russian Bear, in which he pioneered the recording of music samples on film locations. The diversity of Martin’s material also embraces BBC, ITV and C4 dramas including: Black Hearts in Battersea, The Levels, and The Uninvited. His TV signature tunes include: BBC’s Newsround; Food and Drink; Omnibus; Wildlife on Two and The Natural World.


Consultants: Theology

Paula Gooder

Dr Paula Gooder is a freelance writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the Apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians), New Testament Interpretation and the development of Ministry in the New Testament Period.

She is Canon Theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, Lay Canon at Salisbury Cathedral, a Six preacher of Canterbury Cathedral, Vice president of the Bible Society, Visiting lecturer at King's College, London, and Associate lecturer at St Mellitus College, London. She is a Reader in the Church of England and a member of General Synod. Paula attended the finals for The Pitch in January 2013, is particularly interested in story form and keen to help the theological development of the competition.


Hollywood Contacts

Bart Gavigan

Bart is a writer and film-maker who runs clinics for major European and Hollywood screenwriters with his creative partner, Martina Nagel. He is an advisor to Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, and he acted as advisor to Equinox and British Screen in Europe.

Ralph Winter

Ralph Winter is a Hollywood film producer who has helped to produce blockbuster movies such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Star Trek series as well as I, Robot and the first remake of Planet of the Apes. His films have grossed collectively over $2 billion.